The Antony Overton Memorial Observatory (AOMO) is currently under repair. Any member interested in assisting with the building repair work, re-furbishing and re-opening is welcome to join the group of volunteers working on the project. Members are welcome to visit during one of the work visits. Contact the Observatory Chairperson.
The AOMO started life as the “Canadian Amateur Research Observatory” (CARO) named after its purpose, the facility is situated a few kilometers inside the Malcom Knapp UBC Research Forest gate north of Maple Ridge. Initially our Vancouver Centre observatory group’s interest was in searching for super nova’s. We have not discovered a new super nova yet but have viewed them soon after discovery. When operational again, the facility and equipment has the capability to contribute amateur observation data to scientific astronomy research.
The site was prepared and building constructed some twenty years ago entirely by volunteer labour from members and friends of the Vancouver Centre. It is funded, maintained and operated by volunteers from our centre. It was re-named after one of the dedicated member volunteers, Antony Overton, after his passing.
Council’s intent is for our Centre to have a fully operational telescope and facility for members who want to carry out visual and imaging work. We hope to inspire members and our community through our members in appreciating the value of observatories in contributing to astronomy discovery and research. Our goal is to operate the observatory with member volunteers willing to contribute to the operation and maintaining the facility while they learn and are afterwards willing to help others learn about operating the observatory. Anyone who is interested in learning about astronomy, telescopes imaging, image processing and observatory operations are encouraged to get involved with AOMO by contacting the Observatory Chairperson.
When fully operational, our observatory facility includes:
- A small secure building with a dry office below the dome situated on top of the north end.
- Current computer and software to control the telescope.
- Manually operated dome and shutter with plans to automate in future
- A 16 inch Schmit Cassegrain telescope, fork EQ mounted, computer controlled
- An SBIG monochrome camera with filter wheel
- The site also has a concrete pad for anyone to use with their own equipment. Power is available at pad.
The AOMO is currently under repair. A replacement custom fit shutter was designed and constructed for the dome. The replacement fits tighter to keep out the weather, is lighter so it will be easier to operate and maintain. The new shutter is currently installed on the dome with next steps being complete the fitting of opening and closure mechanics. When the shutter and dome work is complete, we will re-install the telescope and computer equipment. Other light building re-furbishing work is also on the to-do list. Contact the Observatory Chairperson to get involved.