Observatories at John bryan State Park


In 1977, the MVAS was fortunate to be able to secure a lease with the State of Ohio (ODNR) for an abandoned Air Force satellite tracking facility in John Bryan State Park. Located just northeast of Yellow Springs, the John Bryan State Park Observatory is about 20 miles from the Apollo Observatory. The facility sports a 15" dome as well as a 20' X 20' room with a roll-off roof, and is located in a fenced-in compound providing significant security for its equipment.

Map and Directions to John Bryan Observatory

Equipment available at the John Bryan Observatory include the MVAS's 16" f/5.3 Newtonian, a 12.5" f/11 reflector, a 9" f/13.3 refractor, a 10" cassegrain reflector, a 10" f4.5 equatorial and motorized Newtonian reflector, a motor driven camera tracker, and a few smaller scopes including a 10" Dobsonian reflector and a 4" and 90mm refractor. The 12" has been completely rebuilt and now includes a dual-axis drive and corrector.

The restored Merry Go Round observatory is also located at this facility. This observatory was designed and built by famed amateur astronomer Leslie Peltier who used it for observing variable stars.

Use of the John Bryan Observatory is somewhat limited due to the location on state park property. The park closes its gates 30 minutes after sunset because of dangers associated with the deep Clifton Gorge that traverses the park. Fortunately, however, MVAS members can obtain a set of keys to gain access to the Observatory upon successful completion of a "qualification" procedure established by the MVAS Qualifications Committee. The MVAS also sponsors numerous "star-gazes" for the public at John Bryan State Park.

JB Picnic