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: Monday 8/21/2017 at 10:00 AM (EDT)

.Next Scheduled Event: 80.53% partial solar eclipse on Monday August 21, 2017 starting at 1:07 PM (depending on weather, of course)..
Click here to see what's up in the sky this month...

Notice area
Update: As of Monday 8/21/2017 at 10:00 AM:

Local weather forecasts be darned... Full speed ahead!
Conditions may prevent the large solar telescopes from being set up
but they're packed and being taken to Silver Springs for setup @12:00 PM.
We're proceeding with the event as planned. We'll deal with changing conditions as required.
It's Ohio, we should be used to this abuse.
This will be the final status update prior to the event.

POST-EVENT UPDATE: Were the skies perfect? No. Were there periods we couldn't see the eclipse happening? Yes. Did approximately 1000 people that were here with us get to see the wonders of celestial mechanics at work?
We had an incredible group of people here and a FABULOUS TIME!!!

April 8, 2024 - date of a total eclipse in NE Ohio - is only 2,422 days away!

Current Sun
in white light

Current Sun
in H-alpha

  Weather forecasts and reports will be shown here up to 10:00 AM of Eclipse day  

Partial Solar Eclipse Program
Monday August 21, 2017
From 1:00PM until 4:00PM
Click here to see
NASA site on safe
viewing of the Eclipse

Location for safe viewing of the eclipse:
Silver Springs Park
5005 Stow Rd
Stow, Ohio  4422
Click here for map and directions

Click here to see
NASA site on safe
viewing of the Eclipse

Presented by local astronomers and members of the ACA (Astronomy Club of Akron)

 We will have a program (weather conditions allowing, of course) to observe the partial solar eclipse occurring in the early afternoon of Monday, 8/21/2017. Totality will be experienced across the USA from the west coast of Oregon to the east coast of South Carolina. Unfortunately, Ohio is over 450 miles north of the line of totality. However, we'll experience a significant partial eclipse with 80.49% of the Sun's disk hidden from view by the Moon. The ACA (Astronomy Club of Akron - will be holding their official event here as well. We'll have specially filtered solar telescopes to safely observe this event in both white-light and H-α (hydrogen-alpha) light allowing views of sunspots, facula, solar prominences, plage, filaments, and other solar details if they're present at the time we're observing the Sun.

We'll also have 254 pair of CERTIFIED SAFE solar viewing glasses (which meet the requirements for ISO 12312-2:2015 and certified by British Standards Institute #0086 Notified body HP2 4SQ) that will be provided (one per family) so that everyone will be able to experience the eclipse for themselves in real-time.

Some other sites you may be interested in visiting:

NASA JPL site: Make a Safe Pinhole Camera to Safely Observe the Eclipse!

Click here for another excellent site with information on the "Great American Eclipse"


 Sunglasses - no matter how good - are NOT TO BE USED !!
                                      NEVER  LOOK  AT  THE  SUN  WITHOUT  PROPER  EYE  PROTECTION - Sunglasses are NOT ADEQUATE PROTECTION !!!

Entrance to Silver Springs Park, 5005 Stow Rd, Stow, OH when NE bound on Stow Road.
Note, this is less than a mile from Fishcreek School where this event had originally been planned.

The graphic below shows an aerial image of Silver Springs Park where we'll be set up to safely view the eclipse.

Here are the times for the eclipse:



Time (EDT Eastern Daylight Time)

Start of partial eclipse (C1): Monday 8/21/2017

1:07:13 PM

Maximum eclipse (Max): Monday 8/21/2017

2:31:54 PM (80.49% coverage)

End of partial eclipse (C4): Monday 8/21/2017

3:52:03 PM

To see exact eclipse data for a location of your choice, visit this site: link

Equipment we will have available to see the eclipse in both hydrogen-alpha and white light.
Note: click image for larger, more detailed view.

Below is a computer-generated graphic to show how the eclipse will appear to us here in Stow, Ohio:

Image below shows the sky from Stow, OH at time of maximum eclipse. Venus, shinning brightly at mag -3.9,
will be 34° to the right of the 80% eclipsed Sun and should be visible if the skies are clear. Mars and Mercury are
reasonably close to the Sun as well, but much too dim to be seen. Click the chart for a larger clearer version.

The map below shows the path of the eclipse with the dark band indicating the path of totality.
Times shown are all EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). As you can see, Stow (and all of NE Ohio)
is over 400 miles from Hopkinsville in western Kentucky - the location of maximum eclipse.
Click the map below - or this text - to see a zoom-able detailed interactive map created by
Xavier M. Jubier, 1991-2017* - IAU member 15159 (Working Group on Solar Eclipses)
Please note that mobile devices may have some difficulty navigating the linked site.


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


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