John Glenn Astronomy Park Will Officially Open On The Summer Solstice

Before his death in December, John Glenn agreed to lend his name to a one-of-a-kind project in the Hocking Hills. Now, the John Glenn Astronomy Park (JGAP) is officially set to open this summer.

Coinciding with the summer solstice, the grand opening will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on June 21 with a social hour, official ribbon-cutting ceremony, and sunset viewing through the summer solstice aperture in the Solar Plaza.

After sunset, the team at JGAP will turn the telescopes towards the moon and Jupiter for breathtaking views. Brad Hoehne, the Astronomy Park’s director will be on site at the event to answer any questions visitors may have.

Rendering of John Glenn Astronomy Park Solar Plaza courtesy of Friends of Hocking Hills

“Our star-filled skies join miles and miles of trails, dense forests, stunning rock formations and rushing waterfalls to lure visitors from around the globe,” said Hocking Hills Tourism Association Executive Director Karen Raymore. “The Tourism Association is thrilled to offer one more reason for travelers to visit the region, and a new way for them to experience a natural attraction that has long mesmerized all who visit us overnight.”

The JGAP isn’t just focused on the night sky. It will also offer daytime study at the Solar Plaza of the Sun, Earth, and the North Celestial Pole. The Solar Plaza is 80 feet in diameter and showcases the Sun’s orientation to the Earth throughout the year.

The park also features a variety of gathering areas, open green spaces, and easy-to-access parking, making the JGAP ideal for research, star parties, special events, and daily visitation.

For more info, please visit the John Glenn Astronomy Park website.

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