by Cassie Lipp
105 days ago
Posted In: Culture
at 12:00 PM | Permalink
To the naked eye, there are not very many stars visible in the
Cincinnati night sky. However, a look through one of Cincinnati Observatory’s telescopes
on a clear day makes it possible to catch a glimpse of the galaxy. It’s no
wonder that the observatory’s assistant director and outreach astronomer Dean
Regas says the most common reaction from visitors is "Wow."Watching folks look through a telescope for the first time is his favorite part
of the job. “They put their eye up to the telescope, and their eyes literally
light up,” Regas says. “The light comes from millions to trillions of miles
away through the telescope, down the tube, into their eye, and you can see
their eyes light up.” He says visitors’ entire faces will then relax into a
Most people do not know what to expect when they walk into Cincinnati
Observatory. In fact, Regas himself didn’t know what to expect when he first
visited the observatory in 1998 when he attended an event to view a comet
“It’s a very intimate moment with the universe. I think we really excite
people’s imaginations a lot,” he says. “They see a bigger picture of things, in
Sparking this interest in the universe is at the core of the observatory’s
mission. Since it opened to the public in 2000, the observatory has been
dedicated to educating all generations and preserving the history of the site.
While it is the first major observatory in the Western Hemisphere, it is also
home to the oldest public telescope in the U.S. Built in Germany in 1843, the
telescope was first located in Mount Adams on the highest point in Cincinnati.
(Just picture 173 years’ worth of eyeballs peering out into space as you look
through the telescope).
However, coal smoke and other pollution flooding the valley made it impossible
to look at the sky. The telescope was moved to a more remote, rural area for
optimal viewing in 1873.
It’s because of the telescope that two of Cincinnati’s seven hills go their
names. The telescope’s former home got its name when John Quincy Adams
dedicated the observatory, and the land surrounding the telescope’s new home
was dubbed Mount Lookout.
The telescope is now house in a smaller building on the observatory’s property,
while a telescope purchased in 1904 is housed in the main building. Both are
still in use.
Before opening to the public in 2000, the observatory had long been neglected
and was seldom in use. “It was hard to notice the creepy building at the end of
the street,” Regas says. “It looked like it was abandoned — trees were all over
the place, ivy was growing on the buildings — it was black because of the
pollution, and they used the telescopes maybe a dozen times a year.”
The old building came back to life when neighborhood residents and a group of
amateur astronomers teamed up to reinvigorate the observatory. Yet with its
old-fashioned wood floors and furnishings, stepping into the observatory is
like taking a leap back in time. Since its rebirth, attendance at the
observatory has gone from 1,000 visitors per year to 26,000.
“To think that there are institutions like this in our city makes it a richer
city,” Regas says.
In addition to being open to the public every Thursday and Friday, there are
many different classes offered at the observatory, including programs for beginners
and continuing education classes for adults. It is a destination for many
school field trips and special events such as Moon-day Monday and Late Night
Date Night. Regas says many events become sold out within seconds of the signup
being uploaded to the observatory’s website.
Visitors can look forward to special events each time planets move to their
optimal viewing positions, with Jupiter Night on March 12, Marsapalooza on June
11 and Saturnday on July 9. You can also take classes at the observatory to
learn how to map out the plants’ movements yourself. Whether you’d like to take
classes, catch a glimpse of space or just take a tour of the historic building,
that building at the end of a cul-de-sac in Mount Lookout that you never
noticed has something for everyone.
information on the CINCINNATI OBSERVATORY: cincinnatiobservatory.org.
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Are you Santa enough to drink your way from downtown to the North Pole
(aka Mount Adams) in a costumed, group bar crawl?
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Red Bull — known for hosting relatively
creative and dangerous events like their Flugtag, where people build
their own flying machines and participate in a competition involving
flinging themselves off of tall things — has been bringing the joys of
soapbox derby-ing to Mount Adams for several years.
Local eateries Sprout and Mazunte partner to open Mexico City-inspired Calle Cantina
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Unless you’ve traveled to Mexico, especially Mexico City, you probably don’t know what true antojitos
(street food) tastes like, because a lot of so-called authentic Mexican
dishes north of the border have been Americanized.
New Mount Adams restaurant and market takes food back to its roots
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 12, 2014
With all its local, fresh ingredients,
Sprout spoils you. They make you realize just how much better everything
tastes when it’s grown on a nearby farm or crafted from local artisans.
The Crown Jewels of Jazz Heritage fest gets bigger, Whispering Beard and Ohmstead return and Uptown Music Festival debuts
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The Crown Jewels of Jazz Heritage Festival showcases local and national talent throughout the week at venues in Over-the-Rhine and Mount Adams. Plus, the Whispering Beard Folk Festival and Ohmstead 2013 return and the Uptown Music Festival debuts.
by Jac Kern
International Quilt Festival, Second Saturday events, Pyramid Hill anniversary and more
Happy Friday the 13th, Crystal Lake campers! Be sure to avoid shady, hockey-masked characters and remember, if you have sex, you die. Here's what's happening this weekend.Pop culture icon and Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner is in town for one night only this evening. Touring with his one-man show, Shatner's World: We Just Live in It, The Shat will perform at the Aronoff Center tonight at 8 p.m. Fans will get to hear about his life and career on television, film and stage, with plenty of music and video clips. Fun fact: the famous phrase "Beam me up, Scotty" was never actually said in Star Trek's original run. Get last-minute tickets here.Hamilton's Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park celebrates its 15th anniversary tonight. Swing by the park at 6 p.m. to enjoy cake, see a new Jim Borgman poster and check out the first exhibit in the park's Ancient Sculpture Museum. Admission is $15; call 513-868-8336 to reserve your spot.The International Quilt Festival takes over Duke Energy Convention Center Friday-Sunday. The event features textile exhibits, hundreds of vendors selling books, patterns and fabrics, lectures and tons of classes for all levels of quilters. Single-day tickets are $10 ($8 for students and seniors); most classes cost extra.Mount Adams' Second Saturday Art Walk kicks off this weekend from noon-6 p.m. Enjoy music, food and drinks at popular Mount Adams businesses, bars and restaurants like The Rookwood, Daveed's, Pavilion and Teak. More than 100 artist will have works on display across the neighborhood. The event continues every second Saturday through June. Northside also celebrates Second Saturdays with extended hours, sales, drink/food specials and fun from 6-10 p.m. Participating businesses include Mayday, Thunder-Sky, Inc., Chicken Lays an Egg, Melt, NVision and more! Find more info here.The Cincinnati Museum Center's Passport to the World series continues this month with Asian Culture Fest Saturday and Sunday. "Visit" India, Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries without leaving Cincinnati! There will be taekwondo, karate and dance demonstrations, movie screenings, craft projects and plenty of kids activities. The event is free with museum admission. While you're there, check out A Day in Pompeii.Check out our To Do page and music blog for more theater shows, art exhibits, concerts and other fun events this weekend.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Breakfast food is one of those things that everyone likes. We want to eat breakfast not only in the morning, but at lunchtime or even in the middle of the night. But it’s at least a good reason to get out of the house on a Sunday morning (or afternoon), especially if you’re going to the reborn Rookwood restaurant in Mount Adams.
Return of Mount Adams institution is a welcome addition to the heart of Cincinnati
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 12, 2008
There have been several reincarnations of the Rookwood restaurant, but this time they might have gotten the karma right. It's a solid serendipity of setting, menu and price point, a welcome addition to the heart of Cincinnati.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 9, 2008
You can be the best Pilates-taking, nonfat-latte-drinking, flossing-religiously kind of person, and yet there will come a time -- possibly lunchtime -- when only a cheeseburger will do.