Observatories at John Bryan State Park
JOHN BRYAN STATE PARK OBSERVATORY
Check the JBO Sky Cam!
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.
Map and Directions to John Bryan Observatory
The MVAS possesses a wide variety of quality equipment at the John Bryan Observatory; all of which is available for club members to use for observing. This diversity serves many functions for our members. Two such examples include: 1) giving beginning observers experience in the proper operation of telescopes and other astronomical equipment, and 2) enabling advanced observers opportunities to explore the hobby of amateur astronomy more deeply through activities like astrophotography. The following list demonstrates the variety in our club-owned equipment:
•Club-built 16-inch, f/5.42 Dobsonian reflecting telescope
•Meade 12.5-inch, f/6 Newtonian reflecting telescope on a tracking equatorial mount
•Celestron 8-inch, f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain catadioptric telescope on a "go-to" equatorial mount
•Orion 8-inch, f/5.9 Dobsonian reflecting telescope
•Meade 5-inch, f/9 apochromatic refracting telescope on a "go-to" equatorial mount
•Lunt 60-mm, f/8.3 hydrogen-alpha refracting telescope on a "go-to" alt-az mount
•Binoculars (9x60-mm, 10x70-mm, and 25x100-mm) with parallelogram mounts and tripods
•Celestron Skyris 445C CCD camera
•Mallincam Hyper Plus Color video camera
With this kind of equipment, the club can produce a strong technological experience from which club members can derive a significant amount of enjoyment in observing the night sky.
In addition to the technological, the MVAS is uniquely positioned to provide a historical observing experience for club members, as well. The most historical, club-owned asset on the John Bryan Observatory grounds is the Merry-Go-Round Observatory (MGRO), which was originally constructed by famed amateur astronomer Leslie C. Peltier.
A partial listing of Peltier's contributions to astronomy from this observatory included discovering five comets and over 60,000 variable star observations. With the generosity of the Peltier family, his observatory was donated to the MVAS and underwent a restoration, which included as many components deemed salvageable from the 1933 original. Through the hard work of then-MVAS member, Roger Hoffman, the newly restored MGRO was dedicated at the 1993 Apollo Rendezvous. However, Ohio weather proved to be a tough adversary, so the MGRO underwent a second restoration performed by David Polan, an MVAS member, in 2009 to its present form. While certainly historic, please do not think that this observatory is neither functional nor capable. The MGRO is a club asset that may be enjoyed at any time by MVAS members. Although not Peltier's original, the 5.7-inch, f/8.5 refracting telescope currently installed is a high quality instrument.