The grand opening of the Trottier Observatory and Science Courtyard took place on April 17, 2015. The observatory and courtyard are designed for use by astronomy students, the general public and the Starry Nights@SFU program.
The observatory is located at the east end of campus near Strand Hall. It features a six-meter-diameter dome housing a 0.7-metre diameter reflector telescope that is capable of tracking distant galaxies billions of years old.
The telescope will also provide a digital feed and can be remotely accessed and deployed by community groups and schools across Canada. You can check out the latest images from the telescope here.
The viewing plaza offers a sundial, space for people to set up their own telescopes next to the dome and an outdoor gallery featuring illuminated seasonal star charts.
"When people look through our telescopes I want them to feel the mystery and the excitement of the universe,” says SFU physics professor Howard Trottier, founder of SFU’s Starry Nights stargazing program, which has attracted thousands of star buffs of all ages since its inception in 2007.
This project has been established through the vision and financial support of the Trottier Foundation, headed by Lorne and Louise Trottier. The Observatory complements the newly opened Trottier Studio for Innovative Science Education that opened in spring of 2014. The studio provides a flexible space designed to engage up to 70 children in hands-on science workshops. The space includes an independent lab with a fume hood and a state-of-the-art audio-visual system that includes cameras and a 3D projector and two large videoconferencing screens. It will enable instructors to conduct workshops with classrooms across Canada and beyond.
The Trottier Observatory and Science Courtyard as well as the Trottier Studio for Innovative Science Education represent a $2.7 M contribution by the Trottier family and SFU.