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NatureSpeak Articles

The VLPT & World Eco-Centre in Whistler

So let’s think big: really, really big. Imagine a place in nature that recognizes our existence in the natural world everyday. The VLPT & World Eco-Centre is the place. This centre, comprised of two components, will be a continuous international attraction for Whistler.

The Very Large People’s Telescope (VLPT) will be the world’s largest visual telescope and will be located in Whistler, B.C. The VLPT will show the night sky to people like no other telescope on the planet. Starlight gathered by the telescope’s massive three-metre mirror will be seen directly by the human eye. Adaptive optics will produce a view only seen by electronic cameras and professional astronomers in the past.

Adaptive optics, which is used today by all the major telescopes around the world, is a technology developed by Canada. This type of optical system is a manipulation of the telescope mirror to compensate for fluctuations in the Earth’s atmosphere. Since these fluctuations degrade the clarity of our view of the stars, a visual telescope with adaptive optics will show objects in the sky like never before. The powerful light-gathering ability of the huge segmented mirror will show the night sky in unprecedented detail, bringing people back again and again to treat their eyes to deep sky wonders. Once the VLPT is up and running it will be a self-sustaining, year-round operation. The stars are always there.

The World Eco-Centre is the facility that embraces the concept of recognizing our celestial and terrestrial worlds. The centre is a place for all people of the world to meet, learn and promote a positive outlook about our existence on planet Earth. A place where words like "humility" and "humanity" are used with positive connotations as we try to understand and appreciate the universe and ourselves, not to mention Whistler’s beautiful nature. Glaciology, volcanism, forestry, geology, cosmology and astronomy will be some of the activities people will be exposed to at the centre. The current Whistler visitor demographic and the local communities are searching for a west coast nature experience that is real and not some kind of artificial exposure to our surroundings.

Visitors to the resort today are side-tracked by what Whistler is not. What we are is a community set in stunning nature. Under all the glitz of our modern resort in the Coast Mountains, the world expects a place like Whistler to build the World Eco-Centre and people will come to experience it again and again. The VLPT & World Eco-Centre is the sustainable, world-class attraction that will benefit the community, the resort and the world. We welcome the world every day in Whistler; Whistler should be the world centre recognizing our amazing planet.

For more information contact us at The Pacific Observatory 604-938-8090;

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, Nov. 17 th , Whistler Naturalists Annual General Meeting, Millennium Place. 6-7 p.m. AGM. Everyone invited for to discuss the past year and future plans, and to elect a new board of directors.

7:30 p.m. Whistler astronomers and futurists John Nemy and Carol Legate present another great multimedia event: Stargazing For Everyone & The Whistler World Eco-Centre.

Saturday, Nov. 19 th , 7:30 p.m., Rainbow Park. Mars Night with The Pacific Observatory and the Whistler Astronomy Club. See Mars through large telescopes. Mars is now positioned high in the evening sky for the best view of the planet in the next 13 years.

Written by: John Nemy


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