My first observatory was located in Greene, Maine where it was the headquarters of the Maine Astronomical Society for several years (The MAS Observatory). There I had an RCOS 16" Truss Ritchey-Chretian Telescope for long focal length CCD imaging, a Takahashi FSQ for wide field imaging, and a Meade 12" LX-200 set up for visual astronomy. In 2006 I moved to Fresno and the next year set up the Lost Valley Observatory as part of Sierra Remote Observatories, located in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Lost Valley Observatory saw first light on June 3, 2007. The main telescope is an RCOS Carbon Truss 16 inch f/9 Ritchey-Chretien telescope, with ion milled optics on a Software Bisque Paramount ME mount. Detailed information regarding the system, including the Software Bisque's Paramount ME equatorial mount and the SBIG STL-6303/AOL imaging systems, can be found on the "LVO Construction" link. The observatory itself was originally a 10 by 12 foot custom built roll-off roof observatory. More recently I have moved the observatory to the multi-telescope building 9 of Sierra Remote Observatories. The Lost Valley observatory is therefore part of Sierra Remote Observatories, also known as SRO (www.sierra-remote.com ), where I am one of the founding owners (along with Mel and Anna Helm). SRO is a series of observatories where we have astronomers and astrophotographers place their telescopes for data acquisition (for example, variable star research) and imaging. At The Lost valley Observatory I generally image with the telescope at 'prime', with a 3685 mm focal length. Using an SBIG SLT-6303 camera this puts me at an image scale of 0.51 arc-sec/pixel with a relatively generous FOV of 17.3 x 26 arc-min. Guiding is accomplished with an Astrodon MOAG OAG with a .7 FLR (increases the SBIG 237's FOV by 40%, essentially equivalent to the FOV of the SBIG 402 XME). I autoguide with SBIG STL Adaptive Optics. A CFW-8 filter wheel and Astrodon filters are used, including L, R, G, B, Ha, SII and OIII. The most important image acquisition programs I use are The Sky X and CCD AutoPilotIV. Processing is performed with CCDStack and Photoshop CS/4. Important add-on programs I use with Photoshop include Russel Croman's GradientXterminator and Kodac Gem (for subtle smoothing).
My images are listed sequentially, hopefully, though not always, improving with time and experience. They are intentionally arranged chronologically. The advantage of this type of chronological gallery is one can see the progression of experience and learning curve (with all the expected errors). The disadvantage is it's more difficult to "find" a particular image.
There are a number of links, including links to images, live telemetry, observatory construction (both the Lost Valley Observatory in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the MAS Observatory in Maine) and to SRO itself. I hope you enjoy the site.
The Lost Valley Observatory
Located at Sierra Remote Observatories
Keith B Quattrocchi