The John Glenn Astronomy Park (JGAP) is dedicated to sparking an interest in science, learning, and exploration by sharing with visitors the wonders of the sky, both day and night. If you have an interest in the night sky and the beauty of the stars, certainly check out the JGAP while you’re in the hills.
About The John Glenn Astronomy Park
The building of an astronomy park in the Hocking Hills State Park was inspired by our ever-vanishing view of the night sky in modern urban settings. The Hocking Hills, in rural southeastern Ohio, is one of the few areas left in the state of Ohio where the night sky can be seen clearly without being obscured by light pollution from the cities. The observatory provides a venue for visitors to the Hocking Hills State Park to experience the night sky through a large telescope and with their eyes.
The observatory also draws on the countless generations of humans who marked the important changes of the seasons through the motion of the sun and who built great structures, like Stonehenge in England, the Chaco Canyon Kiva in New Mexico or many Hopewell and Fort Ancient Earthworks in Ohio, that commemorated these days. The plaza has been designed to allow the rays of the sun to fall upon a special central point on the first day of each of the four seasons.
“The greatest thing we can do is inspire young minds…”
– JOHN GLENN
The JGAP is named for John Glenn, an inspiring man who was a military pilot, US Senator for Ohio, and famously the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.
Visiting the John Glenn Astronomy Park
The JGAP is open all hours of the day all year long, and is completely free to the public. Visiting the John Glenn Astronomy Park is a beautiful experience at any time of the day. When you visit the park at night, you will have access to their 28-inch telescope in the roll-off roof observatory or the option to set up your own telescope and gear. If the moon, planets, stars, and galaxies are within view, you are sure to see them! Night programs begin at sunset.
If you visit the park during the day, you’ll get to look out at the Earth’s closest star: the sun. JGAP’s telescopes are outfitted with special filters so you can view the sun during the day for a whole new view of our solar powerhouse. Plus, you can learn all about the solar system at the exhibits and activities found around the park.
For more information about the John Glenn Astronomy Park,
including information on donating to the non-profit that operates the park, visit jgap.info.