About Aphelion Domes

Now Aphelion domes has been born to continue bridging the gap between the observer and the Universe. Our goal is to ensure that all of our customers are 110% satisfied with any product purchased from us. Based on the experience acquired from Aphelion's precursor "Galactica 360" we know how to build a quality product.

Our clamshell freestanding observatories and domes are made from the most advanced resin and fiberglass mat available on the market. The result of these improved technologies is a product that reigns supreme.

We feel confident of this by offering a 5 year warranty on all materials provided by Aphelion. The fabrication of our freestanding observatories, and domes is a very intricate process that requires multiple specialized skills and many years experience. Therefore we do not contract out any portion of the construction that goes into our freestanding observatories or domes. From fiberglass fabrication to electrical installation all our products are made at the same location by the same dedicated technician.

The pride that we put into all products at Aphelion makes for efficient quality control and ensures a smooth operating freestanding observatory or dome upon delivery.


I bought a 12 foot clamshell dome from Aphelion in 2004. The dome arrived nicely packed in a very large crate which was easy to unpack. The instructions for assembly were clear, and the pieces were easy for two people to handle. Since my site is the top of a hill with exposed bedrock, I decided to fabricate a steel base and anchor it into the bedrock. I poured a pier base which doesn't contact the 'wagon wheel' base. The pier is anchored to bedrock using rods which extend up into the concrete pour. A small crew of 3 people working about 6 hours was able to install the dome on top of the previously installed fabricated base. After installing the dome, a floor made of marine plywood was screwed down onto the fabricated base. All the dome pieces fit well, and there were no problems encountered during the installation.

The dome has performed very well over the years. The gel coat on the lower hatches is in perfect shape, making it easy to wax once a year to allows the hatches to slide evenly with little friction. I have never had a water leak of any sort, and it has withstood 80 mph winds. This dome has a door, which I feel is a very nice feature. The way I have it now with manually operated cranks does not allow me to exit the dome with north side hatch open. I'm looking into replacing the door with a split door arrangement which would allow me to exit. Of course, if you have the electric winches, you can close the door-side hatch, exit the dome, and then re-open the hatch with the remote control.

I strongly prefer a clamshell dome design - it is a great experience to be able to open up the sky - you can scan with binoculars while waiting for your exposures to finish! It provides a great deal of protection from wind and ground level light, even with the hatches fully opened.

Highly recommended!


- Jim Browning

















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