Visitors of all ages will have the chance to catch a glimpse of a total lunar eclipse during Geauga Park District’s viewing event at Observatory Park in Montville Township on Sunday, May 15.
According to GPD officials, the event is set to take place from 10:30 p.m to 2 a.m. Monday.
“This is the first total lunar eclipse we’ve had a chance to see in years and our previous few lunar eclipses have been pretty lackluster, to be honest, “said Astro Naturalist Chris Mentrek. “We missed the lunar eclipse in November 2021 due to a snowstorm and the partial lunar eclipse of May 2021 only offered a glimpse right at sunset, so this month we get to see a total lunar eclipse in its entirety, which is a great opportunity!”
Multiple telescopes at the Observatory Park will be pointed at the moon that night and there will be two designated “snapshot stations”, which will allow visitors to take up-close photos of the moon using their cell phone cameras.
“We try to mark every eclipse that’s visible from Ohio,” said Mr. Mentrek. “The very first public viewing event held at Observatory Park was for a kind of eclipse, an event when Venus passed directly between the Earth and the Sun and hat was almost exactly 10 years ago in June of 2012.”
Mr. Mentrek said that Ohioans haven’t seen a lunar eclipse since January of 2019 and this will be a rare event because Northeast Ohio won’t get the opportunity to see another total lunar eclipse until 2025.
“Eclipses are rare events particularly for earthlings and I suppose that if we lived on a planet with more moons, we’d be less excited about them but Earth only has the one Moon so it’s worth seeing the show,” said Mr. Mentrek. “It’s one of those natural spectacles that can’t be rushed, purchased, or duplicated and I think humans will always have an appetite for that kind of experience.”
Geauga Park District Executive Director John Oros said that any time the park district has a note-worthy celestial event, it’s worth getting excited about.
“Observatory Park has proven to be a destination point for Northeast Ohio astronomy buffs and our residents really enjoy naturalist-lead programs that utilize our telescopes and our indoor planetarium,” said Mr. Oros. “They especially enjoy attending programs with our resident Astro Naturalist Chris Mentrek so we know Chris and his colleagues will do a great job with this program.”
Mr. Oros said that the park district is excited about first time attendees at their programs, especially first-time kids.
To view an animated graphic that may help you plan your ideal viewing time overnight on May 15, visit geaugaparkdistrict.org.