The Imaging Infinity Observatory
Originally constructed in 2006 and shared by Hap Griffin and Gene Hunter after outgrowing their original building, this observatory is now occupied only by Hap since Gene decided to change the course of his astronomical activities. Like the Foster-Hinson Observatory next door, this building has an environmentally regulated control room for more comfortable working conditions in the winter and space for visitors to congregate. The building features a kitchen, bathroom, heating and air conditioning, a central vacuum cleaning system, satellite TV (DirecTV), satellite radio (XM), and Verizon wireless internet.
|No real observatory is complete without a "warm room" for those cold nights and weekend long astrophotography sessions. Shown here is the kitchen, complete with tile countertop, custom cabinets, fridge, gas stove, microwave, and bar. Also shown is the propane powered central heater. On cold nights, it is no problem having a 50+ degree differential between the warm room and the outside.|
|Hap's sleeping and operating area. All three of the observatory PC's are linked via wireless networking so the telescopes can be remotely controlled from the warm room, or even from one of the other observatories on site. A futon provides seating for visitors and a bed for sleeping. To the right are the steps leading up to the telescope room. Also seen here is the air conditioner and HDTV.|
|The corner bathroom. The west side of the warm room serves as the utility side with the kitchen, bathroom and storage areas.|
|The interior of the bathroom showing the tile countertop with bar sink, oak cabinets, tile floor and water storage tank. There is an electric water pump and water heater within the cabinet. The window that formally provided viewing into the telescope room will soon be replaced with a mirror.|
|A deck for cooking out and relaxing finishes off the rear of the building and provides a walkway to the Foster-Hinson Observatory next door.|
|Hap's rig consists of two scopes covering the focal length spectrum...a Takahashi FSQ-106N at 530mm for wide-field work and a Planewave 12.5" CDK at 2540mm for smaller objects. The mount is an Astro-Physics AP-1200.|
Breakfast on the deck at MAC-Hunter after a long night of imaging.