On The Horizon: UNF’s New Observatory

Kristina Smith

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In the next few weeks, students should keep an eye on the physics building for a change in the skyline. Come May 2019, an observatory dome will be installed on the roof of the physics building.

This is part of a renovation to Bldg. 50. With the Chemistry department moving to Bldg. 4, Physics and Engineering will be able to expand their lab space.

According to Dr. John Hewitt, assistant professor of Astronomy and Physics, the observatory will be a special feature for UNF’s Astronomy Night, a new addition for astronomy labs, and available to students who want to do research projects.

Hewitt is happy to bring one of his treasured college experiences to students.

“When I went to college, the observatory was what got me started in astronomy research. I didn’t actually use it for research, but just going to the observatory and seeing this giant telescope, it was really cool, it made me excited about science,” Hewitt said.

The observatory will be 15 feet across and could fit about a dozen people inside.

Astronomy nights are making a comeback in Fall 2019, so for students and community members that come out to discover, the new observatory will be waiting.

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