Calling retired amateur astronomers who want a perfect sky — for free

Posted by David Eicher
on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Triplex. All photos: Caisey Harlingten
This week, I heard about an unusual offer that may constitute the dream retirement situation for an enthusiastic amateur astronomer and his or her companion. Caisey Harlingten, the Canadian amateur astronomer and entrepreneur behind the Colossus Telescope Project (see previous blogs — September 4 and September 10) is looking for a live-in caretaker for an observatory property and house he owns in Animas, New Mexico.

The accommodations at Harlingten’s property are a 700-square-foot new building situated within an adobe triplex (in the desert). Harlingten is offering live-in use of the facility free of charge, and I can tell you the sky from Animas is one of the darkest I’ve ever seen — simply amazing. Telephone and power will be the responsibility of the resident astronomer. The position is non-paying.

Triplex view
The adjacent observatory is a newly built roll-off-roof building approximately 20 by 30 feet in size, and it’s been designed to accommodate four peripheral piers and one central pier. Harlingten plans to place three 16-inch Ritchey-Chrétien telescopes on Bisque Paramounts within the structure, and the central base will host a 1-meter telescope.

One pier will be left free for the use of the resident astronomer.

The resident astronomer would need a thorough knowledge of the systems and equipment running within the observatory as maintenance of the equipment is needed.

The accompanying photos show features of the building.

If you’re interested in this facility as a free-use retirement housing with an incredibly dark sky, please contact Harlingten at

Breakfast nook
It may be the most interesting step you could take as an amateur astronomer!

Great room / kitchen

Master bedroom

Master bath / closet

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