By Ethan Rosales
The International Dark Sky Discovery Center received $2.5 million from the recently approved state budget for its new science facility in Fountain Hills.
With the largest telescope in the Valley, the new facility will attempt to further STEM education, research and tourism.
“The International Dark Sky Discovery Center is an exciting opportunity for students and amateur star-gazers alike,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press release Thursday.
“The Center will be another tremendous asset to keep our state at the forefront of STEM education.”
With the state budget money, the center can enter the design portion of the development process and the facility will include attractions for the public such as a dark sky observatory, a hyperspace planetarium and other exhibits and activities.
Fountain Hills is the 17th international dark sky community, and the town’s commitment to limiting the amount of light pollution creates a viable environment for the observatory.
“The International Dark Sky Discovery Center in Fountain Hills highlights Arizona’s leadership in innovation and commitment to protecting our unparalleled access to the night skies,” U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema said in the release.
The IDSDC already raised 25% of the necessary funds to complete the project, and the center has name recognition opportunities and giving levels in order to obtain the rest of the $18 million total for the complete facility.
For more information on the center or how to donate, visit darkskycenter.org.