Cape Breton observatory opens up for amateur astronomers
No charge to use the facility near Marion Bridge
A new observatory has opened in Cape Breton, giving skywatchers a better glimpse of the night sky.
The Cape Breton Astronomical Society has built an observatory at Two Rivers Wildlife Park near Marion Bridge. It features two computer controlled 25-centimetre telescopes as well as smaller telescopes for children.
John Fraser, the co-chair of the Cape Breton Astronomical Society, said the technology will allow observers to see plenty.
"The computerized telescopes, ten inches in diameter, can see a bit of stuff at night. We can see planets, nebulas and a lot of stuff," he said.
There's no charge to use the observatory, which opened on Canada Day.
Stan Williams, a member of the Cape Breton Astronomical Society, said the observatory will open the world of astronomy to many more residents.
"Just the excitement, just the fact of getting someone new to come into the observatory, have a look through a telescope and see something they've never seen before," he said.
"It's that wow factor when someone sees something with their own eyes rather than looking at a picture."
Williams said the observatory will stay open from dusk until dawn for anyone who wants to drop by. Members of the society did the work and paid for the cost of the construction.
Johnny Huntington, the manager of the Two Rivers Wildlife Park, said it's a great addition.
"It's going to make a big difference here. We're able to organize group outings with camping beginning and do some solar gazing," he said.
Sky tours start every evening at dusk and go all night. The society is hoping the observatory will encourage new members and a greater interest in astronomy. They plan to remain open all year long as long as people keep dropping by.