SETI bioastro: The Closing of Allegheny Observatory

From: Larry Klaes (
Date: Tue Apr 25 2000 - 09:37:51 PDT

X-Lotus-FromDomain: MSANOTES
From: Terry.Trees@MSANET.COM
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 11:23:49 -0400
Subject: The Closing of Allegheny Observatory

It is our sad duty to pass along the news that Allegheny Observatory
located in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, perhaps the world's finest institute of
astrometry, will soon be closing.

A story was run in last Sunday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and can be seen at
this URL:

(If that does not work, go to the PG's Web site, scroll to
the bottom of the page, and do a search for Roddy; the story was
written by Dennis B. Roddy).

Many of us in the astronomical community are shocked that Allegheny
will cease to operate as a research facility. The cornerstone for the
present observatory, under the guidance of John Brashear, was laid
100 years ago, and a variety of important discoveries have been made
since then. Many of the plates in the observatory's vault could
contain countless discoveries waiting to be made if only funding can
be found to carry on this work.

In the 1960s, Nicholas E. Wagman, the observatory's director at the
time, thwarted an attempt by the University of Pittsburgh to close
Allegheny. There is no champion such as Nick Wagman this time; so we
hope you can offer some support in a growing effort to keep the
facility open. We fear once it is closed for good, it never will
reopen. Tours by the public will become less and less popular since
the observatory no longer will be operational.

Research still can be done from ground-based observatories. It is
imperative we keep Allegheny Observatory, a leader in its field,
running at warp speed.

Thank you for your time.


Pete Zapadka and Terry Trees
Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh Inc.

Pete: (412) 279-0627
Terry: (412) 967-3462

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