Other Local Observing Opportunities and Astronomy Club Connections
There are additional off campus opportunities for folks interested in astronomy in the Oberlin area.
The Lorain County Metroparks offers year-round public observing sessions at the Nielsen Observatory, located across the road from the Equestrian Center at the Carlisle Reservation. These sessions start at about dusk on clear nights only and run for a couple of hours. Local amateur astronomers are there to operate the observatory and provide instruction, assistance, and information to the public. These are casual observing sessions, and often accommodate viewing requests from visitors. There are two telescopes in this observatory, one an older model of the C-14 that's under the Oberlin College dome, and a four inch refractor from an excellent maker. The Nielsen Observatory is about 7 miles by road east of Oberlin College campus. You can find directions on the Lorain County Metroparks Special Facilities web page. For scheduled sessions (about twice each month) check the Arrowhead publication at the Lorain County Metroparks website or the Nielsen observing calendar at the Black River Astronomical Society web site.
The Black River Astronomical Society meets at the Lorain County Metroparks Carlisle Visitor's Center, about 7 miles east of Oberlin. Meetings are the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm. The general public is welcome and encouraged to attend meetings. This club was founded in 1949 and is home to many active observers. The club charter is centered on promoting and providing opportunity and encouragement to anyone interested in astronomy. Monthly meetings almost always consist of a talk on an astronomy topic, current viewing and observers reports, and little club business is conducted. Members also gain access to local observing sites that are less light polluted.
The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association holds a general meeting on the second Monday of each month at 7:30 PM in the Cleveland Metroparks' Rocky River Nature Center, located 1/4-mile north of Cedar Point Road on the Valley Parkway in North Olmsted, Ohio. Their charter also centers on promoting astronomy and providing opportunity and encouragement to everyone in pursuing astronomy as a hobby. Members gain access to their observatory at a dark sky site about 40 minutes to the southeast of Oberlin.