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The Wall Foundation for Educational Excellence generously provided Wall Township Public Schools with a check for $14,150 as the last installment of funding for the Observatory Project. This brings the total funding for the project to nearly $40,000.
The observatory is physically located at Allenwood Elementary School, in the middle of a large field which is relatively dark at night. Access to the observatory will not be limited to Allenwood students, though. All students, their families, and staff members will have remote access to the observatory via website. Users will be able to log on to the system at their assigned time, open the dome, activate the equipment, point the telescopes to an object of interest, capture and download images, then close the dome and shut down the system.
So far, the 10′ x 10′ observatory building and 8′ dome has been purchased and installed, along with the dome automation equipment, telescope pier, and the first of four telescopes. The latest funding installment will enable us to purchase the remaining equipment, including a 4″ apochromatic refractor, solar telescope with hydrogen-alpha filter, imaging equpment, and automation software.
More updates will be made available as work on this exciting project continues.