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Desert Astronomy Association Observatory Campus



March 1, 2019      

DAA is a small association of astronomers who have established an astronomy campus in the East San Diego County high desert area. DAA location is in a small privately held community property in the middle of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The park is the largest in California at 585,930 acres and listed in the top ten state parks in the United States (InterExchange.org). The skies are reasonably dark (Bortle 3) at the DAA location. A Dark Sky community (Borrego Springs, Bortle 4) is located about 15 miles away and is also surrounded by the state park.

The images below are in chronological order from the beginning of development through completion. The project begins with a vacant land parcel that was acquired in 2017 and finishing up with a three observatory campus early 2019. My specific observatory is chronicled below. Scott Horstman (Backyard Observatories) built all three observatories (BYO numbers 278 - mine, 279, 280)

** Click on any image below for a larger image view **

Land acquired for the DAA campus was 'vacant land' status 
(no established land use).
Location is - 3304'41.9"N 11626'34.7"W 

Vacant land was cleared and land use was established as 'Agricultural'.
(A small micro farm was established for desert plants.)
SD County zoning (as most of the country) does not allow accessory structures without established land use.

The property was then fenced

The property is a one acre rectangle with a paved access road.

Security gate installed.

Electricity run to the property.

This is the start of my observatory - poured concrete pier forms.

Finished piers. The concrete slab to the left is my observatory's porch.

Observatory pad, porch, and piers.

The campus was initially developed for three observatories. Here you see another observatory's piers in the background

OK, I couldn't resist trying out my observatory before the structure was built.

Here is the BYO crew setting up on the property.

Staging the materials for all three observatories.

Roof roller construction (center) and walls pre-assembled (stack on the right).

First wall goes up on my observatory.

All the walls are up and fastened to the slab with TapCons.

Walls and roof are roughed in. The door is mounted.

Roof rails and passive tie-down system installed.

Completed observatory. Roofing sheets are installed. 
Metal siding was used on the exterior walls

Observatory in the 'opened' configuration

Inside view with the roof and door opened.


Three observatory view (facing northwest). 
My observatory (BYO#278) is on the left.
BYO#279 is center and BYO#280 is at the right.
Two observatories have drop down walls, mine (on the left) does not.

Three observatory view (facing northeast).


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