Plunkett Observatory Dedication
July 21, 2007 was the day the Jim & Gwen Plunkett Observatory, featuring the Panarusky Telescope, was officially dedicated. Approximately 65 guests were on hand for the afternoon ceremony and we had at least that number come to the viewing session that evening.
The dedication of this facility was the realization of a dream after a quarter-century of hard work by NCSF members, in addition to the generous financial support of Foundation members and friends. Special thanks goes to the handful of NCSF members who worked on this project since it began in 1982.
Members had telescopes equipped for observing the sun before and after the ceremony.
65 people attended the dedication ceremony. The weather was outstanding, which was fortunate considering the entire event was outdoors.
NCSF President Jeff Setzer presided over the festivities.
Andrew Krueger, Park Property Manager
Joseph Sopko, Ozaukee County Supervisor
The east side of the clearing was a perfect place to have the event. Future plans call for observing pads in that area.
The “big moment” with Jim and Gwen Plunkett, NCSF President Jeff Setzer, and Park Manager Andrew Krueger (off-frame).
The moving staircase is very helpful in allowing people to access the eyepiece on the Panarusky Telescope).
This young man was observing Venus as a thin cresecnt and got a very good look.
Robert Sedgwick looks at Venus through the instrument he designed over 25 years ago.
Andrew Krueger and Gwen Plunkett share a moment while touring the new observatory.
Happ DeWitt did the welding on the Panarusky Telescope, and current NCSF Treasurer Kevin Bert did the lion’s share of everything else to construct the instrument over the past two decades.
Not all of our visitors were on the ground during the observatory tours! This pair of aviators made a few low passes over the observatory, waving to the crowd below.
Members of the NCSF and other local astronomical societies, such as the Wehr Astronomical Society in Franklin, set up their own telescopes for the public viewing night later that evening.
The finished Jim & Gwen Plunket Observatory featuring the 20″ Panarusky Telescope.