Presentation: Cuesta College North County campus telescope facility proposal

(Splash screen: waning gibbous moon (less than 24 hours past full), Cuesta College North County campus, Paso Robles, CA.)

This is a proposal presented to the Cuesta College Foundation for a North County campus telescope facility, discussing the current facilities, new location, and potential benefits.

Currently students, staff, guests, and the public are invited to attend star nights at North County campus several times a year.

We'll look at the current equipment, storage facilities, and viewing conditions.

North County campus has three manual, and two automated large-diameter telescopes.

These telescopes share storage space with astronomy, physics, geology, and chemistry lab equipment in room N2409.

Because the telescopes have limited portability, they are moved out of and set up just outside N2409 for star nights. Note that the view of the horizon, already blocked by the N2400 and N2800 buildings, is recently exacerbated by the new Learning Resource Center, along with new exterior lighting and landscaping to follow. (Video link: "111030-1270594.")

So how can we do better?

The proposal before the Cuesta College Foundation is to construct a telescope shelter near the north end of campus, adjacent to the existing gravel parking lot. There will be sufficient storage space and a large concrete pad to roll out all of the existing telescopes for star nights. The construction estimate from Cuesta College Facilities is $18,850.

This particular site has been studied by the North County campus executive dean's office, along with members of the Central Coast Astronomical Society, and has great potential with a clear view of the horizon, and being located sufficiently far away from existing buildings and lighting. (Video link: "111030-1270586.")

Consider the benefits of this proposal.

With all telescopes at North County campus ready to roll out at a clear, dark sky location, students will have greater opportunities to do astronomy in more optimal conditions.

Another potential benefit of this new facility would be an increase in interest from the local astronomy club for hosted events on campus.

And outreach opportunities for local schools, organizations, and the general public on campus.

Questions or comments?

The North County campus of Cuesta College is a location that holds much promise, potential, and possibilities. Thank you for this opportunity to address the Foundation on the proposed telescope facility at North County campus...

...and Cuesta College's students thank you as well!

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