Although the Millsaps website maintains that the James Observatory "is now open for stargazing", the Physics Department has confirmed that the Observatory has not been used since the last spotting of Haley's comet. I propose that we clean and renovate the observatory, repair/collimate the telescope's optics (if needed) and maintain our very own on-campus observatory for nightly "bookings" by physics classes, astronomy classes, clubs, and interested individuals.
In addition to being an educational tool for relevant classes, the James Observatory is a historical landmark, built in 1901. While the repairs might be costly, a functioning observatory on campus could bring to Millsaps prestige in the community as well as pique the interest of perspective students touring the campus. If only a handful of freshmen are swayed toward Millsaps because of such an operation, the repairs could pay for themselves over a decade.
Astronomy gives us the opportunity to gaze, literally, millions of years into our universe's past. Can't we extend that wonder just a couple of decades into the future?
Contact person: Will Webb
For a PDF of the proposal, click here.
Comments and Discussion