Welcome to Mount Tom Observatory

This is my first attempt at a home page. Wish me luck!

Mount Tom Observatory is located in the town of New Milford in western Connecticut, USA.  It is an eight by eight foot roll off roof building housing a Meade 25 cm f/10 LX-200 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope.  It is also equipped with an SBIG ST9E ccd camera along with a set of BVRI filters for stellar photometry.  The main program of observation is multi-filter observation of eclipsing binary stars.

The observatory is finally far enough along to enable the LX-200 to be left outside permanently.  There is still some trim work to be done to cover up all of my shoddy workmanship <grin> and it will be painted when the weather warms up a little more.   Hopefully this summer, the cables for controlling the camera and telescope from inside the house will be permanently installed.  The facility has successfully been controlled from inside but rolling the cables out and back each time is a pain.

Below are a few photos showing the current (mid March 2002) state of the observatory:

A view looking down into the building from my back deck.

A view looking down into the building from the back deck.

Just at sunset - the roof is open and we are ready to take data.

Here's a shot through the open door showing the LX200 on its Milburn wedge.

The pier is concrete filled 8" PVC and extends 42 inches below ground.  The pier and the adapter between the pier and the wedge were both supplied by my good friend Peter Guilbault.  Pete also helped set the pier in the ground and I am eternally grateful.  While I'm being grateful I want to also thank my wife Donna and my sons Michael and Thomas for their help throughout the construction process.

Other Astronomy Stuff

As I said above, the main program of observation at Mount Tom Observatory involves observations of variable stars and in particular, eclipsing binary variable stars.  If you want to learn more about variable stars, here are a few links.

Although we don't take them very often, we do have a couple of pretty pictures that were taken from the "observatory" when it was just a telescope that was rolled out of the garage every night.  Click here .

That's it for now! In the near future, actual meaningful content may appear here - mostly dealing with eclipsing binary stars and other variable stars. Stay tuned...