The Geauga Park District’s new Observatory Park was dedicated on Saturday, August 20, with a program from 4 PM to midnight.
CAA members Bill Murmann, Bob Wiersma, and Susan Petsche attended the event, which also marked the 50th Anniversary celebration for the Geauga Park District.
Observatory Park, located in Geauga County’s Montville Township, features the new Oberle Observatory with a 25-inch telescope. The observatory was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting at 9:15 PM.
Stargazing until midnight was supposed to be part of the program after the ribbon-cutting. Unfortunately, the skies were cloudy. As the ribbon-cutting took place, however, the skies briefly cleared just enough to show Arcturus, Vega, and part of the handle of the Big Dipper.
Our neighbors and fellow amateur astronomers in the Chagrin Valley Astronomical Association (CVAS) played a key role in establishing the Oberle Observatory, and will continue to assist the Park District in its operation. The 1,100-acre Observatory Park has been designated an official dark-sky site by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).
Eventually, the site will also include the Nassau Station Observatory with its 36-inch research telescope that was formerly operated by the astronomy department at Case Western Reserve University.