CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio – Catch a falling star, or a shower of sparkling ice and dust remnants from the comet, Swift-Tuttle this weekend as the Earth passes through the densest part of the comet’s tail in our annual trek around the sun. The Perseid meteor shower associated with the comet will peak about 1-3 am Saturday, Aug. 14. To celebrate the night and offer dark-sky viewing, Observatory Park in Montville Township is open for overnight viewing Friday, Aug. 13, weather permitting.
The area’s designated dark-sky park is normally open daily 6 am to 1 am through Labor Day, but for one night a year, it offers an opportunity to pitch a tent and bring the family for an all-night view of the often prolific meteor shower. Along with sky-watching, park naturalists will attract a variety of nocturnal moths for viewing using black lights for participants to help sample and survey. A naturalist will be on hand from sunset to sunrise.
Bring bug spray, snacks and water to drink. Check Geauga Park District’s website, geaugaparkdistrict.org for camping guidelines and registration information. Also check it for weather updates before heading out.
The Perseids will stick around until about Aug. 24 with decreasing numbers of meteors visible. This year the bright light from the Aug. 11 full moon will dim the view to about 10 to 20 meteors visible per hour. The full Sturgeon Moon is also considered a super moon because of its closest approach to Earth in its orbit, making it appear larger.
Named for the constellation Perseus, from which they appear to originate, the meteors can be located by first finding the constellation Cassiopeia, which forms an “M” in the sky. Perseus appears below that. In Greek mythology, the heroic Perseus is credited with vanquishing a monster and saving a princess. You can learn more about superhero constellations and measuring your sky’s darkness Friday, Aug. 26 in an indoor planetarium presentation at the park. If the sky is clear that night guided night viewing will be offered as well.
A movie under the stars: The last outdoor movie night of the summer season in the park is offered beginning at dusk, Saturday, Aug. 13. Featured is the family-friendly movie “Raya and the Last Dragon.” Guests are welcome to arrive as early as 8:30 pm Ice cream treats from a truck will be available while supplies last. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, bug spray and refreshments for an evening under the internationally known dark skies of eastern Geauga County.
Registration is required for these programs, contact geaugaparkdistrict.org.
A camp for seniors: Geauga Park District is hosting a fun morning for senior citizens 9 am to noon Thursday, Aug. 18 in its Elderberries program. Located at Chickagami Park, the former boy scout camp in Burton, activities will include traditional camp activities such as archery, crafts and more. To register contact geaugaparkdistrict.org or 440-226-4636.
Seniors can also register to join the Geauga Walkers group and take a hike with a park naturalist 1-2:30 pm Tuesday, Aug. 23 at Chickagami Park.
If biking is more your speed, you can join in on escorted rides starting at 3 pm every Wednesday along the Maple Highlands Trail. Bring your bike, helmet and water for the roughly 1.5 hr. ride. No registration required. To receive notice if a ride is cancelled, call Sandy McLeod at 440-279-2137 to be added to her cancellation call list.
New ‘Hallway Gallery’ exhibit: Valley Art Center partnered with Art Possible Ohio to feature work by 15 Ohio artists with disabilities on view through Wednesday, Aug. 31. The exhibit, “Accessible Expressions” is located in the Hallway Gallery inside the center’s building at 155 Bell St. in Chagrin Falls.
The 16-piece grouping of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art is aimed at changing perceptions and raising awareness about disability. The art center received a grant from Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities and is expanding access for those with disabilities by adding more inclusive programming.
For summer gallery hours contact valleyartcenter.org or 440-247-7507.
Art Possible Ohio is a nonprofit group that collaborates with artists of all ages with disabilities. For more information contact artpossibleohio.org.
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