John Glenn Observatory and Astronomy Park Coming to Hocking Hills State Park

Blue, black and purple night sky view of stars
Did you know that less than 100 years ago, you could look up at the night sky and see millions of twinkling stars? Today, depending on where you live, you’re lucky to see a few hundred. And the Milky Way? More than 80% of the population cannot even see it. The reason? Light pollution. The good news is that light pollution has not affected us here in Hocking Hills, Ohio. In fact, we have some of the darkest skies in the nation! Which is why the John Glenn Observatory and Astronomy Park is being built here. Scheduled to open for the Spring Equinox, 2018, star gazers will be able to experience such awe-inspiring night sky gems as the moon, star clusters, planets, galaxies, and more. The observatory will feature a 28” permanent telescope and smaller moveable telescopes for incredible views, as well as on-site astronomers and other star experts to offer guidance and interpretation.

But that’s not all! Drawing on the countless generations of humans who used the motion of the sun to mark the important changes of the seasons by building fantastic structures like Stonehenge in England and Machu Picchu in Peru, the Observatory has designed an 80-foot Solar Plaza to allow the sun’s rays to fall upon a specific point on the first day of each of the four seasons. The plaza will also offer fun and educational programs for young and old alike, including a “solar system walk” that demonstrates just how big our solar system really is.

We are thrilled to offer visitors one more reason to visit Cherry Ridge Retreat. So, contact us today to plan your visit to a place where you can enjoy nature’s bounty to the fullest!

Green cabin directional sign lit up at night surrounded by rocks and greenery with trees in the background

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