Archive for Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Observatory run by Wichita State to close after 35 years

July 15, 2015

— Lake Afton Public Observatory is set to close after giving Kansas a glimpse of the stars for 35 years.

The Wichita Eagle reports the observatory will be show its final public program on Aug. 22. Officials at Wichita State University, which runs the Goddard telescope, say they can no longer afford to run the facility.

University official Ron Matson says observatory attendance has been about 4,000 people a year, roughly half of the amount when it opened in 1981. He said the facility, which used to bring in revenue for the school, now costs the university about $50,000 to $70,000 a year.

Observatory director Greg Novacek said part of the facility's demise is due to the high quality of images of space that are available on the Internet.

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