12-foot dome was made from a silo top. It houses a 6-inch f/12 Astrophysics
refractor which is used primarily for planetary observing. The main
part of the slit rolls up over the top while the lower portion swings down
for observing near the horizon.
refractor is set on a cross-axis mounting made from a car rear axle.
Note the counterweight consisting of brake drums.
The sections of the dome lying on the ground prior to assembly.
dome was first built on the ground to ensure that all pieces fit together
properly. Afterwards, it was dismantled and the pieces were re-assembled
on the building, lifted up 1 section at a time. The total weight
of the dome is 300 pounds. It is made of galvanized steel painted
of Mars made from 32 video frames combined and processed with Paint Shop
Pro. The red planet was recorded on May 14, 1999 using a Sony
V701 camera and 6-inch f/12 refractor. You can see the north polar
cap on the lower right, Hellas on the left, and Syrtis Major on the lower
left, among other features.