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Construction for International Dark Sky Discovery Center to begin in March

By Ron Dungan
Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2023 - 4:30pm

Fountain Hills, which became a Dark Sky Community in 2018, will be the site of the International Dark Sky Discovery Center.

The group will break ground on the project in March.

Plans include an observatory, a planetarium, a theater and the largest telescope in the Phoenix area.

Less than a century ago, Americans could look up at night and see the stars, but today, 80% of people on the planet cannot see the Milky Way.

That’s because city lights mute the darkness, which is necessary for better stargazing.

Joe Bill of the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association says the facility will help people from all over the world learn more about how night skies benefit both humans and nocturnal animals.

"It really is designed to inspire, educate, stir imaginations, and also cultivate a greater appreciation of our dark skies, our planet and the universe," Bill said.

He said researchers will be able to access the center’s telescope remotely.

"We are so excited about getting to this point, that we can now say we’re committing to construction," Bill said.