United States Military Acadamy
West Point Observatory

September 2015

West Point 16.5 foot Observatory Dome

Working with Ralph Emerson of Oceanside Photo and Telescope, Trey Mcgriff and I flew to Newark NJ on Wednesday September 23 2015. We drove to West Point Military Acadamy on Thursday morning and met with Dr. Paula Fekete and LTC Stacy Godshall. We proceeded up to the observatory and began installation of the telescope and Paramount.

Trey McGriff made these panoramas of the West Point Militay Acadamy Campus. For the roof view, he climbed a ladder and stood on another buildings roof. The old dome on is visible the extreme right of the roof view. You can feel the history of this place. Just beautiful. Click on either image for the views.

West Point Observatory Dome

Trey McGriff and myself with the Observatory Dome
visible on the roof of Bartlett Hall building

Pier-Tech Telescoping Pier

Dome rotator motor

Dome controller

Paramount MEII mounted on Pier
Installing the counterweights
Photo by Dr.Paula Fekete


Balancing the Telescope
Photo by Dr.Paula Fekete

Dr. Paula Fekete and LTC Stacy Godshall after Paramount is installed

Base - Paramount - Counter weights - Telescope

Observatory Control Computers

Assembly complete. TheSkyX installed on the computer.
All connects and controls normally.

After waiting for dark, we Polar aligned the Paramount with normal adjustments to the pier and mount. After alignment, several cadets came up to the observatory. We gave Dr. Fekete a bit of training using TheSkyX to control the mount. She slewed the scope to the moon and all enjoyed the First Light views.

We are planning on coming back at a later date to install the SBIG cameras and software for astrophotography and further training.

Returned to West Point October 17, 2016

Official Contractors Badge

I am performing much needed maintenance on 12 inch Meade SCT and setting it up for Planetary imaging using a ZWO ASI120MC camera, 2x Barlow and flip mirror

Star party on the roof with the Cadets using the 12 inch Meade SCT to view the Moon

Planetary Camera train for the 12 inch scope - ZWO ASI120MC video camera, Orion flip mirror with TPO para focal eyepiece and TPO 2 inch 2x Barlow

Above ZWO video Planetary Camera train installed on the 16 inch Scope. Lunar Craters imaged by Cadet Isaac Ferrell

Dr. Fekete attaching the SBIG STX-16803 to the Optec Gemini Focuser/Rotator

Installed SBIG STX-16803 camera. The train consists of an Optec Gemini Focuser/Rotator, SBIG STX Guider, SBIG FW5-STX Filter Wheel with LRGB Ha Filters. Camera, Filter wheel controlled by MaximDL6. Mount, Dome and Gemini controlled by TheSkyX

Using TheSkyX and MaximDl 6 Dr. Fekete took her first guided LRGB image.

Using TheSkyX and MaximDl 6 Cadet Calvin Nguyen his first guided HaLRGB image
under direction from Dr. Fekete and myself as advisor.

Using TheSkyX and MaximDl 6 Cadet Norah Stapleton her first guided LRGB image
under direction from Dr. Fekete and myself as advisor.

I am shaking hands with department Head, Col Ed Naessens who is very happy with the installation
and progress the Cadets are making using the observatory as evidenced by the above images.

Col Naessens presents me with an award medalion - very much apprectated
Ed Naessens has since retired with the rank of Brigadier General.