What's New at DRO
June 8, 2012 APASS Data Release 6 released at the AAS meeting in Anchorage Alaska. The catalog now contains photometry for 42 million objects in about 95% of the sky. Visit APASS on the AAVSO website for details.
April 13, 2012 A new radio propagation tag has been added to the top of the web site
May 11, 2011 The DRO header has been enhanced with a "sticker" from the Weather Underground showing some of the current weather data
May 8, 2011 APASS-north is now operational with the new ASA N8 Astrographs
February, 2011 A new Sky Quality Monitor (SQM) has been installed
February, 2011 New weather page is in place and includes the AllSky camera video and latest still images
January 5, 2011 New face to the weather page is being tested
December 22, 2010 The APASS-north system is being rebuilt using interim 6 inch refractors until the new ASA N8 astrographs arrive.
December 21, 2010 The SBIG AllSky-340 camera arrived at DRO and initial testing is in progress. See the Weather page for the current night-time image from the camera.
November 11, 2010 Returned to the ranch from CTIO after setting up the APASS-south survey system in the PROMPT-6 observatory clamshell. Most of the stay there was diminished by having a sever sinus infection.
October 26, 2010 Departure from DRO to CTIO Chile to begin assembly and testing of the APASS southern hemisphere system.
October 14, 2010 The interim APASS-2 system is being assembled to continue the northern hemisphere survey. Two new ASA N8 Astrographs are on order and should arrive late November and as such a temporary system consisting of twin 6" f/5 refractors with field flatteners is being installed.
October 13, 2010 APASS system crated up and shipped to Cerro Tololo, Chile in preparation for assembly and start of the southern hemisphere photometric survey. The location for the equipment is the PROMPT-5 observatory.
June 26, 2010 APASS completed the first run on the northern hemisphere photometric survey
December 12, 2009 APASS initial calibration imaging run commenced.
"Huston", we have lift-off!
September 30, 2009 APASS survey astrogrphs and CCD cameras have arrived at the Dark Ridge Observatory.
We are now awaiting the Paramount telescope mount that is being loaned to the project by Software Bisque.
April 19-20, 2009 Assisted in a Chandra Education DS9 software workshop in Portland Oregon.
April 10, 2009 DRO site choosen to conduct the AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey (APASS)
March 4 , 2009 Morgan telescope moved into it's new roll-off observatory home and rebuild commenses
February 16, 2009 Regional radar map centered on DRO was added to the weather page. Map from Weather Underground.
February 14, 2009 Morgan building completed except for the motorized roof.
Morgan telescope to be moved into the observatory for rebuild.
February 10, 2009 New webcam installed on rotating mount outside the control room to monitor the observatories and surrounding grounds.
Check out the Webcam link on the left.
November 18, 2008 Construction completed on the housing second 8' X 8' roll-off observatory
October 19, 2008 Construction has begun on the second 8' X 8' roll-off that will house the 14" LX200R telescope.
See DRO Construction photos for updates.
October 12, 2008 The Morgan 24" Cassegrain rebuild and observatory construction page has begun.
July 17, 2008 Temporary wildlife images have been placed in the Webcam page until actual cameras can be installed.
These are all images taken out the back deck of the main house on the ranch.
July 2008 Dark Ridge Observatory web site received a cosmetic make-over. Also added a new "Historical Weather Data"
link on the weather page that displays recent data graphically.
July 2008 Building foundation footings have been started for the Morgan 24" telescope.
Manual digging is slow but seems doable.
July 2008 Dark Ridge Observatory took possession of the AAVSO's Morgan 24" telescope from the Lowell Observatory
for rebuild and installation at the Dark Ridge Observatory. The telescope is currently dismantled and in the shop
at Dark Ridge ready for upgrading.
June 2008     The Dark Ridge 20" RC is in the shop being rebuilt.
See the Telescope Page or the Photo Gallery Page for the link to the DRO 20" rebuild for images and information.
May 2008     The first roll-off observatories is complete, all but roof automation.
This roll-off now houses the 14" LX200R telescope and is in operation doing scientific research.
March 2008     The first of four planned roll-off observatories is nearly complete.
System automation will follow the facility physical construction.
This roll-off will house the 14" LX200R telescope.
February 2008     DRO has installed a new Davis weather station that now feeds the Weather page.
Additionally this weather data is published on the Weather Underground
January 2008     The power company finally installed the new pole, transformer and wiring to the DRO control room.
The control room is now complete and ready to move in.
December 2007     Power Company contract signed for new service to the observatory.
Now we wait in the queque for installation.
One complete pier has been poured during the long wait for local power.
New Meade 14" Lx200R has been received and is being prepared for operation.
November 2007     Dark Ridge Observatory Control Room construction nearing completion.
Six pier holes have been dug two contain rebar and ready for concrete pours.
Three roll-off building designs are near complete with construction to begin when piers are poured.
DRO helped to support the refirbishment of the Cloudcroft High School observatory dome and assisted with the
"first light" star party for the schools donated 10" Meade LX-50 telescope.
September 2007     Dark Ridge Observatory Control Room construction nearing half-way point.
Six pier holes have been dug ready for rebar and concrete.
July 2007     Dark Ridge Observatory Control Room construction begins.
April 2007     DRO website modified to reflect new logo and branding
March 2007     Dark Ridge Observatory, Inc. was affirmed by the IRS as a tax-exempt
non-profit company in accordance with Section 501(c)3 of the federal tax laws
March 2007     DRO (west) officially decommissioned and relocated to New Mexico now to be known simply as DRO
January 2007     DRO purchased a 20" Ritchey-Chrétien alt-az telescope from Winer Observatory,
formerly the University of Iowa Robotic Telescope
August 2006     Dark Ridge Observatory, Inc. became a non-profit corporation in the state of New Mexico