Eye to the sky: Local observatory installs Project Falcon Telescope

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WHITEWATER, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- As the sun rose over the Grand Mesa Observatory Tuesday, so too did a 20-inch Air Force Project Falcon Telescope with the help of a giant crane.

The telescope will be one of 12 built and installed throughout the world. The Falcon network will make it possible to observe objects in space from different angles.

It will allow astronomers and those reaching for the stars a chance to explore our galaxy and those far far away.

"We are really keen on getting children interested in astronomy," said Terry Hancock, Director of Grand Mesa Observatory.

The year-old facility has grown at light speed.

"It's built into a bit of monster," Hancock said. "Now we got this 20-inch dome which is a collaboration with the Air Force and Colorado Mesa University and now we got our own science dome to be used primarily for science and educational research."

Once the telescope is operational, students and their teachers will be able to get a lesson from the telescope.

"Once we become operational for this telescope we will solicit proposals from the K-12 community locally and from our other sister sites to have teachers and students propose 'what should we look at with this specifics telescope,'" said Francis Chun, Professor of Physics for the Air Force Academy.

The Whitewater site is one of six Falcon telescopes in the United States. Three others are in Colorado, and one each will be in Pennsylvania and Hawaii.

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