Megnaritaville Observatory


The name is a long story (see here) and so was the construction of the observatory. But it saw first light on January 12th, 2008!

The Megnaritaville Observatory is located at the Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station (IAU/MPC G79) near Landers, California. It is a 10x12 roll-off roof structure and houses a 14-inch Meade LX200R. Scope and camera control is handled by an Apple iMac, occasionally aided by a MacBook Pro.

The observatory's completion was the fulfillment of a dream I've had since I was 11 years old.

The Megnaritaville Observatory is one of many personal use astronomical facilities at GMARS. Goat Mountain, the site's namesake, looms in the background.

Created as a joke by RAS member Bob Stephens, this image was the inspiration for naming the observatory.

A view of the observatory over the south wall. The interior walls are pegboard to provide thermal transparency.

Megnaritaville has a reinforced concrete foundation with a 1.5 ton pier footing. It also features a Stonehenge-like door.

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At top left, my good friends, the Boeckers, had a sign made for the observatory; bottom left, my scope before its installation in the observatory.

My thanks to these RAS members who helped me build Megnaritaville:

  1. -Alson Wong

  2. -Bob Stephens

  3. -Charlie Knapke

  4. -Frank Boecker

  5. -Dan Coley

  6. -Mark Melnyk

  7. -Richard Garcia

  8. -Alex McConahay

  9. -Richard Debus

  10. -Larry Salazar

  11. -Bruce Lakin

  12. -Vincent Fesunoff

Here I am, caught at an awkward moment, as I connect conduit inside the pier form prior to the pour.