We have lift-off

DeWayne Bartels
The old dome at Northmoor Observatory came off this morning to make way for a new dome to be built next week.

The old dome of the Northmoor Observatory came off this morning. The observatory at Leo Donovan Golf Course is operated by the Peoria Astronomical Society.

The new dome for the observatory will be built on-site next week,

Peoria Astronomical Society member Rich Tennis was very excited as he watched the dome come off.

"It's a dream come true," Tennis said. "This was the hard part."

The dome is 55-years-old.

The work was done by laborers from the West Central Building Trades Council, who donated their time. The crane was donated by N.E. Finch.

Tennis said the new dome is going up at an exciting time for the amateur astronomers of the Peoria Astronomical Society. This is the International Year of Astronomy, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the invention of the telescope.

Northmoor Observatory is operated by the members of the Peoria Astronomical Society. The observatory is the oldest in the state open to the public. On clear Saturday evenings from May through October the public is given free access to the observatory.