This section describes the construction of the Lost Valley Observatory, as a part of Sierra Remote Observatories (www.sierra-remote.com). Initially a prefabricated observatory was built, but in 2012 it was replaced with a custom four season designed 10x12 foot building, identical to the other individual observatories built at Sierra Remote Observatories (SRO). Since then I have relocated my telescope (and therefore the Lost Valley Observatory) to one of our multi-telescope roll-off roof observatories at SRO.
This site contains information about the planning and construction of the Lost Valley Observatory. As one of the owners and founder of Sierra Remote Observatories, I placed my observatory on-site at SRO. This observatory imaged first light on June 3, 2007. The Lost Valley Observatory and SRO are located at 4600 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, between Yosemite and Kings Canyon. The site is known for it's high percentage of photometric nights, minimal wind, and unusually good seeing conditions (averaging seeing of 1 arcsecond in the summer and 1.2 arcsecond in the winter ). The concept for this observatory originated from my work at the MAS Observatory, my first fully robotic observatory (built in Greene, Maine). The general plan for the Lost valley Observatory was to put a temporary structure up and later replace it with a permanent custom built observatory. Finally, in 2018, I moved The Lost Valley Observatory to one of the large multi-telescope buildings at SRO. The first stage involved freestanding automated 10' x 10' Pier-Tech Telestation II (roll off roof observatory). In 2011 the telestation II was replaced with a 10x12 foot custom observatory. at SRO The telescope is my RCOS-16" Ritchey-Chretien (ion milled), originally with a Takahashi 106 FSQ piggy backed for wide field imaging (this was removed in July of 2009, as all my work is now narrow field deep sky imaging). The cameras being used is an STL-6303 with Astrodon filters (L, R, G, B, Ha, NII, OIII, SII). An AO-L (SBIG's adaptive optics for the STL) is utilized, with an Astrodon off-MAOG axis guider. Off axis guiding uses the small SBIG 237 chip (required with the AOL), and therefore a custom FLR has been added, increasing the FOV to that of a 402 XME (which can not be used with the SBIG AOL)
The most important concept in building this observatory is the site itself. The observatory is located at SRO, an observatory complex at 4600 feet, in an area known for excellent seeing conditions (1 arc-sec summer and 1.2 arc-sec winter seeing), in order to optimize the abilities of the long FL RCOS-16. The site is high enough for optimal seeing but also easily accessible, being only 45 minutes from Fresno, CA. At 4600 feet the snow loads are minimal, making year round access possible.
Building of The Lost Valley Observatory at Sierra Remote Observatories
The Lost Valley Observatory
Located at Sierra Remote Observatories
Keith B Quattrocchi