This menu page updated
August 22, 2015


Click for info on  the
Palominas Group

The above 'egroup' is an email type bulletin-board in which only members receive email from other members of Palominas yahoo Group. You use your existing address. I am also a member other egroups and this is a good way to exchange news and get questions answered or discussed.

Sharing The Mystery & Grandeur Of Our Universe
(These pages are, as is the Universe, a work In progress)

Starfield Image taken from Palominas

Friends Of the Milky Way
Our attempts at preserving the dark night skies of Cochise County
It cannot be done without your voice

The heavens call to you, and circle about you, displaying to you their 
eternal splendors, and your eye gazes only to earth.
(Dante Alighieri)

 "NightFall" , a monthly newsletter for the Huachuca Astronomy Club
is now on line as a PDF file at the following web site:
Huachuca Astronomy Club

Get Acrobat Reader
Don't have a PDF file reader? Download it from here (Free).

 

Palominas Astrophotography (Click on small photo)

Two photos taken on the evening of July 17, 2001 during a 'lull' in the summer monsoon.  They were taken here in Palominas with a 35mm camera mounted on a telescope so that the camera 'tracked' the stars as the Earth rotated. Each photo is a 15 minute exposure of two different areas of our Milky Way.  The top photo is looking south towards Sagittarius (the larger pink region at lower center is the Lagoon Nebula), and the bottom one is part of the constellation Cygnus (the larger pinkish region in this photo shows the North American Nebula). Star Haven Observatory is always looking up!

This is a digital image taken on the evening of December 5, 2001 showing a comet with the 'name' of C/2000 WM1 (Linear). At this time, it was in the constellation Cetus, and heading south pretty fast. It briefly became visible with the naked eye. The camera was following the comet, so stars 'trailed'.
In this photo, there was no 'star-guiding'. The camera was pointed north, and as the Earth rotates (in this photo, 11 minutes), the stars left this trail of the Earth's movement. The camera did catch a meteor streaking through the north sky. The one star that doesn't appear to rotate is the North Star.
Here is another view that shows the Earth's rotation over a 30 minute period. Again, the star near the top that does not show any rotation effect is Polaris, the north star. The observatory is being lit by a soft red light while this exposure was being made. There is considerable light pollution showing up above the observatory because of all the *$%##@**  unshielded lights in Sierra Vista and Hereford.  What an unnecessary waste of energy, and killing the view of our night sky across the country.
One example of our monsoon weather - a lightning strike and downpour quite close to the observatory. This is a common occurrence during the summer here in SE Arizona.

More SKY photos are shown on this linked page.

 

Looking northward from slightly above the observatory.  In this picture the roof is shown 'rolled' off to the north so that the interior of the observatory is open to the sky. The 20 inch reflecting telescope is in the center and the southern wall 'flap' allows better views to the southern horizon. The observatory is a 20 ft by 25 ft roll-off roof type observatory, and 100 sq. ft of this is designed to be a 'warm room'. The walls are 6 ft. high, and the floor is carpeted concrete.

 

Palominas Observatory is located at 110 08' 27.4" West, +31 24' 1.6"N, at an elevation of 4,310 feet in the community of Palominas, Arizona (southeastern corner of the state). 

For the following series of 'thumbnail' photos, click on the image to view a larger photo.

A photo taken before the construction on the observatory began.  This is Jean with her 8" (inch) reflector Dobsonian telescope at the center of the 'future' observatory.  This is currently the smallest telescope here, but very popular with the younger viewers.

The observatory was designed by its owner, Doug Snyder, who also assisted in the construction, which was contracted to Stellar Vision in Tucson, Arizona.  Construction was started on June 8, 2000, and completed on February 4, 2001.  This place is a real blast!  The design consideration to use a roll-off roof style building instead of a domed building came about because roll-off's are easier to construct, the view of the sky from inside the observatory is much greater when the roof is opened, and heat dissipation is much faster in most cases compared to using a dome.

20" Obsession f/5 Telescope 10" f/10 LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope and CCD
The 20"(inch) f/5
Obsession.
The 10" f/10
LX200 and CCD

The observatory presently houses three telescopes, the main instrument being a 20 inch reflecting telescope, made by Obsession Telescopes in Wisconsin.  The 20 inch diameter highly polished mirror, which is about 2" thick, was ground, figured, polished, and coated in Colorado. This telescope is being used for visual observations, but in the future will also be used for digital photography.
A second telescope, being of the Schmidt-Cassegrain type, is currently used for both visual and digital imaging of objects such as galaxies, globular clusters, planetary nebulae, bright nebulae, and all sorts of neat stuff found in our skies.  This is a 14" (inch) Meade LX200, and the f-ratio is f/10, although it can be converted to an f/5 system (giving a larger field of view).  Attached to this telescope is a digital camera built for astronomy (a CCD camera); the light sensitivity of this telescope/camera combination is such that it captures much more light from distant objects and displays the object on a computer screen with more detail than can be seen through the human eyes when looking at the same object in the 20" telescope.
The remaining telescope is an 8" Dobsonian, similar to the 20", but with far less light gathering power.  We don't rate telescopes on how much they can magnify, but by how much light they can gather.  Telescopes with larger mirrors (reflecting types) or lenses (refracting types) collect more light than their smaller counterparts.  Magnification can be changed  (50x, 100x, 400x, etc) by using different sized 'eyepieces', but the light gathering capability is fixed by the size of the mirror or lens.

Inside the observatory, there are two rooms - the main observing area, and a smaller insulated room called the 'warm room'.  This room includes the library, storage area, and control center for the Meade LX200 10" telescope, which can be operated remotely from a warm environment during cold winter nights.  There is also a small refrigerator and microwave, but alas, no indoor plumbing.  Two windows in this room allow views to the west and into the observing area. 

Part of the 'warm room' at the observatory. In addition to providing warmth on cold nights, it serves as the control room for the Meade telescope, and the imaging camera.  The library is on the wall behind the photographer.

 

Have any sky watching or astronomy questions? Feel free to ask us at info@palominas.com

Please Remember This:  Stars Up, Lights Down  (Thank You!)

Doug  & Jean Snyder

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For information about,  or comments on this website, please email starhaven@palominas.com
We want to extend our sincere  THANKS to all the community sponsors!
These merchants, individuals, families, and friends of Palominas daily reflect our community pride!

The Morning Star Cafe
Matthew & Brenda Pratt

Casa de San Pedro 
Bed & Birding
Hereford Realty
Jackie Collins (Owner/Broker)
Judi MacNeil
Long Realty
Copper Queen Community Hospital
Bisbee, Arizona
"Yes I CAN-WELD It"
Raymond Candell
Doug & Jean Snyder
PALOMINAS OBSERVATORY
Judy Combs
Four Feathers Realty, L.C.
Keith & Teresa Mullen
REPOGAZER OBSERVATORY
Palominas Child Care
Debbie Stoner
The Bisbee Doll Doctor
Ellen S. Logue
Rockin JP Ranch, Inc.
Joe & Patty Scelso
Canyon General Convenience Stores Neal Galt Insurance Big Wheels Construction
Backhoe Service & More
Bob & Jan Bullard Shady & Jack Chapman Jim & Jan Arndt