JGAP Measurements Made
With the JGAP under construction, measurements were needed to ensure that the park is oriented to the sky.
The John Glenn Astronomy Park's plaza has six tall slots designed to catch the rising and setting sun on the first day of each season. On these days, a shaft of sunlight will pierce the slots and fall upon the plaza's focal point, a model of the Earth at the very center of the circular enclosure. The northernmost slots catch the sunrise and sunset on the summer Solstice. The slots to the east and west catch the sunrise and sunset on the equinoxes- the first days of spring and fall. The final two catch the light of the rising and setting sun on the winter solstice.
Former Columbus Astronomical Society president, and skilled astrophotographer Isaac Cruz, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio assisted with the measurement of location of the slots, to be poured into concrete by Setterlin, the contractor who is charged with constructing the park.
To do this, Isaac, and Brad and Lucia Hoehne set up a high precision telescope and mount at the center of the plaza, exactly in the spot where the sunbeams were to fall. Then, using a computer, they instructed the telescope to point to the predicted location of the rising and setting sun on the solstices and equinoxes. Using a laser attached to the telescope, they marked the predicted locations.
Thank you Isaac for your help on this important job!