Each year, the inhabitants of Black Rock City throw a party that can actually be seen from space. But how cool would it be if the folks attending Burning Man could gaze the other way and peer even deeper into Nevada's starry sky? This crowd-funded observatory could make that happen.
The whimsically named Desert Wizards of Mars are currently conducting a Kickstarter to help them fund the Black Rock Observatory, an art and science installation consisting of two 20-foot domes equipped with telescopic instruments.
It'll be the first true observatory ever constructed at Burning Man.
We're going to build our giant telescope from the ground up just for the citizens of Black Rock City. Dust!? We got this covered. Our telescope will resolve the Galilean Moons of Jupiter, the Rings of Saturn and 5 of its moons, Martian polar ice caps and the outer planets. We'll be exploring faint galaxies many thousands of times too dim to view with the naked eye and distant nebula where stars are being born from coalescing hydrogen gas. Our telescope is a design created by Isaac Newton 346 years ago in 1668. His telescope was 6 inches wide and 2 inches in diameter (not bad Newton). Ours will stand 9 feet tall and 20 inches in diameter; it will provide views that will expand minds, widen perspectives and open consciousness. Viewers will take home memories of distant vistas reserved only for a select few.
If all goes well, the observatory will track targets and have GOTO capability. Guest lecturers, physicists, and astronomers will be there with laser points to tell the attendees what they're seeing.
As an aside, the Desert Wizards of Mars are also responsible for the Mars Rover Art Car.
Let's hope there are no dust storms to ruin the party. You can support the Kickstarter here — and they're almost at their goal; the team has raised $16,568 out of the $20,000 required with 15 days to go.
[ h/t HuffPo ]