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.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Lake Pleasant Regional Park...
Luke Forstner

Valley expert shares lake safety tips for Memorial Day weekend

People looking to cool off at a lake this Memorial Day weekend are asked to do so safely after a string of drownings.
6 hours ago
VR equipment and a version of the TASER 7 that utilizes VR technology for training, is demonstrated...
Taylor Tasler

Phoenix Police use virtual reality headsets to train for calls in the field

The Phoenix Police Department is one of the first law enforcement agencies in the country to use virtual reality to provide officers training in the field. 
6 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fan Fusion,  Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy...
KTAR.com

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around the Valley for May 27-29

Need something to do? Here's a look at some of the biggest events happening around the metro Phoenix area for the weekend of May 27-29.
6 hours ago
(ADOT Flickr Photo)...
KTAR.com

No Valley freeway closures planned for Memorial Day weekend

Drivers won't have to worry about scheduled closures on metro Phoenix freeways this Memorial Day weekend, ADOT said.
6 hours ago
Marcos Anthony Herrera and Anthony Michael Murray (Scottsdale Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Scottsdale police arrest 2 men in string of robberies, burglaries

Scottsdale police arrested two men who are allegedly responsible for at least 12 separate crimes across metro Phoenix, authorities said Thursday.
6 hours ago
Jose Dioicio Buelna. (Arizona Attorney General's Office Photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona man sentenced to 5 years for selling fentanyl

An Arizona man was sentenced to five years in prison last week for his role in a drug trafficking organization, authorities said. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to in April

April brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Suns and Diamondbacks.
Fundraising begins to build observatory in Fountain Hills