About Us

Wa-chur-ed Observatory (WO) is a private astronomical observatory near Vancouver, Washington, owned and operated by your host, Greg Marshall. The name is also used for this web site and in connection with my astro-photography art and astronomy-related products.

So what does “Wa-chur-ed” mean? When I built the observatory I made the walls just high enough to provide protection from wind and local light sources, which resulted in a doorway that is 5 feet high. I quickly discovered that this door can appear to be high enough that you could walk through without ducking, but you can’t. So I decided to put a sign next to the door advising visitors (and reminding myself) to “watch your head”. Since every observatory must have a name, I figured the same sign could also serve to identify the structure if the name were just shortened a bit to “wa-chur-ed”.

Because the observatory is only 20 miles from Portland, Oregon, I do narrowband imaging most of the time to avoid the problems of light pollution. But whenever possible I take my gear to a dark sky site for LRGB imaging.

Regarding the business side of WO, I am a retired electronics engineer and after a few months of enjoying my leisure I began to miss doing product development. My astronomy hobby always needed new solutions to unique problems, so I decided that whenever I came up with a good solution I would try to make it available to others. I do sell these products, as well as my astro-photos, but charge only enough to cover some of the costs of developing and producing them. In many cases, I cannot find a cost effective way to produce a solution, so I either drop it or simply suggest the idea so that others can work on it.

Although electronics was my career, many of the products I have developed are simple devices involving little or no technology. Much of my former work was related to electronic imaging, but these skills do not lend themselves well to the sort of low-risk, small-investment business model that I am pursuing. My purpose is to have fun and help others.

I do not currently use a traditional “shopping cart” and online payment system.  There are several reasons for this, but I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you to order my products:  Each product and gallery page has a “Buy It” button that brings up a contact form that is customized for the particular product.  Just fill out the form and click “Send”.  I will check the order, calculate shipping costs, and send you an invoice via Paypal.  You can pay by other methods, of course, but Paypal is the preferred method.