Rockingham Co. Man Builds Backyard Observatory

Eclipse Home Observatory

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- It's a project some say is out of this world...

"This is just perfect," explains Roger Joyner. "I can walk outside, open it up."

A homemade observatory, that seemed to fit right into Roger's scope of retirement.  He worked at the Greensboro Science Center's planetarium for more than 40 years before he decided to retire last year.  But he wasn't about to give up on his passion.

"Well, the universe is just fascinating," he explains.

Roger has been starstruck since grade school; he bought an astronomy book at a school fair and the rest is history.

"Some of my astronomer buddies are jealous," he says of his new gear in the backyard of his Eden home.


But for Roger, his favorite part is sharing the universe through his lens.

"I love showing people, let's say, Saturn and hear them go 'Ooh! That's just so cool.'"

Roger says it took him a couple months to build the observatory, but it was more than a year of planning.

He says he gets out there as often as he can, as long as the sky is clear enough.  He's working on completing some challenges, like finding certain marks on the moon or certain stars.

And you can bet he's all jazzed for the solar eclipse.

"Mainly I wanted my grandson to see it," he tells. "He happens to live up near the mountains."

And that's where Roger will be watching it, although he does have the cabability to do it from his telescope.  But once it passes, he'll be right back at it - stargazing from home.

"There are just so many beautiful things out there to see," he marvels.

Roger's observatory is called a SkyShed Pod.  He said they cost anywhere from $3,000-$7,000.

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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