Thunderstruck Palomar Observatory



Just next to the main observatory I have a second observatory. I call this one the "Thunderstruck Palomar Observatory" because the telescope is a classic Edmund Scientific 4.25" f10.5 "Palomar Jr." Newtonian, on a German Equatorial mount.

This telescope was given to me by a friend who bought it for $20 at a local thrift shop! I'm not sure how old it is, but it appears to me to be from the 1960s. I'm very impressed with the quality of this telescope and it's images. It's one of the finest telescopes I've ever used. It came with an excellent 58X wide field eyepiece and a 2X barlow.

I already had an "extra" wooden deck, 10 ft square, with a central hole for a telescope pedestal. So all I needed was a 4 inch pipe and some concrete, and now I've got a second observatory!

When not in use I hang the optical tube and equatorial mount on the wall inside the main observatory using two "ladder hooks" I bought at the hardware store. When I want to observe I just carry the telescope/mount out and attach it to the top of the pipe using 3 thumbscrews. The pipe is notched for easy alignment with North.

Anyone who owns a telescope, even a small one, should seriously consider building some sort of observatory structure to house the scope. Or even just a permanent outdoor pedestal like this. You'll use your scope a lot more!

Text and Photos © 2007 by Bob Hampton  All Rights Reserved


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