Site News

01/22/15 - The observatory is operational again.  Interface ICs were replaced in the mount and focus controller and the main and secondary equipment cabinets were replaced with larger versions.  The mount mechanicals were tuned and the new guider installed and calibrated.  The external guider will facilitate narrow-band and DSLR imaging projects. 

01/10/15 - Weather station transmitter replaced.  Upon inspection, it was found that a capacitor on the old transmitter board had failed.  The fan for the aspirated temperature shield was also replaced at this time. 

12/30/14 - It has been noted that weather station transmitter stops transmitting temperature information when the outside temperature falls below -3 F.  Suspect transmitter circuit board requires replacement. 

12/12/14 - Weather station transmitter solar cell will no longer charge transmitter battery.  After replacing 2 batteries in quick succession, solar cell has been replaced.  New design rain cone also installed.

10/28/14 - Disaster strikes!  Plugging devices into the new hub takes out the mount and telescope focusing electronics.  Sadly, the entire electronics package of observatory must be removed and hopefully repaired. 

10/22/14 - Observatory software testing going well.  Used T-Point Add On to dial in polar alignment.  Ordering a USB hub and an external guider to aid with narrow band imaging as the neighborhood night sky has brightened considerably over the summer. 

10/12/14 - The observatory computer is updated to Windows 7.  CCDSoft has been replaced with TheSkyX Camera Add On.  CCDAP has been updated to the professional edition to support this configuration.  FocusMax 4.0 is under evaluation. 

04/17/14 - After being taken down April 1st, the observatory camera and the all-sky-camera are now back in service. 

02/17/14 - In preparation for the announced end of support for Windows XP, the weather server has been replaced.  The new server has updated hardware and software running under Windows 7 Pro. The observatory computer is next. 

11/27/13 - The internet camera has been replaced.  The new camera has a wider view and better dynamic range.  Like the camera it replaces, the new camera periodically uploads an image of the observatory and the surrounding area to the weather page during daylight hours. 

10/21/13 - A phase II version of the All Sky Camera has been installed.  The new camera housing contains a heater that should eliminate moisture from forming on the inside of the camera.   Images can be see on the All Sky Camera page. 

10/04/12 - An All Sky Camera has been installed.  The camera periodically uploads an image of the overhead sky to the All Sky Camera page. 

09/01/11 - A rare strong east wind caused the dome upper shutter to dislodge from its track causing the lower shutter to be forced open by the wind.  Damage to the lower shutter appears to be minor, but I will have to fashion a device to prevent this from happening again in the future.

08/31/11 - Adding index pages in Terrestrial Images for easier navigation and future expansion.

07/08/11 - Since "monsoon" season has started early this year, I am taking advantage of the cloudy nights by upgrading the observatory computer.

08/26/08 - Added a Weather Radar page customized for Niteskys.

07/24/08 - Added a Site Map page.  The site map does not list individual images, but it will make it easier to navigate to the correct gallery based on image subject.

07/24/08 - Another slight design facelift that started with the weather page.  In addition, I am updating the site to conform to XHTML 1.0 Transitional standards.

07/2008 - The Niteskys Weather Station joins the Weather Underground Data Exchange.

04/2008 - First printed publication of a Niteskys image.  April 2008 Astronomy Magazine; Moon Nears Pleiades - 03/2007.

02/21/08 - Lunar eclipse image from the February 20, 2008 eclipse is shown on FOX 31 News evening broadcast.

02/21/08 - Boy Scout Troop 565 visits Niteskys Observatory as part of their quest for the Astronomy Merit Badge.

01/21/08 - Final equipment repairs from lightning damage completed.

08/18/07 - The observatory is brought back to operational status through a combination of new equipment, repaired equipment, and borrowed equipment. 

08/03/07 - A lightning strike near the observatory destroys various electronic components within the observatory. 

03/31/07 - A Latest Images page has been added.  The page will contain links to the latest images posted to the web site.

02/25/07 - First attempt of image acquisition through automation. 

02/18/07 - A internet camera has been installed.  The camera periodically uploads an image of the observatory to the weather page

12/14/06 - A second construction page has been added to The Observatory.  This page documents the construction of the Niteskys Observatory interior.

12/09/06 - The page Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter - December 2006 is referenced as the link "before sunrise" in APOD!

09/11/06 - The Niteskys Weather Station joins the Citizen Weather Observer Program.

07/15/06 - A Links page has been added.

04/30/06 - A construction page has been added to The Observatory.  This page documents the construction of a permanent enclosure for the Niteskys Observatory.

02/14/06 - Design facelift complete!

01/18/06 - niteskys.com undergoes design facelift starting with weather page.  Other pages to follow as time permits.

01/16/06 - Niteskys Weather Station goes online. 

11/15/05 - NGC281, the PacMan Nebula, is the first new image published to niteskys.com.

11/09/05 - niteskys.mesanetworks.net is migrated to niteskys.com.

11/05/05 - niteskys.com is registered as a domain.

10/02/05 - VDB-142, the Elephant Trunk Nebula, is the last image published to niteskys.mesanetworks.net.

07/30/05 - niteskys.mesanetworks.net runs out of space.  Various space savings actions including removal of full resolution images takes place.

10/31/04 - niteskys.mesanetworks.net is started.  The purpose of the site is to provide a location where astroimages taken by myself can be displayed and shared with fellow astroimagers.  The Horsehead Nebula is first image to be published to the site.