Jack Schmidling Productions, Inc.
18016 Church Road ~ Marengo IL 60152
Phone:815 923 0031 ~ Email:


Many people wonder what sort of place I use to do my astrophotography so I thought I would devote a web page to a description of it.

We live on a wooded country estate about 50 miles NW of Chicago. We call our home Schmidling Hall and the park to the rear of it, Marilyn Park. The observatory is situated in a small clearing a few hundred yards north of the Hall.

The Big Picture

This aerial view was provided by fellow astrophotographer and neighbor, Dennis Persyk. South is up in this photo.

The yellow circle shows the location of the observatory. The building just to the south of it is my laboratory and shop and the Hall is totally hidden in the trees a bit farther to the SW.

The Observatory

After erecting the structure, it became obvious that a white box could never be anything but an eyesore so a little creative painting was done. From far enough away it looks like a domed observatory.

In actuality, it is a box that simply slides away on rails, leaving the telescope with access to the entire sky and a cozy place for me to work, without the scope taking up most of the room. It is a variation on the more usual theme of a roll off roof.

Ready for Duty

This view shows the observatory retracted, the scope pointed North and Marilyn at the computer station.

OktoberFest Star Party

Each year we combine an afternoon of German music, beer and brats with an evening of observing. Here a group from one of the local clubs is viewing the Sun through a Lumicon promenance filter.

All that stuff on the front end of the 16" telescope is to stop it down to 1.5" which is the only way this filter works.

Photo courtesy: Dennis Persyk


Ya gotta do something till it gets dark.

Mailyn is scolding the band for mispronouncing a word in our favorite German song. I am holding the sign and encouraging the crowd to join in the rounds.

The location here is our Museum located between the Observatory and the Hall. It contains our collection of natural history specimens and Marilyn's antiques.

For a detailed description of my telescopes and some hokey personal history... TELESCOPES

Photo courtesy: Dennis Persyk

For the most recent Astrophotos of the Week... RECENT PHOTOS

All film photos taken with the...JSP ASTROCAMERA

Astro Photo Index

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