The observatory dome gives the Rey Center in Waterville Valley is the place for observing and sparking the interest of stargazers.
H.A. Rey was an avid astronomer. In fact, the dark night skies of Waterville Valley were one thing that originally drew Hans and Margret to the area in the 1950s. Today, the Margret and H.A. Rey Center carries on Hans’ love of astronomy, with stargazing programs held throughout the year.
The project to build the observatory started several summers ago when the Rey Center received a dome as a donation from its New Hampshire NASA Space Grant partners, the University of New Hampshire and the Mt. Washington Observatory. The dome was originally used by the two organizations for GroundWinds, a project to develop and demonstrate remote-sensing technologies that can be used to measure global troposphere level winds from orbiting satellites.
In 2011, the Rey Center’s New Hampshire NASA Space Grant Consortium partners, the University of New Hampshire, once again, aided in getting the project off the ground by awarding the Rey Center a challenge grant, making it possible to build the housing needed to support the dome.
Several Rey Center members and friends rose to the challenge to help raise the needed matching funds in order to receive the grant and complete the construction. Many thanks to the Monaghan/Buttke Family, the Bierbrier Family, David and Birdie Britton, Ted Hammond, New Hampshire Space Grant Consortium members, the University of New Hampshire and the Town of Waterville Valley for making this project possible.
For more information visit http://thereycenter.org/dark-sky-stargazing.html