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About the Observatory

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Newcastle Observatory was constructed in October, 2004, and is privately owned and operated. Since it's inception, the observatory has been under active development and operation; primarily conducting research by imaging transient phenomena such as variable stars, gamma ray bursts, and astrometry of comets and minor planets (asteroids). The observatory collects and distributes photometric and astrometric data to various organizations, including:

About the Astronomer

My interest in amateur astronomy began some 40 years ago when we were well into the "space age", and my father brought me on a fishing trip that put us smack under Bortle Class 1 skies.  Being a city-slicker, I recall being in awe at the shear number of stars visible, and seeing the stars of Milky Way strewn overhead like a spilled bag of diamonds on black velvet.  Subsequent to that trip, my dad provided me a copy of the Golden Nature Guide pocketbook "Stars" by Zim & Baker.  Browsing through "Stars" while recalling those dark fishing trip skies was the defining moment that hooked me into this wonderful hobby. It was on another fishing trip that, with "A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets" by Donald Menzel and a pair of 7x50mm binoculars, my dad found for me my first deep-sky object - the Great Globular Cluster M13.  Since that time I have owned a 60mm department store refractor (1974) , a 6" Criterion RV-6 reflector (1975) , an 8" Criterion Dynamax Schmidt-Cassegrain (1978), and a Meade 12" LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain (1996).  I imaged celestial objects with film and CCD cameras, observed asteroid and Lunar occultations of stars, and conducted photometry of stars and asteroid astrometry with CCD cameras. I built my own domed observatory that served me well for 22 years and sold it for the cost of the materials.  I now have a 10-foot Home-Dome built into my house that holds a Meade 16" ACF OTA in a set of Parallax Rings on a Mathis MI-600 fork mount (MI-500 base/MI-750 forks). I continue to be primarily interested in recording transient phenomena (gamma-ray burst afterglows, variability of stars and galactic nuclei, minor planets) using photometric and astrometric methods, with the occasional excursions in binary star measurement and astrophotography.