The Earl L. Wonnacott Observatory

This plaque was installed in our observatory to recognize its dedication to the memory of Professor Wonnacott.

The Department of Physics is pleased to announce that our observatory will now be known as The Earl L. Wonnacott Observatory. The naming of the observatory in honour of Professor Wonnacott recognizes his role in establishing the facility and using it to further physics and astronomy education on PEI. Professor Wonnacott’s role in astronomy education at UPEI is described on the “Our History” page of this site.

The fall of 2020 marks 40 years since the first visits of students and members of the public to the observatory and also 1 year since the passing of Earl Wonnacott. The Department of Physics felt that those anniversaries made the fall of 2020 an appropriate time for the dedication. However, due to restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our planned dedication ceremony has had to be postponed until a time when it can be held safely.

Professor Earl L. Wonnacott stands in front of the observatory structure before it is lifted to the roof of Memorial Hall by crane on January 8, 1980.

We are currently unable to host viewing events at our observatory because of public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s not possible for people to keep two metres apart in a building that is only about 2.5 metres in diameter. When social distancing measures and other event restrictions ease and it safe to do so, we will once again welcome visitors to look through the telescope at The Earl L. Wonnacott Observatory.

Until that day arrives, please take a virtual visit to our observatory via a video compiled by CBC Prince Edward Island.