HOUSTON-First, the Houston Museum of Natural Science opened the new Morian Hall of Paleontology to the public. Then came the Hall of Ancient Egypt and the Welch Hall of Chemistry. Now, HMNS is asking for YOUR help in fixing the largest telescope in the country dedicated to public education through S.O.S., or "Save Our ‘Scope."
The Gueymard Telescope and the Research Dome, located at the George Observatory at Brazos Bend State Park, need about $80,000 worth of work, including a new mirror for the famed telescope.
As part of its newest phase of the "Own It" campaign, HMNS' patrons are able to own a piece of the telescope and the stargazing experience by contributing to S.O.S.
"In addition to regrinding and coating the primary mirror, we will have an expert install two secondary mirrors making this ‘scope even more unique than ever," explained Peggy Halford, Director of the George Observatory. "Through one mirror, patrons will see close objects like the Moon or planets and, through the other, distant far-away galaxies and nebulae. These improvements will guarantee the Gueymard Telescope will be around for another 50 years, so that our kids and grandkids can discover the wonders of the night sky."
About the Telescope and George Observatory
The Gueymard Telescope at the George Observatory weighs about 10 tons and was designed by the same people who created the Hubble Telescope. However, unlike any other meter-class telescope in the country, patrons can actually look into the Gueymard to see the wonders of space with one's own eyes. Other telescopes simply invite the viewer to make these discoveries through attached cameras or computer screens.
With the George Observatory's 25th anniversary approaching in October 2014, HMNS wishes to preserve history and make the improvements necessary for budding astronomers to make galactic discoveries for generations to come.
To date, over 270,000 students, and over 500,000 total patrons, have looked into outer space through the Observatory's telescopes, including groups from Australia, Scotland, the UK and International Space Schools. The George Observatory is the only one of its size in the country open to the public - other observatories are dedicated only to scientists.
For more information on S.O.S or to make a contribution to the program, visit our website at www.hmns.org or call (713) 639-4629.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science-one of the nation's most heavily attended museums-is a centerpiece of the Houston Museum District. With four floors of permanent exhibit halls, and the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre,CockrellButterflyCenter, Burke Baker Planetarium and George Observatory and as host to world-class and ever-changing touring exhibitions, the Museum has something to delight every age group. With such diverse and extraordinary offerings, a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, located at5555 Hermann Park Drive in the heart of the Museum District, is always an adventure.
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