CBA Extremadura Observatory saw first light in May 2018. It is located in Fregenal de la Sierra (Extremadura region of Spain), a location with very favorable weather conditions, resulting in approximately 250-270 clear nights per year. The observatory is surrounded by land full of helm oak trees and offers an exceptional sky darkness with an average SQM of 21.7 and seeing under 2".
Copyright © 2018 - Tonny Vanmunster. All rights reserved
CBA Extremadura Observatory
a node of the Center for Backyard Astrophysics
CBA Extremadura hosts a 40-cm f/5.1 Newton telescope, built by my Flemish astro friend Dirk Cornelis. The telescope is operated by an ASA DDM-85 direct drive mount. It features a Starlight Xpress Trius SX-46 CCD camera, equipped with Custom Scientific 50-mm Johnson-Cousins filters, attached to an Integra85 focuser and field rotator. Weather conditions are monitored by a Lunatico CloudWatcher station, identical to the one used at CBA Belgium Observatory. The rest of the electronic equipment is custom built, and all equipment is controlled by a software package that I have written to allow fully robotic operations.
CBA Extremadura is part of the e-EyE astronomical complex run by my friend Jose Luis Quiñones. E-EyE is the largest astronomical complex for remote hosting in Europe, located within the Starlight reserve. It consists of a cluster of observatories with individual roofs.
Each modular complex at e-EyE consists of 8 independent observatories, equiped with a pier on which you install your own equipment. e-EyE provides all logistics (electricity, very high speed Internet, ...).
Support by the e-EyE staff is excellent: very responsive and qualified people, charging affordable service fees.
The figure at left shows an all-sky image of a typical CBA Extremadura night sky. The figures below shows two of the e-EyE modular clusters, as well as the 0.40m telescope and some of its equipment.
The movie below is a time lapse, made by Jose Luis Quiñones, showing CBA Extremadura Observatory in action during a typical observing night. You will first see the telescope swapping between two objects (looping from one object to the other for several hours), followed by several sequential runs of individual target objects. The movie was made during a night with moonlight.