Some 50 amateur astronomers gathered at a new facility near Cotton City, New Mexico, on Saturday, February 5, 2011. The event was the dedication of Shoemaker Discovery Park at Granite Gap, Gene Turner’s ambitious project that is creating a dark-sky observing community for skygazers of all types. The park constitutes one portion of Granite Gap, and is named after astrogeologist Eugene M. Shoemaker, the pioneer of understanding impact cratering and patient educator who loved bringing together science disciplines of all types. Shoemaker died in an accident in 1997, but his legacy lives on in a tremendous body of scientific work and now an activity park that will promote science education. The area already features extensive model rocketry activities with big rockets, some 6 or 8 feet tall, and with aeronautics shows utilizing large-size RC aircraft and helicopters. The park will also feature a large re-creation of an impact crater that young folks will be able to study and that will offer them the chance to detect meteorite fragments.
To see more images from the dedication, visit our Trips & Tours Gallery.