The 50th anniversary of the Fairbanks Museum of Natural Science Planetarium and the new Peacham astronomy center give us ample reason to celebrate the quest for knowledge and the strong educational spirit in our area. Northern Skies Observatory is up and running. The huge 17-inch robotic telescope is functional, and computer technology to run it is in place at seven pilot schools.
This is cutting edge stuff, but it is not the first time that the Kingdom has been on the cutting edge in the study of astronomy. For 50 years, students from virtually all of the Kingdom's schools have traveled to the Museum to learn about the stars while gazing up into an accurate mock-up of the cosmos. Now, they will look up at the real thing through a real, and really powerful telescope.
There is a list of people who made this happen and to whom we owe thanks for one more reason to live in the Northeast Kingdom. We hope we aren't missing anybody, but here are the ones we know of: the Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation (NKAF) board of directors, David Magnus, President, and Sidney Wanzer, Treasurer; St. Johnsbury Academy student Eamon Roosa; and docents from 13 area schools, all of whom have had more than 30 hours of technical training, typified by Bill Vinton, SJA science teacher.
Thanks to them and others like them, the Northeast Kingdom remains a robust and world-class center for innovation and learning.