Ogden Valley gets its own 13-mile walkable solar system | News, Sports, Jobs


1 / 4

A metal sculpture of the sun is pictured outside the Huntsville Astronomical and Lunar Observatory and Compass Rose Lodge.

Photo provided, Trish Painter/Mountain Arts and Music

2 / 4

Signage for stops along the Ogden Valley Planet Tour was designed by local graphic designers and researched by local students.

Image provided, Trish Painter/Mountain Arts and Music

3 / 4

Sculpted representations of planets are displayed at the Huntsville Astronomical and Lunar Observatory awaiting the poles before they can be placed in their designated locations in the Ogden Valley.

Photo provided, Trish Painter/Mountain Arts and Music

4 / 4

Signage for stops along the Ogden Valley Planet Tour was designed by local graphic designers and researched by local students.

Image provided, Trish Painter/Mountain Arts and Music

❮ ❯















HUNTSVILLE – The Ogden Valley Planet Tour is scheduled to open from 5-6 p.m. Saturday at Huntsville Park. A celebratory concert featuring the Bonneville and Weber High School Orchestras as well as the local valley choral group, the Chordettes, will include space-themed music and a new symphonic work by Alfonso Tenreiro.

In a collaborative project with Valley Elementary and Snowcrest Middle School science classes, the Huntsville Astronomical and Lunar Observatory, or HALO, and Mountain Arts and Music, planetary renderings sculpted by Mary Hardy and Steven Thompson will be placed along the Pineview Bike Trail from Huntsville to Eden then north into Liberty.

The Planet Tour begins with the sun, located on the HALO grounds inside the Compass Rose Lodge, and ends with Pluto at the south gate of North Fork Park.

Although scaled down significantly, the artwork gives the public an approximation of the distances between all the planets in the solar system and their sizes relative to the sun, said MAM program manager Trish Painter.

HALO director Dakota Hyde, who designed and built the observatory, asked MAM to partner with them to create a solar system project in 2020. A year after his parents opened the Compass Rose at the center -town of Huntsville, Hyde came up with the idea of ​​a solar system. garden to bring more amenities to the community.

Originally envisioned as a small-scale feature on the HALO property, Hyde later decided it wanted to provide a meaningful connection to other dark sky locations in the valley, such as North Fork Park.

In describing orbital distances and relative scale, Hyde said his hometown’s 13-mile solar system is unique.

“Our community has always been a gateway to experience the night sky away from light pollution,” he said.

As Painter applied for a RAMP grant from Weber County and began recruiting local artists to design the sun sculpture, measuring 14 feet in diameter, and local graphic designers to design signs, children from schools in the valley started researching fun planet facts to use in the project.

Each sign will provide information and statistics on the respective planets. All planets will eventually be placed on top of a pole at their location. However, during Saturday’s Introductory Ceremony, planets will be on display while waiting for the poles, which have been ordered, bringing the total cost of the Planet Tour project to around $6,000.

Painter said that as a non-profit organization supporting the creative arts, MAM was thrilled to partner with HALO to create a composite community event.

Engaging people in creative art workshops and events in the valley is what MAM is all about, Painter said.

On behalf of HALO and the Compass Rose Hotel, Hyde invites all members of the public to join them for a fun and informative celebration of the solar system.

In addition to live music, food trucks and activities, Hyde hosts a Star Party at the Compass Rose at the end of the evening. For those who want to get a closer look at the night sky in all its glory, Hyde and his team will have telescopes installed.

“There are very good views of Saturn and Jupiter right now,” Hyde said.



Newsletter

Join thousands of people who already receive our daily newsletter.


Arline J. Mercier