U of S observatory celebrates 90 years
Published Monday, April 15, 2019 6:19PM CST Last Updated Monday, April 15, 2019 7:06PM CST
The observatory at the University of Saskatchewan celebrated its 90th birthday Monday.
“I’ve always loved this place,” said Daryl Janzen, a department assistant in the department of physics and engineering physics at the University of Saskatchewan.
Janzen said he worked as a tour guide at the observatory while studying at the U of S.
Those who go inside the observatory are able to view celestial objects through the telescope.
Janzen said the observatory – which attracts about 5,000 visitors a year – is a great place for community outreach and engagement.
“People from Saskatoon are able to come here and see Saturn or the moon for the first time through a telescope and for many people, it's a really great thing.”
George Qiao, who is an engineering physics student at the U of S and a tour guide at the observatory, said most of the time people are surprised at how different the planets look through a telescope compared to a satellite image.
The observatory is one of the oldest structures at the university with some of the richest history.
It was built in the late 1920s and was made possible through $3,800 in donations from the community.
A plaque with the names of the many donors still hangs inside the dome.
“The observatory for sure is our university's heritage and I would say I hope this can be passed to the next generation, the next 90 years,” Qiao said.
He added that he’s like to see the observatory open on more than one day a week and that he’d like the telescope to be better maintained into the future.
Janzen said the observatory has seen lots of changes over its 90 years. But, he said it’s hard to predict what the future holds.
“It would be great if we can continue to use it as we have, if not, I think I definitely want to come up with some sort of creative solution to keep having this wonderful astronomy facility in the city.”
Members of the public can gaze at galaxies, nebulas, planets and the moon every Saturday after dark.