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Deep Sky Eye Observatory partners with National Geographic


Exchange students from Switzerland and Turkey rave about their stay in a Sky Bubble

QUINAN, N.S. —

The Deep Sky Eye Observatory in Quinan has become a destination for tourists and the newest addition to the experience can’t help but add to the appeal.

Tim Doucette, owner of the observatory, says he was contacted last November by National Geography Night Sky Odyssey’s director of operations and business development, Jon Marcott, to see if he would be interested in partnering with them on a project.

For the experience, participants wear an augmented reality headset that couples with their smart phone and specialized software to see an augmented night sky like never before.

“It’s kind of like a computer overlay on top of a car windshield,” said Doucette.

“You get to see the names of the stars, constellations and satellites as they are in the sky. Guests also receive a 3D narrated tour of the solar system.”

Participants get to keep the headset and software (included with purchase of general admission ticket only.)

Doucette says the new experience has been well received.

“We started testing it with a couple of groups this month and, so far, it's been a 'This is really cool!' kind of experience.”

Doucette has dedicated considerable time these past years to educating the public about light pollution.  He’s made presentations to local councils suggesting the need for lighting bylaws and the importance of preserving a good view of the night sky so astro-tourism can grow.

This year he’s added the unique experience of staying overnight on his property in a Sky Bubble. The domes are good-sized tents that contain a bed and seating area. The roof is transparent, providing an incomparable view of the sky as you drift off to sleep or discuss the galaxy. 

Doucette says they are renting well this summer and that word is spreading fast.

He says a group of exchange students from Switzerland and Turkey drove from Wolfville to stay in them and wrote a great review: “Oh my god, nothing can compare! Since only the top is open, it feels private and safe enough that you can sleep comfortably and cozy (with the soft extra blankets waiting for you), while the clear vinyl gives you the best view of all the sky has to offer. No other place compares, this is a one of a million location and couple.”

Despite the delay in Nova Scotia-Maine ferry service, visitors are still visiting the observatory.

“In general people are still coming, we've only had a handful of cancellations, but people are annoyed that they have to travel at least an extra two hours to get to Digby, plus they have to stay overnight to catch the ferry,” said Doucette.

If You Go

Visit the Deep Sky Eye Observatory website for more info.

Experience duration 2.5 hours. Cost is $55 per adult and includes headset and software to take home. Tickets for children six to 12 are $30 (does not include the take home)

Family Sky Bubble with two double beds (four people) is $172 + tax

The Honeymoon Suite with one queen bed is $209 + tax

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