ARIZONA NEWS

Fundraising begins to build observatory in Fountain Hills

Jan 16, 2021, 7:00 AM | Updated: 10:35 pm

PHOENIX — A new place to view the stars and galaxies above could soon become a reality with the announcement of an $18 million capital campaign to build a space facility in Fountain Hills that would house the largest telescope in greater Phoenix.

The 15,000 square-foot International Dark Sky Discovery Center would feature a dark sky observatory sporting a large, research-grade telescope that can be used for visual observing, astrophotography and live broadcasts, according to a press release Wednesday.

A hyperspace planetarium, 150-seat inspiration theatre featuring 8K projection technology and a 3,000 square-foot immersion zone with interactive educational displays would also part of the non-profit facility located in the Town Center.

The project will be privately funded by International Dark Sky Discovery Center, according to the release, and focus on growing STEM opportunities while serving as an international attraction for the Valley.

People can donate to the project on the online.

“By inspiring individuals and organizations to fund this exciting endeavor, we will fulfill International Dark Sky Discovery Center’s vision to inspire, educate, and stir imaginations to cultivate a greater understanding of our dark skies, our planet, and the universe,” Joe Bill, president of International Dark Sky Discovery Center, said in the release.

Ted Blank, vice president of the organization and NASA solar system ambassador said in the release the facility will offer public viewing to “present breathtaking views of the moon, planets, nebula, galaxies, and other stellar objects.”

Partnerships will also be fostered with Arizona State University, local community colleges and high schools, according to the official website.

“The International Dark Sky Discovery Center is an exciting opportunity for students and amateur star-gazers alike,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in the release. “The center will be another tremendous asset to keep our state at the forefront of STEM education.”

The announcement of the capital campaign coincides with the three-year anniversary of Fountain Hills being designated as one of 17 dark sky communities in the world, a rare feat for a town located so close to a metropolitan area, according to the release.

Other dark sky communities in Arizona are Oak Creek, Sedona and Flagstaff.

A coffee shop, outdoor patio and gift shop featuring an assortment of merchandise related to astronomy, space and dark skies will also be part of the facility.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(City of Glendale Photo)...

KTAR.com

Police search for suspect after 2 people were shot in Glendale

Police are searching for a suspect who allegedly shot two people in Glendale early Saturday.

47 minutes ago

(Facebook Photo/Scottsdale Police Department)...

KTAR.com

4 people stabbed during early-morning melee at Scottsdale bar

A suspect is in custody after four people were stabbed early Saturday during a violent altercation at a bar in Scottsdale.

3 hours ago

Paella featuring lobster tail, jumbo prawns, diver scallops, mussels, chorizo, arborio rice, Englis...

David Veenstra

Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale opens new restaurant Faro & Brag

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa opened its new restaurant, "Faro & Brag," in Scottsdale featuring modern cuisine and outdoor seating.

4 hours ago

View of midtown Phoenix. (Phoenix Business Journal Photo)...

Audrey Jensen/Phoenix Business Journal

Phoenix seeks applicants to turn vacant land into mixed-use development

The city of Phoenix is seeking developers for several infill parcels it owns for new housing and commercial projects.

4 hours ago

Velvet Road is one of the four performances as part of Peoria's Music in March concert series. (Peo...

Arin Ducharme

Music in March concerts return to Peoria every Sunday

Music in March at Paloma Community Park returns to Peoria. The concerts will take place at Paloma Community Park near Lake Pleasant Parkway.

5 hours ago

A band performs during an Arizona Bike Week motorcycle rally in Scottsdale, Arizona...

Kevin Stone

Yelawolf, George Thorogood, Everclear round out Arizona Bike Week concert lineup

The concert schedule for Arizona Bike Week 2024 in Scottsdale is set, with Yelawolf, George Thorogood and Everclear joining the lineup.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Fundraising begins to build observatory in Fountain Hills