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College of Arts, Sciences and Education to Host Grand Re-Opening of Rawlinson Observatory

Rawlinson ObservatoryFerris State University’s Rawlinson Observatory will be home to a grand re-opening ceremony on Monday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in Science Building, Room 102.

David DeBruyn, former director of the Chaffee Planetarium in Grand Rapids, Mich., will kick off the celebration with a 30-minute presentation. Afterward, event attendees will head upstairs, to the observatory, to view the night sky.

The grand re-opening will be the first time that the observatory has been open in about five years due to repairs that the rotating dome required. College of Arts, Sciences and Education Dean Rick Kurtz stepped in to champion funding for the project.

“Dean Kurtz agreed to fund the repairs to the dome and some upgrades to the telescope,” said David Frank, head of the Physical Sciences Department. “One of the upgrades will make it easier for an astronomer to position the telescope on an object in the sky.”

Relative to weather, cloud cover and unforeseen circumstances, the observatory’s operating hours may vary.

“In the future, we hope to have the observatory open three evenings in the fall semester and three evenings in the spring semester for our students and the general public,” Frank said.

Anyone with a disability who needs special accommodations to attend this event should contact the Physical Sciences Department at (231)-591-2580 at least 72 hours in advance.

The photo is of the late Thomas Johnson, astronomer emeritus, standing by the telescope that is being installed in the observatory.