BANGOR — University of Maine System trustees are voting on a proposal to construct a new planetarium and observatory at the Orono campus.

Trustees are meeting Monday in Bangor.

University officials say a new observatory and planetarium would enhance the school’s physics and astronomy programs and allow for sophisticated research by master’s level and Ph.D. astrophysics students.

The university’s current observatory was built in 1900 and has little value for even basic astronomy research. The planetarium dates back to 1954.

The $5.2 million project would be paid for with a $3.2 million anonymous gift, $1 million in institutional funds and $1 million to be raised in a fundraising campaign.


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