(8-29-22) Lima City Officials have been notified of the burglary of the telescope and equipment from Schoonover Observatory.

The Lima Astronomical Society is in the process of listing all equipment lost and replacement costs. This will be upwards of $20,000. The Observatory will continue to be open each Friday night for public Stargazing and was open this morning at 8:00am for NASA’s SLS Artemis 1 launch live feed.

The telescope without the mounting and drive electronics and the many eyepieces taken are designed for much larger telescopes. All area pawn shops have been notified to watch for these theft items and will be hard to sell.

Facebook statement from the Lima Astronomical Society

Upon opening up the Observatory Friday evening for our public night it was found someone broke into the dome. They stole the Celestron 14 inch telescope, guide scopes, and accessories attached to the telescope and all of our new and older eyepieces and the new donated eyepieces. We are all so heartbroken at the senseless loss.

Portable telescopes were used to continue our public stargazing night and so we will continue our Public Friday Stargazing as normal while the crime is being investigated by the Lima Police Department.

We hope the burglars understand that the telescope can not be used by itself and the eyepieces can only be used in larger telescopes. Please just bring the equipment back.