Among the offerings: live classical music, stormy weather and winter storytelling
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, the astronomy naturalists (“astro-nats”) are glad to help all fall long at this International Dark Sky Park.
Each Friday and Saturday night, park buildings will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. in October and 6 to 10 p.m. in November and December for self-guided night sky viewing, as weather permits, and the occasional use of the Oberle reflecting telescope.
Each Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., enjoy building open houses of the Robert McCullough Science Center and the Oberle Observatory to view the meteorite display (featuring a real meteorite you can touch!) and the Oberle telescope, with its 25.5″ mirror. These hours also include The Sky Tonight Planetarium Show Sundays at 2 p.m., offering a naturalist-hosted preview of “what’s up.”
More structured programming is available for visitors of all ages and interest groups, as well.
Biweekly Friday Programs
Biweekly Friday programs include Extreme Storms! on October 4 and 25 from 7 to 8 p.m.; Comets on November 8 and 22 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.; and Winter Sky Stories on December 13 and 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Nature in Music
Have you ever practiced “guided listening”? At an adult-oriented program called Nature in Music: A Little Night Music on Friday, November 15, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., Naturalist Linda Gilbert will play classical music inside the Robert McCullough Science Center and explain how aspects of the music portray some extramusical scene, bird or image of the night. For instance, she may play “At Midnight” by Schubert and have an astro-nat display the night sky using the planetarium as it was at midnight when Schubert released his composition.
Full Moon Programs
And finally, programs to study the full moons are scheduled for Friday, October 18 (the Hunter Moon), from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Sunday, November 17 (the Beaver Moon), from 5 to 7 p.m.; and Tuesday, December 17 (the Cold Moon), from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
All Observatory Park programs this season are free to attend without registration. For details on these and other parks’ programming this fall, visit our website and click Find a Program.