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NAAPO (North American
AstroPhysical Observatory)

Volume 16 Number 02
The NAAPO Newsletter
(October 2000)

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Visit us on the web! http://www.bigear.org.

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Aerial Photo of Big Ear

North American AstroPhysical Observatory
Department of Physics/Astronomy
Otterbein College
Westerville, Ohio 43081

Volunteer Coordinator & Newsletter Editor:
Dr. Philip E. Barnhart
4655 Indian Court
Westerville, OH 43082-8817
(614) 882-6711

Dedication is Finally set

A year of planning, waiting and hoping is finally paying off. We have finally crossed the final hurdle on our way to placing an Ohio Historical Marker to commemorate Big Ear and the many people who have contributed to its construction and operation.

On Sunday November 5 at 2:00 p.m. a dedication ceremony will take place at the site generously donated by the Dornoch Golf Club. No small irony attaches to this site. It was the expansion of the golf course that ultimately led to the demolition of the radio telescope in 1998. The people at the Golf Club have been most helpful in the placement and erection of the marker.

For years the entrance to Perkins Observatory and the Radio Observatory has been the driveway across the first fairway of the golf course. When we learned of the intention to abandon the entrance driveway, consideration was given to placement of the marker at the location of that entrance driveway. Two considerations removed that location as a potential site. First the Ohio Department of Transportation considers US Route 23 a limited access highway. Once that driveway is abandoned they will not allow a pull-off to be set there for safety reasons.

Second, we were informed by Gary Bashinski of the Dornoch Golf Club that it would be our responsibility to cover the public for any indemnity incurred from flying golf balls while reading the marker text. As we can neither afford nor guarantee such liability coverage into the future it was decided to seek a location along Rte 23 out of the line of flying golf balls.

The most convenient and public display area turns out to be directly in front of the present entrance to the golf club off Rte 23. Development plans by the Golf Club include a new entrance road just south of the present driveway. They have agreed to move their entrance sign and allow us to set the marker in the flower bed now surrounding it.

We plan for the dedication ceremony to conclude in less than an hour. A reception following the dedication will be held in the Perkins Observatory. Program events that would have extended the dedication ceremony will be given airing at the reception. We have offers from several people for the performance of original works commemorating the work of those who operated Big Ear.

----Your Invitation ----

All readers of this newsletter may consider this as an official invitation to attend the historical dedication of a historical marker. It will be historical in a number of ways.

Being a recent historical event it is one of few markers in the state commemorating a scientific, technological achievement. Because of the recent nature of the commemorated events, many of the principals involved with the telescope will be present at the dedication. With more traditional state history events the principals would be between 100 and 200 years old.

We look forward to a large crowd swollen by the local members of our mailing list. We already have heard from friends of the observatory planning to travel considerable distances to attend this event.

Specific directions to the dedication

1. From the South ---
Travel north on US Rte. 23 about 11 miles from the intersection of Interstate 270. At the top of Kingman Hill a traffic light (Cheshire Rd.) marks the beginning of a concrete median divider. Three tenths of a mile further on is the entrance to the Dornoch Golf Club.

2. From the North ---
Travel south on US Rte. 23 about 2 miles from the intersection of Rte 42 and 23. Travel the 0.5 mile from the concrete median divider to the traffic light at the south end of the center barrier (Cheshire Rd.). U-turns are common at this point, but may be illegal. Use your judgement as you need to be northbound at this point to enter the Golf Club drive.


Call me at: (614) 882 6711

Phil Barnhart
4655 Indian Court
Westerville OH 43082

We look forward to seeing you at the Dedication.

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