Observatory part of education program

Rotary Observatory will feature a 20-inch prime telescope

About 28,000 pounds of concrete was poured in mid-May during the construction of the Rotary Observatory at Fraser River Heritage Park (FRHP).

The concrete will be the anchor for a pier which will hold the 20-inch prime telescope, which will be stable and not vibrate when a train passes through the Valley.

The Mission Heritage Association (MHA), which operates FRHP, spearheaded the observatory project to expand learning opportunities at the park.

The facility is a community amenity and will increase tourism in Mission, predicted MHA manager Don Brown.

In addition, accommodating school tours and interest from local residents, Brown said the prime telescope can also be rented out to other countries which can control the telescope through computer technology.

Enough funding has been secured for the building, but fundraising is ongoing to equip the facility.

In addition to the $35,000 prime telescope, deck telescopes and binoculars, radio telescopes, and concrete viewing pads are also needed.

A planetarium is also being planned as well as a mission control and a dome for viewing.

A “moon walk” and star party was held on May 30 to raise funds for the project.

The Fraser Valley Astronomer Society conducted telescope demonstrations and everyone that attended also learned more about the Rotary Observatory.

For more information about the observatory, or to make a donation, call Don Brown at 604-826-0277 or e-mail mhaadmin@telus.net.