Beautiful scale image of our Sun and solar system

Hands-on Scale of the Universe

Amazing NASA video of the Sun

Wonders of the Night Sky
Astronomy Programs
conducted under the auspices of the
Stow Parks & Recreation Department
since September 15, 1995
Now in our twenty-third year of observing the universe together!

Click here for the next Astronomy Club of Akron

Website last updated: Friday 12/1/2017 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

.Next Scheduled Event: No events are currently scheduled.....
Click here to see what's up in the sky this month...

Notice area
POST-ECLIPSE EVENT UPDATE: Were the skies perfect?  No, but perfectly acceptable.
Were there periods we couldn't see the eclipse happening?  Yes, but brief.
Did approximately 1000 people that attended get
to see the wonders of celestial mechanics at work?
We had an incredible group of people here and a FABULOUS TIME!!!

Photos from our event are posted below. Did you take any you'd like to share?

Click on thumbnails below to see full-size images

Eager eclipse-watchers
in line as we arrived to set up the telescopes just after 11:00 AM! Seeing that, we knew we were in for a crowd. We were not disappointed! Estimates are at or close to 1000 participants.

Line waiting for a turn at the H-alpha and white light telescopes 20 minutes prior to maximum eclipse. We actually had a huge line at the eyepieces more than an hour before the eclipse even began.

The line never stopped growing! This was taken 30 minutes after maximum eclipse. Not one person complained about the long wait in line nor the relatively short time at the telescopes' eyepieces.

We were thrilled to see so many folks of every description waiting patiently in 91°F temperatures to have a look through the solar telescopes. From tiny babies to octogenarians of every conceivable description.

Thank goodness for assistance! Rosa worked tirelessly the entire 4 hours we were there. She blocked the glare from the eyes of those at the white light telescope and kept the line moving!

We used pieces of cardboard to shield the eyes of those at the eyepiece to give them a better view. H-alpha provides a thrilling view but the deep red at 5652.8 Angstroms is difficult for the uninitiated. The shield helped them to better appreciate the view - which was stunning with lots of detail - especially in the active regions around the sunspots.

This young future astro-physicist really took her time to study the view in white light! We must have been asked a thousand times why the Sun looked green! (it was due to the Solar Continuum filter!)

Tom M. was there with his Coronado PST to show folks the Sun in H-alpha light. The views in H-a were absolutely stunning with lots of detail visible around the sunspots. The sunspots, and the H-a detail around them, provided a reference point against which to compare the motion of the Moon's obstruction. We were thrilled the sunspots showed up 6 days prior to the eclipse!

This is a photo taken of the eclipsed Sun just 10 minutes after maximum eclipse.

A shout out to Kimpton’s 8th grader Andrew (Andy) C. for this picture of the eclipsed Sun with his cell phone. Image was captured through Tom M's PST using the "eyepiece projection" method. Beautifully done, Andy!


On an entirely different note,
why haven't there been any "Wonders of the Night Sky" events at Fishcreek School so far this year???
Between the weather, events at the school, difficulty in scheduling lights-out times, and a myriad number of other reasons including my own personal health issues, the astronomy observing events have really taken a beating. If you've noticed, for some unknown reason, Friday nights have repeatedly experienced bad weather. We've had exactly ONE astronomically acceptable Friday night this year and that occurred on June 2nd - the night reserved for our annual event at Camp Carl for cancer patients from Akron Children's Hospital which we've been conducting for the past 20+ years. Now, back to the Fishcreek events: we had exactly ONE successful event in 2015, ONE in 2016 and NONE so far in 2017. This is a far cry from the years prior to 2013 going back to 1995. It used to be that no more than two or three events had to be cancelled each year due to weather. I really can't explain this dramatic change. What can I say? I've been unable to bring myself to schedule events just to have to cancel them due to weather conditions. It's been disheartening to a major degree. Events will be added to the calendar in a late-notice scenario when conditions indicate a high probability of success so cancellations will hopefully not be required.

Calendar of Events in Stow in 2017 (events to be added when conditions permit)
Click on any date (scheduled or not) for information of interest to star-gazers
Click here
for archived events going back to 2007









Sep Oct



Solar Eclipse!




 Accuweather Stargazing Forecast


 Real-Time U.S. Composite Satellite Weather Animation


 Continental USA wind map


 Planning a Night of Observing?

Interesting facts:
The LAST Total Solar Eclipse in Stow Ohio occurred on June 16, 1806 at 10:48:38am EST
The NEXT Total Solar Eclipse in Stow Ohio will occur on April 8, 2024 at 3:14:21pm EDT
We will experience a very nice partial solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 at 2:25pm EDT
Don't forget to mark your calendars!
Click here for every Solar Eclipse from 2000 B.C. through 3000 A.D.

General Information about our events
What you should know - location, time, what to bring, etc.
My Favorite Links
(including the 2016-2017 Frontiers of Astronomy lecture series)
Some of my favorite astro-related websites
Weather - Current & Predicted
Latest information from AccuWeather for Stow, Ohio
Astronomy News
Take a look at Astro-news from several sources.
Lost & Found - new item added on 7/30/2010
Did you leave (or find) something on the observing field?
Common Names for Deep Sky Objects
Alphabetical listing of names commonly used for DSOs
Interactive Star Charts
Preset for our location in Stow, but modifiable by you
Moon Phase Charts
Daily Moon Phase charts through 2024
Daylight Saving Time
Dates of Change for any year
Planet Data
Data on the Sun, Planets & Moon

Click for current
Sunspot Activity

.Click here for current image of Sun (white light).
Click here for current image of Sun (in Ca-K light)
Click here for current image of Sun (white light & numbered)
Click here for current image of the Sun in H-α
Click here for current H-α Solar activity movie
Click here for detail of current Solar activity
Click here for information on the sun & heliosphere

Click here (or anywhere in the calendar below) for Moon Phases for all of 2017


Current Astronomy News

Sky & Telescope Newsletter
    Sky & Telescope Astro Alerts    Astronomy Newsletter

U Scorpii - about to go Nova?
    SpaceWeather    Clear Sky Chart

Tribute to Apollo 11
    How Are Lenses Made?    CalSky

APOD-Astro Photo of the Day

PBS's Jack Horkheimer "Star Gazer" Video Download Page

Jack Horkheimer, the "Star Gazer" passed away on Friday afternoon, August 20, 2010.
The next time you're out under the stars, think of Jack and his love of the night sky

Maps to our Observing Locations

Fishcreek Observing Field    Stow Senior Center    Silver Springs Campground

ACA Observatory    Camp Carl    Camp Y-Noah

Past Event News

The photos below were taken during our observing event on 6/22/07
behind Fishcreek Elementary School in Stow where the
Wonders of the Night Sky program takes place nearly every
clear Friday night during the spring, summer and fall.

All photos were taken by, and used with permission of Ray Hyer,
fellow member of
The Astronomy Club of Akron, Inc (ACA)

Ray took these shots with a DSLR in almost total darkness with an exposure time of 30 seconds giving the images a
surrealistic quality.  The long exposures are demonstrated by the motion of the people and the total lack of shadows.  Just magical.  Thank you, Ray!

Photo below, left to right:  Meade 102ED APO refractor on a Meade LXD650 German equatorial mount belonging to Jeff Kreidler (whose hand is visible on the focuser), 12" LX200GPS belonging to and operated by Dave Jessie and TMB 130SS on a Celestron CGE German equatorial mount operated by Rosaelena Villaseñor.  The 102ED was viewing Jupiter, the LX200 was on the Moon and the TMB on Venus.  There were many more scopes and mounted binoculars of all types and sizes in use on the observing field.

click on thumbnail for larger image
Photo © 2007 by Ray Hyer
click to enlarge

Photo below:  A gentleman holding his young son up to the eyepiece of the 12" SCT that was still pointed at the Moon.  The phase was almost exactly first quarter which gave a wealth of visible detail at the terminator - the line between lunar night and day - where shadows show craters and maria to best advantage.
Perhaps this young fellow will be the next great astronomer or cosmologist!

click on thumbnail for larger image
Photo © 2007 by Ray Hyer
click to enlarge


Back to top of page


Web hosting generously provided by