Excavation for a foundation is underway and the observatory is expected to be at least partially operable in Spring 2021:
The foundation will secure and support an Aphelion (formerly Galactica) 7 ft observatory dome purchased used from Antelope Hills Observatory in Bennett, Colorado:
The dome is pictured with the author standing inside. It will remain stored on cinder blocks and a pallet until the foundation is complete.
The dome will protect a CFF 250mm f/8 Ritchey-Chrétien reflector:
The CFF RC250 is shouldered by a Software Bisque Paramount MYT:
A Software Bisque pier will be set in the center of the dome after the perimeter foundation is completed.
Students will gain experience using a Stellarvue SVA130T f/7 triplet apochromat refractor:
The SVA130T is the predecessor of the Stellarvue SVX130T). For scientific and astrophotography uses, the SVA130T is paired with a Stellarvue SFFRR.72 Reducer/Flattener, resulting in an f/5 effective focal ratio.
The SVA130T rides on a Losmandy GM811G:
A Losmandy HD tripod supports the GM811G, and the scope, mount, and tripod are reasonably portable. The SVA130T can be taken to exceptional nearby sites such as the White Mountain Research Center Barcroft Station.
Field power when using either the CFF RC250 or the Stellarvue SVA130T, and their mounts and associated electronics is provided by a Jackery Explorer 1000.