John Glenn Astronomy Park’s grand opening happening Thursday during summer solstice

Local News

HOCKING HILLS STATE PARK, OH (WCMH) – The millions of people who flock to Hocking Hills have yet another reason to visit the state park.

The John Glenn Astronomy Park’s ribbon cutting is this Thursday, on the summer solstice.

“The world has discovered the Hocking Hills and this was a perfect place because we have a dark sky,” said Friends of the Hocking Hills State Park board member Clyde Gosnell. 

Named after the late John Glenn, the park is meant to inspire and teach people about the universe.

“When I was seeking his permission to use his name, he was so honored,” said Gosnell. “I have a lot of regard for that man. He’s truly our hero.”

The park has an observatory with large telescopes for people to gaze into the galaxies above.

“The plaza itself represents the sun, the size of the size and in relationship to that is the Jupiter bench in the center of the plaza and even smaller of course is the earth globe,” said Friends of the Hocking Hills State Park board member Jim Barrett.

Surrounding the plaza are stone gaps where the sun will rise through on the first day of each season.

“This is a state of the art facility,” said Gosnell. “It has all the components for teaching about the solar system as well as the universe.”

The park is free to visit. You can bring your own telescope or just a blanket to enjoy the night sky.

“Here we are out in the middle of nowhere, per say, beautiful dark skies, no pollution, very clear and clean and yet less than an hour from Columbus,” said Barrett. “Really get out and enjoy science and nature mixed together.”

The public is encouraged to come to the park this Friday and Saturday, for educational programming and exhibits.

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