Teaching An Old Dog(house) New Tricks.

The Riverside Astronomical Society has a 22 inch hand made (by club members) Dobsonian that comes out to show the heavens up close and personal.


I cannot operate Capella, she (or he) is too much scope for me to handle.  Give me a computer and a goto mount and I can find anything.  Only our expert visual observers can locate anything, so if you want to find out how to star hop and see deep space objects through a truely magnificent scope, come to the next star part at GMARS (directions and information on star party dates can be found on the Club’s website at www.rivastro.org.  Capella has recently been upgraded with all new electronic setting circles, new cooling fans, a new spider and mirror support system and new coatings for the primary and secondary mirrors.

Tear Down 1

The problem was that the old doghouse, where Capella sleeps when not star gazing, has too many leaks and let dust and other creepy, crawly thing inside.  That was not going to happen to all the new equipment!  So the director of Capella operations, Carey Sublette, requested a work party to tear the old house down and build a new house for the pretty much new scope.

Tear Down 3

Tear Down 2

So this past Saturday, the tear down and construction began.  Several club members helped with the project and it was completed in a single day.


Once the old material was removed, new side ribs were installed to hold the siding better.

A New Skin

A moisture barrier was added to prevent dust and water from eroding Capella’s mirrors.


A positive pressure vent with a filter were also added.  A solar panel and battery will arrive soon and be added so that  there is always more air pressure on the inside than out, which will keep the elements at bay.  The solar panel is part of a club initiative to reduce our carbon footprint and save on electricity costs.  Although you can’t tell from this photo, GMARS is sunny most of the time, so we are going to start harnessing all that free energy with some upcoming projects.

Thanks to everyone that participated in the work party.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.


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