Moore Observatory's Star Dome Telescope and Lily Garden

Our Star Dome is named in remembrance of a wonderful mare who lived most of her life at Hidden Hollow Orchard near Pewee Valley, Kentucky. Her companion in retirement was Lily of Seabrook Valley who came to Kentucky from Virginia. In their youth, Star and Lily taught young and old riders about horses and life, and their telescope is here to teach everyone about the sky. The surrounding lily garden blooms in the spring.

The telescope is a TEC APO 140 apochromat, an extremely fine refracting telescope and gift to the university with the Astro-Physics 1200 mounting from Dan Azari. It produces exquisite images of the sky over a wide field, is accessible at the eyepiece for direct viewing and photography, and even has a solar filter for daytime use. The color image below was taken on its first night looking at the sky from this dome, December 5, 2019, with a Sony α 7R III digital single lens reflex camera.

Click the image to see a higher resolution view the way it looks through the eyepiece.

The dome is made from high density polyethylene. Resistant to ultraviolet light and weathering, it light enough to be easily opened and rotated by hand and strong enough to withstand Kentucky weather. The Sky-Shed-Pod enclosure was installed with the help of the Wedekind family (center) and the Louisville Astronomical Society on a single warm day in April 2019. The octagonal foundation was designed and built by Helen Kielkopf (left).

Last update: December 7, 2019
kielkopf at louisville dot edu