Not a surprise at all, but we now have a rotating, opening and closing dome! Next steps are to putty in the weather seal along edges, and it will be complete. The interior of the building is getting walls and paint soon. Lighting and network cabling come next followed by the installation of the telescope by end of January! Stay tuned!
A wide angle look at the dome interior with the lower shutter open.
Exterior view with the lower shutter open and the dome rotated to point north.
All three of the observatory’s domes visible for comparison.
Below: Two short movies of the dome shutter being opened. This is a two-part process with the top shutter opened first followed by the lower shutter which tilts out. The top shutter’s lower edge overlaps the bottom shutter thus preventing weather from getting inside.
Progress has been swift on the construction of the new building. Roofers have installed the waterproof roof layer and sealed around the dome’s base structure (framing). The dome has been built in place, and the shutter also installed. Interior work now progresses with the installation of the walls, trim, lights and such. Remember that for any of the images below, just click on them for a larger view.
Prior to pouring the concrete walkway we were expecting both rain then snow and freezing temperatures. Heating pads were placed to prevent frost on the ground before pouring the cement.
One wall has siding in this image, and the dome opening has been covered to protect the interior from rainfall.
All four exterior walls now have been sided, ventilation louvers have been installed, and the roofers are working on the rubberized layer on top the structure and around the dome, base frame.
Inside the control room, the base bearings of the dome have been unpacked for inspection and comprehension! So many parts are in this package, that it is a little mystifying.
The view of the telescope room through the framed wall of the control room. The window casement has been installed along with initial conduit for electrical. network and telescope control lines.
The dome is almost complete in this image taken at 6:30am with the sun rising. The dome’s motion is smooth and has that familiar rumble to it as it rotates in azimuth on its well-aligned and level bearings.
A wide-field image of the dome interior. Note that edges are a little warped in this image due to the camera’s odd stitching of the frames. You can see the top of the pier and the orange power line system for dome operations which make the system effectively wireless. No wires will be dangling down from above to control the dome’s motion.
Roof is complete. Dome is complete. Door has been installed.
This has been an exciting couple of weeks. As we have seen our first frost of the season (no snow just yet!), we have been putting up the frame and the structure of the building. Click on images for full size.
The corners of the building have been placed and the first wall frame goes up.
Work on the wall frames continues. Soon after this they will be sheathed with plywood.
The four walls are up, and the roof’s lower layers have been installed. There is also a ring for the dome.
The entrance to the observatory. Note the walls inside have yet to receive their plywood, and the floor needs to have concrete poured.
A view of the dome base framework from the rooftop. Imagine a large telescope on the pier with a 16′ dome surrounding it. The roof has a slight pitch to allow water and snow to run off to the north.
Another view from the roof. Where is that dome? Here it is! It’s the bundle of materials on the pallet. Some assembly is required. The black mats are covering what will be the walkway to the building.