AstroScience center dome has landed

The Stocker AstroScience Center achieved a construction milestone July 26, as the observatory dome was hoisted to its permanent home atop the building.

Dome-2Campus onlookers caught a glimpse of the crane lifting and placing the assembled structure — a process that took months of preparation and approximately five minutes of execution.

The dome serves as the architectural focal point of the observatory and will house one of the automated telescopes. Housed between Owa Ehan and the Chemistry and Physics building, the Stocker Astroscience Center is a career-long dream for Physics professor James Webb, offering students state-of-the-art access to observing and researching beyond the stars.

“This dedicated teaching facility will be one of the most advanced student observatories around,” Webb said. “The Stocker AstroScience Center will serve FIU students in classes, as well as the entire community via our public outreach programs and star parties.”

The building is expected to be complete in the fall. Long-term plans include a planetarium if additional funding can be secured.

Ayleen Barbel Fattal contributed to this story.