WMCC – Hoffleit Observatory Update June 2020

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Lots of progress has been occurring during quarantine on LHAAC’s Hoffleit Observatory with a brief summary below. Suffice to say future star parties at White Memorial will be getting a definite upgrade.

On May 9 Chip M, Mark C, Denis W and Liam went to the observatory and built the flap in the west wall of the roof – needed to clear the much taller mounts for the scopes on the piers.

On May 30, Jamie, Chip, Liam, Mark, and Denis were at the observatory to pour the concrete for the piers. Mark has a mixer, without which it would have been very difficult to do the concrete. We also put thicker hinges on the roof flap.

Member Liam O’Brien cuts out a slot for the roof hinge.

On Wednesday, 6/3 Mark installed latches to lock the flap down. Thursday Denis painted the piers grey and put stain on the outside rails. On Friday Mark and Denis did some cleanup and put two mounts on the piers.

Three piers painted and polar wedges installed
The Meade LX200 14″ looks towards the twilight

On Monday, 6/8, Jamie & Liam delivered two scopes – the Meade 14″ sold to the club for $1 by Berkshire School and Jamie’s 12″ Meade, which is on loan to the club. Liam brought a vacuum and we cleaned up the trash, took miscellaneous stuff to the storage box, and made the observatory look nice. We got the scopes mounted and Liam and Jamie polar-aligned the 14″. They also reconnected and tested interior lighting. All was now ready for the first star party with the new layout on Saturday, June 13, 2020 – a day that will live in our hearts forever!

The Meade LX200 12″ and 14″ both installed in the observatory

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Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club