CGEM Pier and Observatory at DaltonSkyGazer

Hello everyone. It’s been awhile since I’ve made a post but wanted to give you a heads-up on what’s happening over at DaltonSkyGazer. Jeff Turner is in the process of establishing a permanent setup for his CGEM Edge 800HD and Meade 80mm 5000 Series APO. This setup includes a rock-solid pier and personal dome observatory. If a permanently mounted telescope has been on your mind lately, I highly recommend following Jeff’s blog for a play-by-play of the construction and installation process. Jeff is doing a great job of documenting his experience with lots of details and photos. 


Dan's Pier Top Plates
Dan’s Pier Top Plates

Jeff’s pier will be comprised of three main sections: adapter plate, metal pier, and concrete pier. The adapter plate of choice comes from Dan’s Piers (shown at the left). They make high quality top plate systems for 8″ and 12″ piers that are compatible with many different GEM’s including the Celestron CGEM. The pier adapter plate will be attached to a solid 6″ metal pier. The metal pier will then bolt to a 12″ concrete pier (which is complete as of this writing) that extends more than 48″ into the ground which is below the frostline for Jeff’s location. When complete, this pier should provide a very stable platform for astrophotography with the Celestron CGEM.


Dome Observatory

Explora DomeThe next stage will be to build the observatory around the pier. Jeff purchased a used Explora Dome over the winter from a fellow astronomer near Lake Placid, New York. The dome itself is 8′ in diameter and sits on a 10′ diameter base. The photo to the left is the original configuration of the dome with warm room attachment. Jeff will likely make some modifications to the original design. We should be seeing photo’s on his website soon of the observatory as it’s being reconstructed. His plans are to have it put together by the end of this week. It won’t be long and he will have the coolest hangout a man could ask for! At least for us astronomy and astrophotography types!

Next week I will be flying up to the northeast to visit Jeff and will get to see his new pier and observatory. I am eager to get some ideas for a similar setup of my own. As for now, my CGEM is still sitting on its tripod in my roll-off observatory.  This has worked OK, but a permanent pier is much more ideal for astrophotography. It would save a lot of time in getting the telescope aligned and would be a much more stable platform for imaging.

Head over to DaltonSkyGazer now!


  1. Do you have any pictures of the those celestrial objects that have been appearing in the night sky over the past three years? There’s one that comes up between 5am – 6am PST. There are really bright and they generate their own light. One last year changed shapes and colors.

Leave a Reply

Anti-Spam Quiz:

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Fatal error: Uncaught exception 'Exception' with message 'Comet Cache: failed to write cache file for: `/cgem-pier-and-observatory-at-daltonskygazer/comment-page-1/`; possible permissions issue (or race condition), please check your cache directory: `/home/shoregal/public_html/astrophotographytonight/wp-content/cache/comet-cache/cache`.' in /home/shoregal/public_html/astrophotographytonight/wp-content/plugins/comet-cache/src/includes/traits/Ac/ObUtils.php:435 Stack trace: #0 [internal function]: WebSharks\CometCache\Classes\AdvancedCache->outputBufferCallbackHandler('<!DOCTYPE html>...', 9) #1 /home/shoregal/public_html/astrophotographytonight/wp-includes/functions.php(3722): ob_end_flush() #2 [internal function]: wp_ob_end_flush_all('') #3 /home/shoregal/public_html/astrophotographytonight/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php(298): call_user_func_array('wp_ob_end_flush...', Array) #4 /home/shoregal/public_html/astrophotographytonight/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php(323): WP_Hook->apply_filters('', Array) #5 /home/shoregal/public_ in /home/shoregal/public_html/astrophotographytonight/wp-content/plugins/comet-cache/src/includes/traits/Ac/ObUtils.php on line 435