The One Metre Initiative

The One Metre Initiative aims to build an observatory not too far from here, making use of the preposterously dark skies of the Madawaska Highlands. The site is, as far as I can tell, not far from Denbeigh, Ontario (and north of Bon Echo Provincial Park); we probably pass by every time we drive to Toronto. At the heart of the observatory will be a wide-field telescope with a five-degree field of view: one metre in aperture, f/2.5 at prime focus, with a 112-megapixel camera attached — which is being touted as the largest telescope in Canada, and competitive with other wide-field scopes used for detecting such things as near-Earth objects and supernovae. The facility will also be a tourist site: there will be a visitor centre, and there are plans to host star parties. The project is privately financed: $4.5 million has been raised so far, with another $1.2 million still to go. It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out.