I read the whole article. I was most impressed with the donation of the 12" telescope by the Tripoli President to the school. A great gift and a great place to look at the stars, especially the sky's over the lake bed. I've never seen so many stars, it's amazing.
It's called a dark sky. And it has become a rare item. Most kids today think the Milky Way is a candy bar, because they have never seen the real deal.
Absolutely awesome of Deb to donate that scope to the kids! Yay Deb! I hope they realize how lucky they are. More, I hope they are able to take advantage of that scope.
When my daughter was in the 5th grade, they were studying the solar system. The teacher mentioned the upcoming meteor shower. (IIRC, it was the Orionids.) My sweetie asked if we could go watch the meteors. "Sure we can." Took her north of town, where it isn't truly dark, but much better than in town. We sat a few minutes to let our eyes adapt, and got out of the van. My daughter looks up at the sky and remarks "Awe Dad, there's clouds." Clear disappointment in her voice. I smiled, reached into the van and picked up my binoculars. I handed them to her and said "Look again, honey." She put the bino's up to her eyes, pointed them to the sky, and let out a loud, audible gasp. "They're stars!" She was looking directly into the Scutum star cloud.
And those kids in Gerlach now have a 12" Dob. Someone (not me!) should donate a 35mm Televue Panoptic to them. A nice scope is nice, but it's only as good as its eyepiece.
Actually, someone should donate a 35mm Panoptic to me!