(Astronomical Research Group of Oregon)


ARGO is an observatory complex located in the high desert of central Oregon. In the summer of 1997 five Northwest CCD imagers built this observatory which consists of seven structures. Six of the structures serve as living quarters and remote operation centers from which all telescope and camera systems are operated - One of which is used by guests of ARGO. The seventh structure is a common building and serves as a power distribution center and comfort facility - Complete with rest room, toilet, shower, and wash basin.

The site is most active during the spring and summer as each member of ARGO takes advantage of the clear, dry and remarkably dark skies of this remote high desert environment. ARGO members include; Keith Allred, Tom Carrico, Peter Finnoff, Jim Girard, William (Bill) McLaughlin, and myself (Jay Potts).

ARGO Setup

Each operation center is wired to observing pads and piers so that equipment can be operated from the comfort of the respective operation center.

Equipment that is setup for a typical imaging session at ARGO vary from 4" refractors to a 16" RC.

Pictured to the left is my C14 with Takahashi FS60C mounted on top. This little scope is used as a finder and for wide field imaging. Sometimes it is also used as a guide scope.

I currently operate two mounts at ARGO. The C14 is now supported by an Astrophysics AP1200GTO mount, while an AP900GTO mount carries my refractors. Below the mount you can see an SBIG STV. This is used as an autoguider and as an electronic finder.

All the comforts of home.... Below is my "control center" packed with gear. Pika, the yellow lab, makes sure I don't fall asleep at the helm.

ARGO Imagers - Jay Potts (me)
Me getting ready for an imaging session with the Celestron 14 and Takahashi FSQ mounted on an AP1200GTO mount.
ARGO Imagers - Keith Allred
Keith beside his 16" RC and AP1200GTO Mount.
ARGO Imagers - Tom Carrico & Kids
Tom and his kids standing beside his 10" RC and AP900GTO mount.
ARGO Imagers - Peter Finnoff
Pictured left is the energetic & accomplished Peter Finnoff getting ready for an evening of imaging. The Paramount ME is carrying an Takahashi Epsilon 180 among other scopes and lenses. A great wide field combination.
ARGO Imagers - Jim Girard
Jim's Passing in July 2004 was a great loss to his family, friends, and the astronomical community of the PNW. In August 2004 a memorial ceremony was held at ARGO, and Mother Nature favored the gathering with a fitting display of her power and beauty.

ARGO Imagers - Arnold Wittstein
Arnie is our newest member and is on the fast track to CCD imaging. July of 2005 Arnie obtained his first light CCD image

ARGO Imagers - William McLaughlin
Bill McLaughlin, one of the original ARGO members, is an accomplished imager with many publishings. He now has his own observatory nearby called Raptor Ridge Observatory.

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