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 Building the Observatory

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Ian Huss (far left) of DFM directs the fitting of the base plate, one of the first pieces lifted into the dome. This steel plate was then lowered onto the "bolt jig", which had been set into the cement pier when it was aligned in August of 2010.

Ian stands on the lower dome shutter to guide the heavy pedestal through the dome slit.

The pedestal is guided onto the base plate at the top of the telescope pier, through a hole in the observing floor.Ian stands on the lower dome shutter to guide the heavy pedestal through the dome slit.

The telescope tube assembly comes into the dome in the light rain.

As it quickly darkens outside, the telescope forks are raised from the truck and brought into the dome, then (right) fitted onto the pedestal. This portion of the mount allows the telescope to follow objects in the sky as the Earth turns.

The centre section, containing the declination axis of the mount, is attached between the forks. The tube will be mounted on top of this section, while the mirror cell (shown at right) is bolted below. This axis will allow the telescope to tip from zenith to horizon. The mirror is still packed in the crate to the left of the mirror cell.

The newly installed dome glistens in the setting sunlight.

DFM machinist Richard Neel proudly displays OUR telescope during testing in the shop at DFM in Colorado.

It's a tight fit!

As one of the last steps in finishing the interior of the observatory, the stairs to the observing floor were carefully lowered in through the dome slit Wednesday, October 12th.
Slide show of stairs being lowered through dome slit

June 20, 2011: The dome arrives! And the process of putting it together and craning in place begins!!
Early Building Pictures
April 29, 2011: Pictures from Ash-Dome of the fabrication of our dome.
At left, smaller pieces are welded together to form the curved sections. At right, a worker attaches braces on the lower part of the shutter door.

April 19, 2011: Our first view of the inside of the observatory - from about the location of the Control Room. The observing floor will be just below the top of the pier.

February 10, 2011: A blue tarpaulin "hat" has been added for the observatory.

December 3, 2010: The building is enclosed for winter work on the interior.

September 28, 2010: The building framing is complete.

At the top of the pier, they wait for local noon at the top of the pier scaffolding. At the top of the pier, they wait for local noon at the top of the pier scaffolding.

View from the pier. Notice the plumb bob and string, whose shadow will be marked.

Looking north towards the string. Visible are the PVC conduit pipes which will contain electrical cabling, and the last section of reinforcing rods at the top of the pier.

The moment of truth! After North is marked, the "bolt jig" (which contains the bolts to attach the telescope base) will be aligned, and the last portion of concrete will be poured.

April 26, 2010: The telescope pier rises in the centre of the stair foundation.

April 14, 2010: The foundation of the west stairwell is poured. The telescope pier will go up the centre of the stairs.

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Grenfell Campus
Memorial University

20 University Drive
Corner Brook, NL
A2H 5G4

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Memorial University

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Corner Brook, NL
A2H 6P9

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