Observatory

The observatory is in a rural/residential setting on acreage on the north western fringes of Sydney metropolitan area.  The site is located on a north facing slope on the edge of an escarpment in a position where most of the bright Sydney metropolitan sky is obscured by the hill to the south.  There are no neighbours, street lights or other public lighting visible from the observatory.  Lighting from the residence a little distance away can be turned off if required. Typical moonless night average Sky Quality Meter reading is 20.6 magnitude/arcsec2

History

 

The observatory was built over several years starting in 1999 with the circular 3.75M diameter concrete slab laid during the construction of the site residence.. The slab is about 200 mm thick with a square opening in the centre providing space for a vibrationally isolated pier.  The 0.5Mx0.5M concrete pier is sunk 0.5M into the sandstone bedrock.  The 30cm thick circular walls were built using recycled sandstone left over from building of landscaping retaining walls.  The heavy walls are not ideal for a small observatory as the temperature probably takes hours to stabilise after sunset but the sandstone does make the observatory look elegant.

Dome

 

The classic hemispherical rotating dome was entirely a DIY design.  The dome base rings were manufactured (rolled) from mild steel angle.  Curved aluminium ribs were rolled from extruded aluminium box sections of various cross sections.  Dome base design

 

 

 

The dome roof is covered by 0.6mm embossed aluminium sheeting.  Expert roofers were required to stretch, glue and rivet roof segments over the ribs.  Dome sliding opening details

 

 

 

 

Pier

 

 

The C14 fork mount is bolted to a pier made from 300mm 0.5in thick steel pipe segments with the mounting surface machined and angled to the local latitude. Pier design

 

 

 

Geographical co-ordinates

Longitude           151.0711E

Latitude               -33.6211

 

IAU Site code             E23

 

ASA  Designation      DO3-48

ARCADIA ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY

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 To contact us:      Phone: 612 9653 3395 | Mob:  0419 243 715  | E-mail: andras@arcadiaobservatory.org