In December 2007 Wellington’s Carter Observatory suddenly ‘disappeared’. In one final newsletter it was announced that the observatory was ‘closing’:
This just to let you know that the January Carter Observatory Newsletter, which I have just sent out, will be the last.
This afternoon I have been informed that I am being made redundant as of December 21.
It has been decided by the Carter Board, that the Carter Observatory will no longer be supplying public, legal or official astronomical information.
It has been great producing the Newsletter and thanks for all your emails saying that it is appreciated.
Rather shocking! It’s been hard to find out any further news since.
The observatory had been in the middle of renovations at the time, but it’s been rather bizarre to find no further information. Until today:
The Government provided $2.2 million in 2006 for the Carter Observatory Board to turn the national observatory into a tourist attraction.
Wellington City Council took over responsibility for the observatory in December 2007 when it gave $1.4m to cover a budget blowout. Eight observatory staff lost their jobs.
The council has now been asked for another $600,000 to finish the upgrade and install a full dome planetarium system to provide a real-time fly-through of the solar system.
… Positively Wellington Tourism estimates the planetarium would help the observatory turn a $32,000 profit in its third year, and attract nearly 80,000 visitors.
Here’s hoping our Council decide to support the Observatory, and astronomy in Wellington. They have a meeting tomorrow, apparently.