In the open field to the east of the school a new structure is standing proudly – the Emerson Astrodome. It’s a wonder of technology and a testament to community generosity – a good story for sure!
The Astrodome opened to the cosmos on the Emerson Earth Day Celebration, April 28, 2012. Students and parents viewed the moon, Venus and Mars up close and fabulous, and several local astronomers brought their scopes as well, making it a real celestial celebration.
The dome is able to turn 360 degrees on its axis and can open up to view any section of the sky while shielding the scope from light interference and weather. The 8-inch Meade refracting telescope is mounted on a concrete pier sunk into the ground in order to prevent vibration. The scope can be controlled by computer, allowing the operator to find any star or celestial body without having to search the sky manually. It all runs on power from solar panels.
Space science is taking off at Emerson! To encourage even more interest, Tim Wilson, Middle School Science Teacher, will be launching an Astronomy Club, open to all ages.
Emerson thanks our “stars” for making the Astrodome possible. Generous donations from the Hilldebrandt family (solar panel and electrical system) and the Berger family (dome and telescope) are most appreciated. ESPO, Emerson School Parents Organization, donated all of the funds for the construction of the dome. Rolf Wucherer and David Moon gave their appreciable construction expertise and labor to the cause. Thank you everyone!
After all, as Carl Sagan said, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”