The most disappointing thing I read this week was this story about cutbacks at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (HIA), more commonly referred to here in Victoria as simply “the observatory”.
As a math and physics tutor I often ask my students what their favourite field trip was. The answer is almost always the Centre of the Universe (CU), HIA’s visitor centre. Though it has generated much less public interest than the announced closure of the CU, I am also saddened to hear about reductions to the technical staff who work in the main building, including one former colleague in the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC).
The above photo shows the dome of the historic Plaskett telescope reflected in the glass railing of the concrete deck in front of the CU. Small telescopes are often set up there for easy viewing of the night sky. I hope HIA finds a way to continue some of its popular education and public outreach programs.