UI astronomy department looking to expand

The University of Illinois Department of Astronomy wants to have more of a presence in the core area of campus.

The department is headquartered near the corner of Lincoln and Green with an observatory north of the Morrow Plots on the Quad.  The telescope that sits in the observatory was restored last summer, and now officials have shifted their focus to the building itself.

Assistant Professor of Astronomy Bryan Dunne said a fundraising effort is ongoing to pay for a study that would look at how the observatory could be renovated and expanded.



Dunne added that if space is added on to the observatory, it would be modest and not encroach on nearby buildings.  He also said officials would look to compliment, and not overshadow, the original building that's nearly 120 years old.

Dunne said officials are looking to raise around $5,000 more by UI homecoming this fall to help pay for the study that'll look at the observatory.  That study, he said, would take around one year to complete.

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