Astronomical observatory planned in Berne
Sep 29, 2016 12:05 am
Tim Tulloch reports in the Altamont Enterprise that plans for an astronomical observatory in Berne in southern Albany County are now before the town board and the Switzkill Farm Board. The proposed $1.25 million Helderberg Earth and Sky Observatory on East Hill would include a double-domed building housing two telescopes surrounded by a “large wrap-around observation deck.” There would be educational exhibits, landscaped grounds with sundials, and “standing stones marking celestial events,” night-time star-gazing for the general public, and a “one-of-a-kind real-time cosmic ray display chamber.” While currently there is no commitment of funding from any source, Helderberg Earth and Sky Observatory Planning Committee chairman Ron Barnell says a combination of state, federal, and private foundation money, private donations, and university partnerships will pay for the project, that would be the third observatory in New York State. The group notes that the Berne sky rates a three on the Bortle scale of darkness, allowing the summer Milky Way to be visible. Read the full story in the Altamont Enterprise.