Ogden Valley gets its own 13-mile walkable solar system | News, Sport, Work


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

Photo provided, Trish Painter / Mountain Arts and Music


The signage for stops along the Ogden Valley Planet Tour was designed by local graphic artists and researched by local students.

Image provided, Trish Painter / Mountain Arts and Music


Renderings of the sculpted planets are on display at the Huntsville Astronomical and Lunar Observatory awaiting the poles before they can be placed in designated locations throughout the Ogden Valley.

Photo provided, Trish Painter / Mountain Arts and Music


The signage for stops along the Ogden Valley Planet Tour was designed by local graphic artists and researched by local students.

Image provided, Trish Painter / Mountain Arts and Music

HUNTSVILLE – The Ogden Valley Planet Tour will open Saturday from 5pm to 6pm in Huntsville Park. A celebratory concert with high school orchestras Bonneville and Weber and the valley’s local choral group, the Chordettes, will include space-themed music and a new symphonic work by Alfonso Tenreiro.

As part of a collaborative project with science classrooms at Valley Elementary and Snowcrest Middle School, the Huntsville Astronomical and Lunar Observatory, or HALO, and Mountain Arts and Music, sculpted planetary renderings by Mary Hardy and Steven Thompson they will be located along the Pineview cycle path from Huntsville to Eden then north to Liberty.

The Planet Tour tour begins with the sun, located at the HALO grounds within the Compass Rose Lodge, and ends with Pluto at the South Gate of North Fork Park.

Although scaled down significantly, the artwork provides the public with an approximation of the distances between all the planets in the solar system and their size relative to the sun, said Trish Painter, Program Manager at MAM.

HALO director Dakota Hyde, who designed and built the observatory, asked MAM to partner with them to create a solar system project in 2020. One year after her parents opened Compass Rose in downtown Huntsville , Hyde came up with the idea of ​​a solar garden system to bring more community services.

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

In representing orbital distances and their scaling, Hyde said his hometown’s 13-mile solar system is unique.

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

While Painter applied for a RAMP grant from Weber County and began enlisting local artists to design the sculpture of the sun, which measures 14 feet in diameter, and local graphic artists to design signs, valley school children have begun researching fun facts about the planets to use in the project.

Each sign will provide information and statistics on their respective planets. All the planets will eventually be placed on top of a pole in their positions. At Saturday’s introduction ceremony, however, the planets will be displayed on-site in anticipation of the poles, which have been ordered, bringing the total cost of the Planet Tour project to approximately $ 6,000.

Painter said that, as a non-profit organization supporting the creative arts, MAM was delighted 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 in a fun and informative celebration of the solar system.

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

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

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