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An Observatory Built Into My Roof/attic Space

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Posted by Robert Koenig on May 4, 2002 23:22:36 UTC

After much debating, I find the best viewing location (with respect to being able to see a 360 degree view of the sky) would be from my roof. So being a general building contractor, I would like to construct a room, with slide off portal for the scope, above my office. I live above Lake Tahoe, around 7000' ASL, and there is no light pollution, and 80% of the nights are spectacular for viewing.

The ceiling above my office, is open beam, with 6*12 rafters 48" OC. I want to joist out a floor (The bottom of which will be at 8' above the office floor), with 2*12 DF joist 16" OC. This future attic area above the office would have the same sq footage as the office (12*14). Looking at the observatory attic in cross section, would reveal a triangle. Starting at zero head clearance where the joist sit on the rafter bearing wall, to about 8' at the ridge. This would give me adequate room for the 12" GPS, and a desk etc with computer for CCD etc. The scopes mount would somehow (still working on this) be supported by the houses ridge beam (10"*22") since the ground is three stories down, a concrete pedistal is impossible. The observatory attic would be accessed by a ships ladder, or circular staircase from the office below. Also I would insulate the heck out of the floor and walls of the obervatory making sure that no warm air from elsewhere in the house could get into the observatory, for cool down reasons. I don't want to go to all this work and find out there is a major flaw with my idea. I'm somewhat concerned about heat waves emanating from the house roof, as I look across it towards a celestial object. If anyone has any input I would sure appreciate it.

Robert K.
Lake Tahoe CA

PS: Sorry about the long topic, but It was necessary to describe my situation

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