The Seven Sisters Observatory
A lot of time was spent "shopping" for a new home site that would give us the best sky that we could get while keeping the commute to a "reasonable" length. Figuring south and west would be "good" directions we looked hard at property from Fowlerville to near Clinton. We found some nice sites and some not - so - nice ones. It finally came down to a 3 acre site west of Manchester. It seemed a nice piece of land, about 200 feet by 650 feet stretching east and west. A small hill (4 or 5 feet above the average grade) was just about center of the lot and a small creek runs through the "back 40". Most of the lot was a farm field so it is fairly smooth. The soil seems to be "sandy loam" and "loamy sand" that drains well and is easy to dig. We will have some neighbors but not too many and the lots all seem well laid out.
These "Nay-Bors" came over to see what I was doing the other night.
Our plan is to build a nice Modular home with an attached garage and a good sized pole barn/workshop. We will also erect a dome style observatory about 10' in diameter. I will install a couple of "guest piers" outside the dome and there will be plenty of lawn to set up on for "star-b-ques"
As we progress with this project I will try to post pictures - especially of the observatory and grounds.
Sky conditions are pretty nice. There is a light dome in the east/northeast representing the Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro area and a smaller one just south of east that is Clinton (I think). From Southeast to North the sky is pretty dark - at least for southeast Michigan. I should be able to take long exposure astrophotos from here for some time. I got out on October 6th and took a few guided shots here for the first time.
I tried to maximize the number of pictures that I took at one time - good thing too because the clouds rolled in at about 10:00 PM.
Below are some shots taken that evening:
600mm M8 - M20
600mm Eagle Nebula
200mm M8 - M20
200mm Eagle and Swan Nebula