August 23, 2017

Solar Eclipse

Filed under: A few things... — Frank @ 8:32 pm

I spent much of the afternoon of August 21 at Observatory Park in Geauga County. For those who are not aware, Observatory Park is a unique county park that includes two observatories, a planetarium, a seismic station and numerous permanent astronomy exhibits. The park is situated on land in Huntsburg Township that was donated to the Geauga Park District and was built almost entirely with donated funds raised by the Foundation for Geauga Parks.

The main observatory houses a twenty-four inch Newtonian reflector telescope and the Park District also has several smaller telescopes available for use by the public. Just last week the Park District held a grand opening for the second observatory building—the former Nassau Station Observatory which was owned by Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. This much larger building now houses a space museum as well as the newly refurbished thirty-six inch Schmidt Cassegrain reflecting telescope which was built in the 1950’s by Warner & Swasey of Cleveland.

As a photographer, given that the eclipse in northern Ohio was only about 80%, what was happening on the ground was at least as interesting as what was happening in the sky. The eclipse was exciting, but I’ve seen partial eclipses before (and the one in 1994 was way better!) so it was not so spectacular. However, I was surrounded by several thousand other eclipse viewers many of whom had never seen one. Their enthusiasm and curiosity was contagious. The park staff did a great job of creating viewing stations including telescopes with solar viewing adapters, mirror projection devices and, of course, the planetarium show.

The next eclipse in Ohio will be in 2024—and it will be TOTAL! Looking forward to that one. And I have only two spare bedrooms, so any out of town friends should get their reservations in soon.


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