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DATE: Dec. 12, 2005

Astronomical dome ready for installation at UM-Dearborn

DEARBORN---Contractors have delivered and assembled the dome that will go over the telescope on top of the science building addition now under construction at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. The builders expect to lift the dome into place this week.

Made out of galvanized steel, the rotating dome measures 12 feet in diameter, and includes a panel that can be raised to allow a view of the sky and lowered to protect the telescope from the elements. It is designed to house a 16-inch telescope purchased with support from a $144,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

In addition to its use in astronomy classes, the telescope will help advanced students work on independent projects that may lead to publishable data, according to Donald Bord, professor of physics at UM-Dearborn. The observatory area can be isolated from the rest of the building for community programs, including sky-watching nights, and is completely accessible.

Construction on the building is expected to be completed in 2006.

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