Astronomy studies at Cranbrook Institute of Science got a makeover Thursday, when a new observatory dome was hoisted into place by crane.
Part of a total renovation of the astronomy infrastructure that started with upgrades to the planetarium at the Institute last year, the observatory improvements include three new telescopes, architectural changes in the viewing space, a new dome, and compatibility with the planetarium to will create an experience unparalleled anywhere in the Midwest. The new facilities will enable the institute to offer expanded viewing and programing opportunities when they are completed in early September. A remote controllable 20-inch CDK research grade system, will be partnered with 6-inch Takahashi refractor and a Lunt solar telescope for better viewing capabilities and even live observation of the Sun. In addition, high quality CCD image cameras will enable real- time recording and conversion of images into digital photos for use on the planetarium dome. These cameras also will be operable from the planetarium.
Cranbrook Institute of Science is located at 39221 Woodward Avenue in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and is open to the public Tues-Sat 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., with extended hours on Friday until 10 p.m., and Noon-4 p.m. on Sun. Museum admission is $12.50 for adults, $9.50 for children 2-12 and senior citizens (65+); children under 2 and members admitted free. Friday evening admission 5-10pm, $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for children ages 2-12 and seniors 65+, children under 2 and members are free. Planetarium and bat program tickets are $5 general admission; $5 for CIS and OBC members; $1 for children under 2. Non-members must also pay museum admission. For more information about becoming a member of Cranbrook Institute of Science, call 248.645.3200 or visit http://science.cranbrook.edu.