Astrophotography by David Gares

My Observatory

Solar System
Open Clusters
Globular Clusters
Double Stars
Image Index
Observing Tools
Imaging Tips
My Equipment
Welcome to my observatory site.  It's a Skyshed POD XL3 personal dome.  This new addition is a work in progress.


Here's an exterior view showing the dome and the deck.  Also pictured are two of my guard dogs, Buster and Reggie.  Stay away from my equipment or you might get hurt.  (The foliage was later wiped out by Hurricane Gustav.)


Here's a view with the dome in the open position.  As you can see clearances are tight.  The overhead obstruction has been a hassle for me.  I offset my pier for zenith access, but still many go-to slews have been wasted because the dome is in the way of my targets.  The offset just moves the problem northward.  I plan to try the new PZT solution recommended by SkyShed as soon as parts are available.


The dome interior is tight but manageable for a single person.  The pictured Losmandy G11 mount works better than my fork-mount LX200 due to the overhead obstruction.  It's comfortable inside with fewer dew problems and no wind problems.  No, I don't leave my optics in there permanently.  But it's a joy to just close the hatch and go to bed after a late session.  Note the Celestron C9.25 scope with XLT coatings, Feathertouch micro, and Astrozap metal dewshield.  Very sweet.

I'll post more updates as I tune my POD further.  Clear skies!