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Robert Ferguson Observatory

Website: rfo.org
Age Group(s): Youth, Teen, Adult, Senior
Open for the public a few times per month
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Description: observatory is to give the public a place to foster their interest and passion in astronomy and space and to inspire young people to pursue further education or careers in astronomy or related STEM fields. RFO offers public star parties, holds private observatory events for scouts, schools, and other youth-related non-profits, does outreach to schools, and facilitates the Striking Sparks program (which awards telescopes to students) and the Young Astronomers program (a club for youth interested in astronomy). RFO is almost all-volunteer run and typically serves about 9,000 visitors annually. The observatory houses a 40-inch reflector telescope, the largest telescope in Northern California that is accessible to the public; a robotic 20-inch research-grade, “CCD” telescope; and an 8”, two-meter long refractor telescope. It also offers several solar telescopes for safe viewing of the sun. Next to the observatory is a “Planet Walk,” a scale model (4.5 miles) of the solar system designed to fit within the boundaries of the park.

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