The Mano Prieto Observatory is located in Fort Davis, Texas, also the home of the McDonald Observatory. Fort Davis is a very dark sky site at a little over 5000 feet of elevation where the Zodiacal Light is annoyingly bright and the night sky is ideal for astronomical deep sky imaging. The observatoy is an Astro Haven clamshell type observatory with a diameter of 12 feet, affording plenty of room for the telescope, mount, and associated equipment. The observatory sits atop a garage/storage area, approximately 14 feet from the ground, accessed from the bottom by stairs. The isolated 4'x4'x5'footing and two foot diameter twelve foot high cement pier weigh in at about 7 tons.
|On top of the 12 foot cement pier sits a 48" steel pier from Software Bisque to which the ME Robotic German Equatorial Mount is bolted, and carries the RC Optical Systems 12.5" Ritchey-Chretien f9 (2862mm focal length) carbon fibre truss telescope. Accessories include the Fixed Instruments Adapter, Telescope Command Center, and a Precision Instrument Rotator. The camera used is the Santa Barbara Instruments Group STL-6303 digital camera. An STV digitally integrating video camera and guider can be used in combination with the Borg 76ED Apocromatic scope mounted to the top of the RC for wide field work and planetary imaging.. Guiding is generally done with the Off-Axis Guider (OAG).
The Sky Astronomy Software
Virtual Moon Atlas
RITI Lunar Map Pro
GIF Construction Set
Professional Pinpoint Astrometry Engine/Visual Pinpoint/ACP2 CCDCalc
T-Point Telescope Pointing Software
Belkin Port Control
Sigma Beta 10
Photoshop (Plus Plug-Ins)
Telescope Control and Command Software (RCOS)
Paramount ME Software Suite
And many more software packages including the suite of CCDWare softwares (PemPro, CCDAutoPilot, etc.)