Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Telescope Building Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Back on Saturday morning, Sept. 24 there was an Observatory Building ribbon cutting ceremony at Observatory Park, Turner Farm, Great Falls, the Fairfax County Park Authority’s only observatory.  Observatory Park is just three miles from the Hickory Cluster.  The Park Authority recently completed Phase I of a multi-phase improvement plan for Observatory Park by replacing the observatory dome and automating it for future remote access.   A telescope, recently installed, will provide opportunities for students and the general public to view our starry skies in the not too distant future.

The nonprofit Analemma Society has worked with the Park Authority on the improvement and operation of Observatory Park from the time the park was established. As part of Phase I, Analemma donated the observatory telescope, telescope mount, related equipment and technical expertise.  Fund raising is currently underway for Phase II, bringing computer systems on line that will enable astronomy students at Fairfax County Public Schools, and other users county-wide, to configure remote access control of the Observatory dome, telescope and digital imaging, from their classroom or other remote location.  (Hickory Cluster’s Bob Anderson, a member of the society,  will be happy to answer any questions about the project and future development plans.)  For more information see the Analemma Society's website and The Connection newspaper's story about the ribbon cutting.

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