11 February 2008

Planetarium & observatory closure

| POACman
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There was a thread running a couple of weeks ago about the closure of the Planetarium and Observatory at Dickson. This post is for anyone who wants to support the continued existence of this facility for public education and raising the awareness of the general community about astronomy.

We of the Planetarium & Observatory Association of Canberra Inc. (POAC) feels this is particularly important in Canberra as we head towards the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, in which the vision is “to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day and night time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery.” Planetariums have an important role to fill in that task.

You can join POAC to show your support for $5. Email me (POAC secretary) at gliese581b@optusnet.com.au for a membership form, or post a comment of support. We’ll provide members with regular email updates about the status of the Planetarium & Observatory, and other relevant information.

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Thanks Staria. The planetarium & observatory had a website, linked from the Tradies Club website, but of course it closed down when the facility closed on 26 January. POAC doesn’t have a website as yet. Hopefully we won’t need to stay in existence for too long – ie, if someone with the money to move the facility, and the will to take it on and run it, comes along. If you’d like a membership form to support the idea of re-establishing it, please email me at the address above and include your email address (as per comment to Rozlyn).

I went to the planetarium shows and the telescope tours quite a few times in my younger days, it would have been over 10 years ago though (back when the Downer Club had the best all you can eat buffet). When my niece and nephew visited last year I could not find any information regarding the planetarium at all on the internet. When I tried to call there was never any answer so I thought it had actually closed then. Very disappointing. I would love for it to reopen again. Then again, the almighty dollar often does rule – just look what happened to the bicycle museum and trams at the Dickson Tradies.

Do you have a website?

Thanks Rozlyn for your post, and I’m glad you had such a rewarding experience.
We’re doing what we can to ensure that the facility re-opens in some form, somewhere in the Canberra area.
I got your email but it doesn’t allow a reply – I’m new at this – so could you email again and include your email address so I can email the form to you.

Rozlyn de Bussey6:58 pm 11 Feb 08

I was introduced to the Planetarium and Observatory through one of my students who was a volunteer there.What a wonderful experience.

Knowledge about our universe was such a powerful experience for me. I missed out as a child on witnessing anything as magnificent as what I saw through those telescopes and I don’t want any other child or adult to miss out either.

Shame on the Tradies Club for being so money hungry and forgetting our community’s education. It seems that they are being very naughty in their greed and forgetting our community as a whole. Money is not everything education is!!

Thanks to all the staff who volunteered their time.I will always be grateful to have had the experience to see the stars and planets so clearly.

Please send me your form to donate to your just cause.Let’s save the Planetarium and Observatory. Come on Canberra, let’s do something truly constructive towards our ongoing education and preserve this facility.We deserve it.

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