On Wednesday 25 January 2012 at 7:00pm the Little Thompson Observatory (LTO) in Berthoud welcomed its 50,000th visitor since opening its doors in June 1999.
The LTO is a non-profit all-volunteer observatory that is open to the general public any night of the year by appointment and on every third Friday of each month for a Public Star Night. For more information, please go to the website www.starkids.org.
The group attending the celebration was Scout Troop 787 under the leadership of Jared Meier from Loveland, with about 15 scouts and 3 or 4 parents/leaders.
The LTO awarded the scout troop a plaque commemorating this event.
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Editor’s note: I volunteered to rebuild the Little Thompson Observatory website in 2008. The more I worked with the group of volunteers that had built and now run the observatory the more impressed I became. I had just gotten the site fully operational and handed off when my wife Marilyn was diagnosed with cancer. The team picked up the slack and ran the site with no assist whatsoever for several months until I was able to return to duty as volunteer webmaster.
I’m deeply honored to be part of the team that operates this observatory. If you ever want to see your tax dollars at work and rugged individualists doing good work with their own time and money, come visit the LTO. The telescopes are provided by the Telescopes in Education program and the control software is donated by Software Bisque. Everything else is community donations and volunteer manpower. This facility is a real gem. —MDW