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Observatory "First Light" Third Anniversary

Posted: 18 August 2012

Saturday, 18 August 2012, was the third anniversary of "First Light" at Cassiopeia Observatory. As I did on the anniversary date in 2010 and 2011, I wanted to do some cleaning inside the observatory, removing a year's worth of accumulated dust, seeds, and bugs. I like to remove everything from the SkyShed POD bays and place them on the observatory patio so that I can clean them as well as the floor inside the POD. The plan was to do this during the cool early morning hours on Saturday, but monsoon thunderstorms on Friday dropped a little bit of rain here (0.05"; some other places received 4" of rain). It was enough rain to make things too wet on the observatory patio to do the cleaning. And clouds and high humidity slowed the drying process. Things finally mostly dried out by 0915 MST, and even though monsoon storms still threatened for later in the day, I decided to start the cleaning.

I headed out to the observatory at 0925 MST with vacuum cleaners, gloves, and bottled tea:


First task was to vacuum the patio outside the POD. With that done I began moving everything from the POD bays to the patio, cleaning them as they were removed. Everything was removed and cleaned by 1106 MST:


Amazing that all that fits inside the 5-bay SkyShed POD.

I found lots of live baby spiders on one item but the count was significantly less than what I saw last year. At 1135 MST, I finished the interior vacuuming. I vacuumed up many spider webs and dead bugs, as well as dust and seeds that had blown inside over the past year. I had planned to wash down the walls and floor in each bay, but with the threat of rain, I decided to skip that for this year. I then took a short break; the temperature (88°F) and high humidity (for Arizona; 41%) were beginning to take their toll on me. I took many breaks while moving items back inside the POD and finally got everything moved by 1540 MST. I decided to not hook up the electrical items (except for the clock and plug-in thermostat/fan for cooling); I'll do those another time.

Closed the now CLEAN observatory at 1545 MST, 89°F.

Fortunately, the rain didn't come but it was cloudy all day. Unfortunately, the sky was still cloudy as sunset approached so no observing to celebrate this Third "First Light" Anniversary.

Comments are welcome; use the Comments section below, or you can Email Me. Thanks.

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