Looking at Terry Grage’s modest home, you’d never guess there was an astronomical observatory in the backyard. Walking into his backyard, you still wouldn’t. There’s just a narrow swath of lawn, a few plants, and a meandering path that leads to a 12-by-20-foot aluminum shed.
But open the door to that shed and you’d find yourself in another world. This is Mind’s Eye Observatory, which is what Grage has dubbed his high-tech lair. Inside are computers, video monitors, star maps and posters, astronomy books, tools, cables, cameras, gauges, storage cases, and the centerpiece of the operation: a red-barreled 8-inch electronic telescope. Stowed nearby are two more telescopes, a 6-inch and a 12-inch.
“This is where I come to decompress,” Grage says. He flips on a set of red lights and some otherworldly electronic music starts playing. The computer powers up and an array of seven video monitors comes to life.