Apache-Sitgreaves Research Center, Inc. announces major expansion plans -Phase II – a state of the art facility for the largest dedicated public observing telescope in Arizona, at Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory in Overgaard.
Implementing Phase II will drastically enhance the night sky observing experience of visitors to The Observatory, and provide critical improvements for imaging the night sky needed for determining orbits of objects in the Solar System, and, improve all science objectives set for the next several decades.
“After 13 years of executing the plan to acquire the darkest location of any public observatory,” said Steven Aggas, Director at Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory, “the next step is to develop this World-Class observing location with a state of the art facility that drastically exceeds the Site Test Building capabilities currently used for the 36-inch telescope. The goals we have set forth; sensitive digital image capture of the night sky and science analysis, and, an enhanced visual observing experience for the visitors of the Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory, are certainly achievable in Phase II. Phase II is ambitious, like everything else here up to now.”
“The dark skies at Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory make it an absolute joy to do imaging there,” said Joe Tocco, Advisory Board Member and Professional Photographer, “And with the ongoing effort to preserve this location through the International Dark-Sky Association, that should keep it pristine into the 22nd century.”
There is a functional system now with the 36-inch telescope in the Site Test Building. People who experience it have a great time and leave with a smile plus they have also helped with Phase II. The sales of light pollution filters, other astronomy products plus ticket purchases to events held at The Observatory are helping to fund the state of the art building. For those people that do purchase or visit – they will have their name on a wall in The Observatory because they helped build it!!!
“It is extraordinary to see the Milky Way break the tree line, in all its glory, un-attenuated,” said Mr. Doug Bock, a recent visitor to Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory.
The new Phase II facility design and construction is fundamental to the science data collection improvement needed, and for future visitors, like Mr. Bock, who appreciate and want to further understand the night sky.
Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory, is located in Overgaard, AZ and uses the largest public viewing telescope in Arizona. Visit Apache-Sitgreaves.org for information on events and tickets. Photo courtesy of Joe Tocco.