You don't have to be a rocket scientist or an astronomer to enjoy the solar system; anyone can enjoy the stars and planets in the right environment.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist or an astronomer to enjoy the solar system; anyone can enjoy the stars and planets in the right environment.

The Columbus Astronomical Society invites the public to its annual Astronomy Fair, set from 4 to 10 p.m. Sept. 8 at Perkins Observatory, 3199 Columbus Pike.

The cost is $5 per vehicle; all proceeds go to the observatory. Organizers said the gate will close at 8 p.m. so participants are asked to arrive before then.

The fair has been a yearly event for more than a decade and has continued to grow each year, said Isaac Cruz, president of the society.

"This fair is a celebration of all things astronomy," he said. "There is so much to learn at the fair. It is very educational, but we also try to make it very entertaining."

There are activities for adults as well as children. Children's activities will include making a comet, rocket launches and a games to learn about the solar system.

"Kids will be the planets and we will have a soccer ball that represents the sun," Cruz said. "This will help teach kids the scale of the solar system."

There will be numerous telescopes on the lawn to view the stars, which Cruz said is a great opportunity.

"Our members bring all different kinds of telescopes and set them up on the lawn," he said. "People will get to experience astronomy in a concentrated setting."

The observatory will be open for tours, and the large telescope inside the dome will be available at night for viewing.

"Perkins is a beautiful architectural structure with a lot of historical significance," Cruz said.

There will be an imaging demonstration, complete with a movie featuring images of astronomical objects.

People will show participants how to make telescopes and how glass is used in a telescope's mirror.

The Columbus Astronomical Society is one of the largest astronomical clubs in central Ohio. Its members meet monthly at Perkins.

Their goal is to promote astronomy as a hobby and provide a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn about astronomy.

Within the society, there are special-interest groups that include people interested in telescope-making, radio astronomy projects and taking images of the sky.

The members will be present at the fair to help spread their love of astronomy to others.

For more information about the society or the event, visit the-cas.org.