Elektra Observatories

Elektra Observatories

March 31, 2009 12:04 ET

Ottawa Entrepreneurs Set to Build World Class Observatory

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 31, 2009) - Ottawa based Elektra Observatories is set to build the most important observatory in Canada in over thirty years. The not-for-profit corporation is managed by Frank P. Roy, Dr. Robert Gauthier and Peter MacKinnon, with backgrounds in engineering, astronomy and business. The instrument which has been under development since October of 2007, will outperform all Canadian based telescopes due to its state-of-the-art design, advanced materials and superb site.

The Observatory, called the One Metre Initiative (OMI), is to be located 120 Km south-west of Ottawa at Mallory Hill (as the crow flies). After a long and careful analysis, this site in the Madawaska Highlands in North Frontenac Township has been determined to have the darkest night skies in southern Canada, where the Milky Way cast a shadow and some 10,000 stars can be seen with the unaided eye.

Three Canadian Universities have partnered with Elektra. The telescope is a wide-field design with a view on the sky greater than 25 full moons. Built of advanced composite materials and using the world's largest monolithic digital camera together with a host of design innovations and advanced technologies will allow astronomers to make important astronomical discoveries right here on Canadian soil. One of Canada's most prominent astronomers, Dr. Rene Racine from the University of Montreal said "The design of the whole facility is very impressive".

Elektra is currently seeking investors, corporate sponsorship and philanthropist to help move to the construction phase, the cost is approximately $2 million.

Part of Elektra's mandate is to promote astronomy, thus some of the telescope time will be devoted to outreach and education, the only professional observatory in Canada to offer this. The counties and townships in the area have endorsed the initiative with broad support from the business and tourism sectors. The idea also has support from the local MPP and MP. The OMI is expected to become a major tourist attraction for the whole area.

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