The Millard Observatory, the largest public observatory in the Omaha metropolitan area, is closing and its equipment is moving to a new home. After operating at the Neale Woods Nature Center for many years, Fontenelle Forest has transferred the operations to the Strategic Air & Space Museum in Ashland, Nebraska.
The transfer ensures that the public will have continued access to the observatory’s telescopes and astronomy programs. The Strategic Air & Space Museum is nationally recognized for its aerospace collection and its public astronomy program.
“We’re thrilled to be the new home for the Millard Observatory, which has been a great resource for the community for so many years,” says Strategic Air & Space Museum CEO Scott Tarry. “With this transfer, the recent introduction of our mobile observatory and a new collaboration with the astronomy program at Creighton University, the museum is emerging as a regional leader in astronomy education and outreach.”
“Fontenelle Forest is proud to have operated the Millard Observatory at Neale Woods since its inception and we wish it every success as it takes the next stage in its development,” says Fontenelle Forest Director of Education Rick Schmid. “With our shared goals of providing environmental education through interactive and engaging opportunities, there is a compelling logic to joining forces. We are pleased to give the Millard Observatory program to the Strategic Air & Space Museum and look forward to further strengthening our combined ability to provide public education.”
A few of the telescopes have already been used for solar and night time viewing with the Mid States Region Astronomical League and with the Girl Scouts Astronomy overnight.