- Associated Press - Monday, July 4, 2016

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - One of the nation’s largest public telescopes is out of service for most of the summer for much-needed upgrades.

Crews have started dismantling the large telescope at the Goldendale Observatory State Park Heritage Site in south-central Washington. The State Parks and Recreation Commission says planned improvements include research-grade cellular optics and capacity for astrophotography.

Officials expect the telescope to be back in service before fall.

Park hours will be scaled back during the upgrades, with it staying open from 3:30 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. The park will offer shows at 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on those days, with the first show focused on the sun, as viewed through the observatory’s solar telescope, and evening shows conducted with portable telescopes.

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