Check out the Events at Observatory Park this Spring

For casual visitors, Observatory Park is open daily 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 10610 Clay Street in Montville Township. For those wanting a more guided experience, however, Naturalist (“Astro-Nat”) Chris Mentrek is eager to show you around this International Dark Sky Park.

Park buildings are open the second and fourth weekends of each month on Friday and Saturday for night sky viewing with Park District telescopes from 6 to 11 p.m. (with safe sun viewing before it gets dark): April 8, 9, 22 and 23, May 13, 14, 27 and 28, and June 10 and 11. Buildings are also open the following Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m., including The Sky Tonight Planetarium Show at 2 p.m. to tell you “what’s up” in the night sky: April 10 and 24, May 15 and 29, and June 12 and 26.

More structured programming is also available for visitors of all ages and interest groups.

View the classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial during Movie Night on Saturday, June 25, from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.! Pre-show astronomy activities will begin at 8:30 p.m., and the flick will begin at dark. Also take in a planetarium show and spy deep into the sky using park telescopes. You bring your own blankets and lawn chairs, we’ll bring the free popcorn and lemonade.

On Monday, May 9, anytime between 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., head out to Observatory Park to watch the Transit of Mercury: the planet crossing the face of the sun in this rare “mini-eclipse!” We’ll provide safe sun-viewing equipment. You won’t get another chance to see this for years!

Biweekly Friday programs this season are Meet Mercury (featuring our solar system’s littlest planet that appears to cross the sun this month) on May 13 and 27 from 7 to 8 p.m.; and Juno to Jupiter (featuring Juno, NASA’s newest robotic explorer, which arrives at Jupiter this summer) on June 10 and 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Special programs to study the season’s full moons are scheduled for Friday, April 22, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. (The Frog Moon); Monday, May 23, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. (The Corn-Planting Moon); and Monday, June 20, from 9 to 10 p.m. (The Strawberry Moon).

In honor of Mathematics Awareness Month, adults are invited to Observatory Park on Friday, April 8, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to explore The Mathematics of River Meanders, followed by night sky viewing using park telescopes, weather permitting.

Have a refracting telescope? For just $10, register here or 440-286-9516 for the Make a Sun Funnel Workshop and keep what you make to safely view the sun. It’s just what you need for viewing May’s Transit of Mercury!

Finally, on Monday, June 20, from 6 to 9:30 p.m., visit Solar Day & Solstice Sunset to cook s’mores in a solar oven, participate in solar-powered toy car races, test light sensitive beads, view the sun through a special telescope, and (if you stick around) witness the full moon rising at sunset on the longest day of the year!

All Observatory Park programs this season are free to attend without registration and wheelchair/stroller accessible.

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News