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Domes put in place for CSUSB's observatory

December 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
At California State University-San Bernardino, the universe is about to come into focus like never before.On Wednesday, the crowning glories of the university's new observatory were put into place.

The twin 46-foot high domes will house two telescopes-- one for daylight and one for night use.

"One telescope, what we call the 20-inch telescope, will be primarily a research grade telescope and our students will be able to use it virtually any night that the weather allows for doing research," said astronomer Leo Connolly.

In addition, a solar telescope will allow people to view the sun.

"The solar telescope is relatively small, and actually will mount on top of one of the other telescopes--the 17-inch--that shows you the sun and aspects of the sun that you can't see any other way," said Connolly.

The observatory will also include an observation deck, seating and a classroom facility.

The university hopes to partner with Inland Empire schools so that students will be able to view the sun, moon and stars from their own backyards.

"This extends to the people of San Bernardino and throughout the region in the Inland Empire, because it not only serves as a research and learning astronomical observatory, but as a place where the community can come and learn and take a look at the skies," said Sid Robinson of CSU San Bernardino.

The observatory, which cost the university $3 million to build, was funded exclusively through private donations.

The Pauline and George Murillo Observatory is expected to open in May or June of 2011.


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