Bad Astronomy welcomes Exploradome

By Phil Plait | March 26, 2008 4:30 pm

And now — literally — a word from our sponsor.

I’d like to take a moment and welcome Explora Dome by Polydome as an advertiser with Bad Astronomy. You may see the banner ad for Explora Dome by Polydome when you read my site.

Explora Dome by Polydome is a company that makes smaller domes for at-home astronomers. For around the cost of a decent ‘scope, Explora Dome by Polydome makes complete domes for your yard so that you don’t have to worry about howling winds, freezing to death in the winter, and that annoying light on your neighbor’s house. I know a lot of my readers have telescopes in their yard, so if you do, consider taking a look at the Explora Dome by Polydome site.

And if you have a company or some other venture that you’d like to advertise here or on another OuterSpaceAds network site, then please let us know.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog, Astronomy

Comments (26)

  1. Strangely enough, in a time when context sensitive ads give me banners for “bad astronomy ringtones”, this page doesn’t give me an ad for Explora Dome.

    Oh… “first”. :-)

  2. sandswipe

    Lazer pointers, skype, obnoxious t-shirts. . . nope, no nifty domes. F5 F5 F5.

    Still nothing. I guess they didn’t pay very much. ūüėõ

  3. Michael Lonergan

    Cool. I could have used something like this in Alberta, especially during the cold winter nights. It would be great if they could invent some type of portable dome, where one could load in into a pick-up and haul it out to the field with them. I’m thinking something that has a collapsible body, with the dome fixed to the top.

  4. Yoshi_3up

    I’ve seen it once. Looks good.

  5. Michelle

    I might have to invest in one someday. I mean, my neighbors installed that annoying light last year. You know, the type that is just overpowered and lights YOUR backyard? Yea. That type.

  6. IRONMANAustralia

    Well no offence to you astronomy nerds, but personally I think you’re freakin’ crazy to be out there in the first place. Thank Christ someone is doing something about your creature comfort so you clowns don’t die of pneumonia as you stare in awe at Jupiter, or whatever the hell it is you do out there.

    I never quite understood the emotionalism associated with directly seeing a celestial object. I mean, I’ve looked at a dark sky and through a scope of course, and it’s kinda cool, but the clarity is a bit disappointing – bordering on annoying – in it’s tantalising lack of details that I already know to be there, (thanks to available images better than a backyard telescope will ever provide).

    Staring at what is frequently “white blobiness” for hours on end just ain’t my bag baby – and I wonder if Galileo himself would even bother with such a thing if he were alive today. If I were him I’d be thanking my lucky stars, (no pun intended), that I didn’t have to bother with such a frustratingly primitive piece of junk.

    I’d rather be sitting in the comfort of my own home pulling down colour-enhanced shots off some orbiting platform that can detect wavelengths my own eyes can’t even perceive, rather than fight off mosquitoes at 2am in some dark godforsaken hole where human beings obviously don’t like being.

    It all seems like absurd emotionalism to me – especially since looking through an instrument of any kind is hardly looking at something with your “own eyes” anyway.

    Does a lack of interest in such a thing make astronomical phenomena any less impressive? I don’t think so. And I’m under the impression that the knowledge we’ve gained with less ‘live and direct’ methods blows amateur observations out of the water.

    So forgive me if I think you guys are nuts, and I hope Polydome can help bring you guys out of the 17th century – especially if that thing is big enough for a 48″ plasma and a wet bar.

    Well, I can’t hang around here talking to you guys all day – butter doesn’t churn itself you know.

  7. davidlpf

    MIchelle I know you’re agony my mother did the same thing but on the otherside of the house is still dark.

  8. Michael Lonergan

    Ironman, we are out looking for Flying Saucers. The wet bar would be nice.

  9. IRONMANAustralia


    I envisage a situation where you are saying to your neighbour:

    “Wow, this is a real piece of iron-nickel meteorite. What are the chances of it falling out of the sky and hitting the floodlight in your backyard like that?! They must be astronomical …”

  10. Colin J

    I’ve got an ExploraDome sitting at my high school awaiting installation on our new observatory once the snow melts! I’ll send BA a pick with his book in the dome when we’re done!

    IRONMAN – to each their own. There’s something important to be said about seeing things with your own eyes. I’ve found that in teaching kids about the universe, one look at a real object with your real eyes makes a bigger impression that the super-duper-holy-cow-look-at-that photos that we can pull of the Interweb at any time. Sometimes there is no substitute for experience, even if it’s underwhelming. Kinda like making your own butter! :)

  11. Mark Martin

    Phil Plait said:
    “Bad Astronomy welcomes Exploradome”

    I agree! I heartily welcome our new Exploradome overlords.

  12. IRONMANAustralia: BLASPHEMY!! ūüėÜ

    I have a friend that was close to getting one of those, but for some reason he couldn’t. Would have been awesome. He had fairly good skies there.

    Oh, and… I can’t see the add, either ūüėõ

  13. Phil:
    This is great news! Here is a short list of some of the designers of the ExploraDome:
    Rick Needham
    Richard Drumm
    Steve Durham
    Merlin Raymond
    Dan Johanneck (President of PolyDome)
    Ken Hundemann
    Bob Grabau
    David Wrend
    Dale Martin
    It’s basically a bunch of us from the Cloudy Nights Forum who bugged Dan Johanneck to make the dome. It all started with Rick Needham’s email, then a few hours later my email and Steve Durham’s email and soon Dan figured out he had a groundswell of interest! Then we all bandied about design concepts and soon we had domes!
    We sorta just ganged up on him and made it happen!

  14. I keep getting “Gardener’s Choice” and the hawt redhead in the Darwin t-shirt. I’ll be delighted to see the ad! It’s a great thing (Ironman notwithstanding ;-D ) for amateur astronomy to have such an inexpensive and durable product out there! You can hit the ExploraDome with a baseball bat till you’re tired and the dome will not be any worse for the wear. Your arm on the other hand, well…
    Can’t do that with fiberglass!
    Let me rephrase the end of the last post:
    “We sorta just ganged up on him and -HE- made it happen!”
    A big THANK YOU goes out to Dan Johanneck!

  15. Richard, that’s great! Very amusing, but I guess it’s a small world in the astrocommunity. We’re all bound to run into each other at some time.

  16. Wow thats cool. I wish I could afford one, but wait, I would need a telescope first :) 40″ will do nicely thank you :)

  17. Buzz Parsec

    Someone once did a study… Chemists have the shortest life spans. (Do they really still identify unknown substances by smell and test?) Mathematicians and theoretical physicists are next (chalk dust causes silicosis.) Experimental physicists and biologists do okay (except the biologists who experiment with pathogenic microorganisms) but of all scientists, astronomers live the longest, 95+ years on average. I attribute it to staying up all night.

    So there, Ironman.

  18. Thomas Siefert

    Do they do Pleasuredomes and thunderdomes as well?

  19. Thomas Sieferton:
    Do they do Pleasuredomes and thunderdomes as well?

    Pleasuredomes only in Xanadu.


  20. BigBob

    > Pleasuredomes only in Xanadu.

    The ‘Stately’ ones yes, but the ‘Deluxe’ version is available in most good stores.


  21. Michelle:

    I might have to invest in one someday. I mean, my neighbors installed that annoying light last year. You know, the type that is just overpowered and lights YOUR backyard? Yea. That type.

    Taller fence. Shiny material. Parabolic shape. ’nuff said.

  22. I have a feeling that IRONMANAustralia is just having a bit of fun, though I’m not entirely convinced he’s not serious. In any case, I liked the comment about the meteorite and the neighbor’s floodlights. (Coming this Fall on FOX — “The Meteorite and the Floodlight”.)

    That said, I have to put my $0.02 in and say that seeing something with one’s own eye (even if it’s not with the “naked eye”) is completely different than looking at a picture. (Even if those pictures are pretty cool.)

    And it applies outside of astronomy as well, as anyone who has visited the National Air and Space Museum or the National Archives in Washington, DC, can attest to. (The Apollo 11 command module. A rock from the Moon that you can touch. The Declaration of Independence. The Constitution. And so on.)

  23. Michael Lonergan


    ” I might have to invest in one someday. I mean, my neighbors installed that annoying light last year. You know, the type that is just overpowered and lights YOUR backyard? Yea. That type.”


  24. I wish I had a yard! And a scope big enough to warrant a dome. Maybe someday. :-)

  25. Having a small dome is nice. I considered the Exploradome, but in the end installed a Skyshed POD.
    It sure is nice not having to set up and take down every night!

  26. ty

    I would love one of those! And a backyard!


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