Stargazers rejoice: Centre of the Universe reopens to public

Stargazers rejoice: Centre of the Universe reopens to public

WATCH: The stars are shining again from the Centre of the Universe. The centre has been around for a hundred years but for the last five, though, its been in the dark. Now, thanks to hard work and dedicated volunteers, the centre is back open. Kori Sidaway tells us about the new gadgets that stargazers are welcome to try.

It’s been a black hole in the community for nearly five years, but Saanich’s Centre of the Universe is back in business.

“I was really sad to hear that it was shutting down, so I’m super happy that it’s back,” said visitor Kyle Loree.

In 2013, federal funding was cut back and the centre was forced to close to the public.

“This is what lets us peer beyond our day-to-day lives, and closing something like that is ignoring how beautiful the universe is really,” said Centre of the Universe employee and physics student Chris Gallon.

Five years later volunteers are bringing “space” back to “earth.” It now joins as part of the observatory’s 100-year history.

The observatory houses the Plaskett telescope, once the largest in the world, and put Canada on the map for modern astrophysics. But now, there’s some new technology for visitors to enjoy.

Virtual reality teleports visitors out of this world, giving a 360-degree view of life on a spacecraft.

So, whether it’s chasing the stars, or a more existential pursuit of understanding our place in the universe, the Dominion Astronomical Observatory is happy to say, stargazing, is finally is back.

“I usually have a shameless plug about Rihanna making a song about diamonds in the sky – the “white dwarf” is made of carbon nitrogen and oxygen, so she was kind of right,” said Gallon.

So, once again the centre will be beaming a universe of possibilities for Vancouver Island’s next generation.


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