About the Observatory
The North Merritt Island Observatory is privately owned and operated by Frank Kane, several miles South of Kennedy Space Center. It is fully automated and operated remotely. Inside it’s pretty tight – you only go in there for maintenance.
The observatory is dedicated to long exposure astrophotography, so where an eyepiece would normally be is a specialized camera. We share its views through the images on this site.
We don’t offer tours or group observing sessions – it’s just not made for that. It doesn’t even have a door! But we hope to spark your curiosity about the Universe we live in through the images it produces.
If you’re curious about its construction, we wrote up the process here.
Let’s talk about gear!
The observatory’s current telescope is “Scopey McScopeFace” 🙂 It’s a Sky-Watcher StarLux 190MN (Mak-Newtonian), on a Paramount MyT mount from Software Bisque. The camera I use most often these days is a ZWO ASI2600MM Pro which I use with LRGB and narrowband filters to produce color images. My rig also has a Moonlite motorized focuser, and the whole thing is controlled by software called TheSkyX Pro and CCD Autopilot.
The observatory itself is a Technical Innovations 10-foot Home Dome.
For star parties, outreach events, and planetary imaging, I also have a Celestron 11″ EdgeHD Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope on a second, portable Paramount MyT mount.
Deep sky images are processed with PixInsight, Photoshop, and sometimes Topaz DeNoise. Planetary images are processed with AutoStakkert, RegiStax, and Photoshop.
When I’m not collecting really old photons, I run Sundog Software, Sundog Education, and Radio Calico.
I’m an active supporter of The Planetary Society and the SETI Institute, and Vice President of the Central Florida Astronomical Society. I also collect Star Trek costumes, props, and production artifacts, and maintain No-Hate News. I’m married to a Nintendo princess who is the watcher of the cosmos.
In the past I made video games and ran engineering teams at big websites.
You can follow me personally on LinkedIn.