Current & Recent Projects at Observa - DOME

New Mexico Tech – Science – Engineering – Research University
Magdalena Ridge Observatory, Socorro, New Mexico
On October 26, 2006 New Mexico Tech held its ribbon cutting ceremony for this new 40.375 foot Observa-DOME which houses a 2.4 meter telescope. This facility sits atop the 10,600 foot high ridgeline in the Magdalena Mountains west of Socorro.
Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory, Gilbert, AZ
Installed in June, 2006 this 5 Meter Observa-DOME houses a 16″ Meade LX200R atop a paramount ME mount powered by the SKY Professional software.
Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland, California.
Observa-DOME is proud of both an 8 Meter and 45.375 foot diameter observatory systems. They house Chabot’s historic 8″ and 20″ refracting telescopes. Grand opening for the new 86,000 square foot facility occurred on August 19,2000. Observa-DOME is very proud to have been chosen as the Observatory Dome supplier for this new and innovative facility.
Starfire Optical Range, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Rocketdyne Technical Services contracted with Observa-DOME Laboratories, Inc. to construct a 30.375 foot Observa-DOME for use at the Air Force Research Laboratory Starfire Optical Range located on the southern edge of Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The dome houses a 1.5 meter Contraves telescope. Installation of this dome was completed in June 1999.
In addition to the 1.5 meter telescope, the Starfire Optical Range also houses a 3.5 meter telescope (one of the largest telescopes in the world equipped with adaptive optics designed for satellite tracking) and a 1.0 meter beam director.
Italian Space Agency, Matera, Italy
In May of 1999, Observa-Dome Laboratories, Inc. installed a 30.375′ observatory dome for the Matera Laser Ranging Observatory. This state-of-the-art satellite laser ranging station was installed at the Centro di Geodesia Spaziale of Matera, approximately 20 km north of the Ionian Sea.
The dome design was modified, adding 72″ to the existing cylindrical section of the rotating dome, allowing for lower viewing.
Another Century, Another Clark
On September 6, 1996 Northwestern University of Evanston, Illinois commissioned Observa-DOME Laboratories, Inc. of Jackson, Mississippi to design, manufacture and install a new observatory dome to house the Dearborn Observatory’s 18 1/2″ Alvan Clark telescope. Their new Observa-DOME, 38 ft. in diameter, was installed on the Northwestern University campus in August of 1997.
The history of the Dearborn telescope has a deeper meaning for us at Observa-DOME because this telescope was commissioned by Dr. F.A.P. Barnard, Chancellor of the University of Mississippi in 1859. Unfortunately, the Civil War prevented the Alvan Clark Company of Massachusetts from delivering what was to be the largest telescope in the world to the University of Mississippi. The observatory structure, however, was erected at Oxford, Mississippi and closely resembles Pulkova Observatory, Russia. This structure, although never used as an observatory is now the home of the Chancellor of the University of Mississippi.
The installation of Dearborn Observatory’s new Observa-DOME re-establishes Mississippi’s connection with this historic telescope!