THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD, AND THE SKY SHOWS US HIS HANDIWORK...
Whispering Pine Observatories, located nine miles south of Harrison, Arkansas, is surrounded by acres and acres of farm land. A horizon to horizon view is possible 150-200 nights per year, or three to four nights weekly. This is due to the fact that our stellar magnitude limits at the zenith vary from 5.5 to 6th, depending on the moisture content in the air. We are 500 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, and 200 miles west of the Mississippi River. Hence, moisture moving north from Louisiana can sometimes produce cirrus clouds late at night or heading into daybreak, from orthographic lifting.
Bird's-eye view shows Dr. Jeff Robertson on the left, George Roberts (center) and Tut Campbell wearing the straw hat. In the domes are a 14" LX-200 GPS (pro-dome), a 12" LX-200 classic (skypod), and a Takahashi 130mm (Explora-dome on top of the building). On the decks are an 8" LX-200 (white), a Celestron C-11, and a 16" RCX-400 temporarily on its tripod being tested. The background roll-off roof building houses a 10" LX-200 F/6.3 classic in a small roll-off (hidden from view) and a 16" NEWTONIAN in the larger roll-off roof observatory (pictured far right).
Dr. Robertson on the left, from ATU is our mentor, and he is also pictured below in the control room of the Tak 130 observatory. We also submit time-resolved ccd photometry data to CBA. George Roberts is on the right, and he is building a robotic observatory (blue tarp over his shutter) in my backyard to access over the internet. He lives in the suburbs of Nashville, Tenn., 400-miles east of us, as our dark skies here in the rural Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas suits him better. George owns a 16" LX-200, and does excellent variable star time-resolved photometry, also.
Above, Takahashi `130 mm telescope w SBIG st-10ccd camera
This 16" F/4.25 scope, built by Tut and his father (Vern Campbell) in 1977, features a 15" Byers drive, fork mount, and a ball bearing rotating tube saddle. This scope also now has a Takahashi 106 mounted piggyback.
in the furthermost part of our one-acre back yard, is a 36" F/5 Alti-Az driven NEWTONIAN. It is housed in carport-like building which rolls back on a track system. The 36" has a 12" flat that folds the image at a 45-degree angle partially back down the skeleton tube. Andy Saulities (not pictured) of ISS Enterprises, and Matt Carter, our computer tech (pictured, standing far left), has been instrumental in getting this large scope operational, the largest in Arkansas.
The newest observatory addition at WPO is under construction by George Roberts. It will be operated remotely from his home near Nashville, TN, where George currently also operates Cedarmont Observatory. This is an 11 ½ ft Explora-Dome II with robotic electronics.
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