Iím planning to build an observatory. Iíve picked a spot in the backyard to build it. My current thinking is to build a two story structure. The bottom story would be used as a shed. The top story would have a roll-off roof and be the observatory. It would be so nice to have my scope permanently mounted with all of the stuff that goes with it. All the charts, eyepieces, etc in one spot where I donít have to set everything up and tear it all down every time I want to use the scope. Just walk out, push the roof off and start observing.

Another MASíer, Michael Koppelman (www.lolife.com/astronomy), has an observatory not far from here. I was wandering his site checking out his variable star work and great astrophotos when I saw a link to the pier he bought. He has an Astropier. It looks like this will be the solution to my permanent mount problem. I originally was thinking of doing concrete all the way up to the second floor. The bad thing about that is that itís a very tall cylinder of wet concrete that I would have to keep stable while it cured. With the Astropier I can do concrete halfway and then the pier the rest of the way. Figuring out how to construct the mount was the toughest part of the project so now thatís resolved, it should be relatively simple.

Once construction begins, Iíll post some pictures and updates. In the meantime, check out http://www.seds.org/billa/obs/obslist.html if you want to see some roll-off roof observatories others have built.