An Observatory Coming to the grove?
We're excited to share about the possibility of an Observatory / Observa-Dome to be mounted on the West corner roof of the Grove Theater in 2015! The observatory itself is a donation from ORION member David Fields and really is quite wonderful. (Pictures are coming soon).
Imagine being able to hear an orchestral performance of Gustav Holtz, "The Planets" and actually see the rings of Saturn IN THE SAME BUILDING!
Our challenge will be finding a way to fund the remodel of the area, so the telescope can be securely mounted. We'll need to peel back a section of the roof, add a stabilizing beam that runs from the ground up, and build in a comfortable seating & waiting area for star-gazers since the observa-dome will only comfortably hold a few viewers at a time.
Early estimates have the installation cost of the observatory at upwards of $40,000. Not impossible, but certainly a challenge!
When installed, the observatory will be the first of its kind in Oak Ridge. Currently in our area, a dome of this quality is only available to stargazers at either the Tao Observatory in Harriman or in Knoxville. Pictures coming soon!