Group hopes to move giant telescope to Northwest Arkansas | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Group hopes to move giant telescope to Northwest Arkansas

Posted By on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 3:31 PM

click to enlarge The Sproul Observatory Telescope
  • The Sproul Observatory Telescope
A non-profit group devoted to science education has announced their plan to move one of the largest refracting telescopes in America to Northwest Arkansas. They are currently fundraising to cover the moving costs for the 100-plus year old telescope, which they hope to make the centerpiece of a science and technology center.

According to release on their website, Supporting STEM and Space Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Northwest Arkansas, reached an agreement with Swarthmore College near Philadelphia to accept donation of the school's massive 24-inch-wide, 36-foot-long telescope, which stands on a 50,000 pound cast iron cradle. It is the sixth largest refracting telescope in the U.S.

Originally built in 1911, the telescope currently resides in Sproul Observatory at Swarthmore. The observatory, named after William Cameron Sproul, who originally donated the telescope, is being re-purposed, so the college put out a request for proposals from groups who would use the donated instrument to promote science. Supporting STEM and Space Inc., got the nod via email on April 19.

One of the oldest telescope designs, refracting telescopes feature a large lens at the front of the telescope, which focuses light into a smaller lens into which an observer looks.

Supporting STEM and Space Inc. was started in 2014, and is chaired by Dr. Katherine Auld, a science professor at Northwest Arkansas Community College. In recent years the group has sponsored a successful "Library Telescope" project, which makes telescopes available for check out from local public libraries.

Swarthmore is paying to have the telescope disassembled and packed into crates for shipping. The non-profit has started a page to raise the estimated $20,000 cost of moving the telescope to Arkansas and storing it until it can be restored. The group plans to make upgrades so that it can work with modern computer systems, with the restored telescope serving as a centerpiece of a science and technology center near I-49, though that is several years and much fundraising into the future.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by David Koon

Readers also liked…

  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016
  • UPDATE: Hutchinson moves to cover himself on cut to War Memorial Stadium

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson apparently felt the burn from KARK's exclusive Tuesday night on his plans to cut state support of War Memorial Stadium in half beginning July 1, 2018. He has a so-far secret plan to make the stadium self-sustaining. We bet that doesn't include state support.
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016

Most Shared

  • Discussion: State killing of the mentally ill

    The Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and others will have a forum on mental illness and the death penalty at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bowen School of Law's Friday Courtroom.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation