A NEW observatory a decade in the making is to officially open near Glasgow later this week.

The Astronomical Society of Glasgow (ASG) is to open the Eric Tomney Memorial Observatory with an all-day public event that will include tours, presentations and night-time observations, weather permitting on Saturday September 30.

Located close to the Mugdock Park Visitor Centre, the observatory will be home to a 14” diameter reflecting telescope for imaging the cosmos in its dome.

The society will also have a collection of telescopes suitable for beginners as well as seasoned astronomers.

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President of the ASG Dr Andrew Conway said: “This is literally a childhood dream come true for many of us – building a new astronomical observatory.

“It’s not officially open yet but many passers-by in the park have stopped to ask us what we were doing as we worked on it, and we answered them with live images of sunspots, solar prominences and, on a few lucky occasions, solar flares.

“In the winter we can’t wait to show them the moon, planets, stars, galaxies and much more through our telescopes.

“We live on a pale blue dot in a vast universe and this new observatory will let more people experience its wonder with their own eyes.”

The observatory is the legacy of the society’s former president, Eric Tomney, who died in 2013 and left a bequest for the observatory’s construction for the benefit of the society’s members.

The ASG is the largest society of its kind in Scotland has been promoting astronomy in Glasgow for more than 100 years.