What better way to view the night sky than with a telescope. It’s common to see them set up in front of windows or outside on the deck, but lately homeowners have been taking start gazing to the next level by adding private observatories to their homes.
These observatories range from self installed telescopes on a deck or balcony, to a computerized telescope integrated into a home’s computer and entertainment system.
Imagine 400 acres situated at an elevation of over 10,000 feet, with no air or light pollution, and nothing to obstruct your view. That’s the setting that architect Charles Cunniffe had to work with when he designed a private observatory in the Frazier household in Aspen, CO. He added a third story, leading out of the master bedroom, to a room surrounded with windows and a glass peaked ceiling.
Not only does it give an unhindered view of the stars, it also provides a great spot for wildlife viewing. They’ve even gone to the extent of installing a motion detector to alert them to any wildlife movement.
Another couple from Eagle, CO, integrated the telescope with their home entertainment network. Sitting in the comfort of their entertainment room, they program what they would like to see; whether it’s the latest asteroid shower or the rings of Saturn, and the image displays on their television screen.
A home observatory doesn’t have to be that elaborate and can be installed in your own backyard by any handy homeowner. You start with a structure to house the telescope and then add a standard or dome roof with a simple roll-off roof design.
There are a number of reasonably priced, ready made products available for the do-it-your selfer. Sky Shed offers sheds with roll-off roofs, plans, and hardware. Their newest product, the POD, is an actual viewing structure complete with a sliding dome roof. Whether you’re spending $2,000 or $20,000 a trip to the stars can be as simple as a walk in your backyard.