Star Farmer Builds Out-Of-This-World Astronomical Observatory
No matter where you are on earth, you can wake up to a new, mind-blowing image of another world billions and billions of light years away courtesy of Deep Sky West, a remote astronomical imaging observatory in New Mexico.
It’s a backyard stargazer’s dream: high powered equipment, consistently clear skies and it’s located in one of the darkest areas in North America.
This building, a 25 x 34 corrugated SteelMaster A-model, literally has a mind of its own. It was built on a railing system and is controlled by an electric motor designed to move the entire building! It is connected to weather stations and if the conditions are just right, the building will automatically slide back exposing the high-powered telescopes inside.
This is the dreamchild of Star farmers Bruce Wright and his partner Lloyd Smith. They wanted to create a way to give average astrophotographers the opportunity to capture quality photos without having to go beyond their budgets to do so.
“I wanted them to have the same quality as the professionals at a low cost,” says Wright.
The observatory is super high tech. It provides horizon to horizon coverage down to 25 degrees and has an inner stem wall that helps to protect the building from ground-level wind. It has a live security system and telescopes that take some of the most spectacular photos. Smith is even able to control the system all the way from Georgia.
The star farmer duo set up a system to allow people to host equipment inside of the observatory.
Those interested are encouraged to form imaging teams and they all pitch in financially. Members are from all over the world including Australia, Brazil, England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
It took a few months, but Wright and Smith finally found a building that met their needs.
Wright says he shopped around initially and spoke to another company about his project. “It just didn’t feel right,” says Wright.
But when he spoke with National Sales Manager Scott Matthews, the experience was much different.
“Scott was the most genuine and easy to talk to guy. He bent over backwards to help us,” says Wright.
Matthews kept in touch with him throughout the process and went the extra mile to make sure he received his building on time. “You always want to do business with people you trust,” Wright explained.
Wright says not only did the top-notch customer service persuade him to choose SteelMaster, the quality of the building was unmatched. He was particularly impressed with the fact that SteelMaster’s buildings are fireproof, do not require maintenance, and are easily expandable.
He recently purchased another SteelMaster building to expand the current observatory. He expects the expansion to be completed within the next few weeks.
Right now, this highly secure, customized building contains about one million dollars worth of equipment and of course, Wright and his partner needed something that was going to be durable enough to protect their investment.
“This is going to be my retirement,” says Wright, who works as a consultant.
In the future, Wright says he wants to be able to have observatories like Deep Sky West all over the globe. He and his partner are planning to add even more SteelMaster buildings to their out-of-this-world observatory.