WORK on the ground has officially begun for an impressive facility which will allow people of the North West put their eyes on the skies.
Earthworks began on the $1.8 million Tamworth Regional Astronomy and Science Centre, which is set to open to the public before the end of the year.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said it's exciting to see work start on the facility despite the COVID-19 crisis.
"It's been a project that's been in the planning for so long, it was almost in a galaxy far far away, almost too far away, but it's landed," he said.
The centre will boast a range of telescopes, a planetarium, an educational space and an observatory with a roll-off roof.
The Victoria Park building is set to house "brilliant instruments", with some of the largest privately owned telescopes in Australia.
Tamworth's deputy mayor Phil Betts said the centre will attract tourists from all over.
"The facility will attract tourism from right across NSW, Australia and even internationally," he said.
"Already, the astronomy club is working with the British ministry of defence, looking at satellite debris 36,000km up in the sky and that sort of stuff is absolute science that Tamworth will be on the map for."
And with a booming astronomy club in the local area, the sky will be the limit once the new project gets off the ground, Tamworth Regional Astronomy Club (TRAC) president Leigh Tschirpig said.
"TRAC has been hosting crowds of up to 200 people at the club's public viewing nights and regularly receives enquiries from schools, community groups, organisations and residents from across the region," he said.
The planned completion date for the project is October this year.