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Have you ever wanted to find a shooting star in the night sky or get an up-close look at the distant galaxy?

Stargazing at Mountain View College just got a lot more fun. 

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MVC’s new observatory dome is located on the northeast side of campus by the water tower. The shelter will house various telescopes and provide unique benefits. 

“This dome enhances the experience, no question. By coming in this dome, you’ll see more details since you won’t have the stray light or distractions. You can devote the experience to just you and the eyepiece,” says MVC instructor Jonathan York. “By darkening everything around the eye scope, it gives us more light shielding.”

The dome project was made possible through Participatory Budgeting. This initiative allows departments, programs, and employees of MVC to request funds for the successful planning, implementation and completion of specific projects. Over the past few years of Participatory Budgeting, professors Robert Stallman, Jonathan York and Shahnaz Sokhansanj have been collaborating to secure the purchase of the structure as well as being mindful to reserve enough funding for an ADA accessible ramp leading up to the dome.

Instructor York believes Stallman was key in bringing this project to life. “He [Bob] was responsible for helping with the assembly of the dome, inspecting the components and was the principal contact with facilities since he was the physics lab coordinator.

Students will begin taking advantage of the dome’s benefits when classes resume this fall. Community members can also join in on the fun with our monthly Star Parties throughout the semester. 

Keep an eye on our website calendar and social media accounts for activities involving the new dome in the coming months.