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Astronomy

Amateur astronomy is a rapidly growing hobby activity in the United States. Advances in optical technology and reductions in costs have driven its growth.

The Southeastern Kentucky landscape is very rural and heavily forested. As such, there is little, if any “light pollution”, resulting in an ideal location for amateur astronomy and stargazing.

The Center will construct a state-of-the-art astronomy pavilion, large enough to support significant group events. Programs will be developed that will provide opportunities for visitors to participate in stargazing and amateur astronomy events.

Local and regional astronomy and stargazing clubs will be invited to The Center to conduct their own activities and to help The Center design educational programs for the general public. Local universities that offer astronomy classes will be invited to come to The Center for field trips.

The Center will integrate astronomy into the conservation education program, using informational displays on subjects like how artificial lighting can adversely affect wildlife species like migrating birds that use the stars for navigation. Events will be held to view the International Space Station (ISS) as it passes over The Center.

The Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts both have merit badge programs for astronomy. Accordingly, The Center will design programs compatible with the Scouts’ astronomy programs to facilitate Scout interaction with The Center.