North Merritt Island Observatory
Our robotic observatory in Merritt Island

About the Observatory

Inside 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. I also own a Lunt 40mm solar scope on a Sky-Watcher SolarQuest mount, paired with an ASI174MM for solar imaging.

Deep sky images are processed with PixInsight, Photoshop,  and sometimes Topaz DeNoise. Planetary images are processed with AutoStakkert, RegiStax, and Photoshop.

About Frank

Frank at the Very Large Array in New Mexico

In the past I made video games and ran engineering teams at big websites.

You can follow me personally on LinkedIn or drop me a note at fkane (at) boldly-going (dot) com.