Notes from Windward: #66

A Stary Windward Night

      One of the things that I love most about Windward is the wilderness that surrounds us for miles and miles. Without any nearby cities or towns, we have a unique way of experiencing nature. We live on the cusp between completely untamed wilderness, and small towns. Because we're so far away from city life that also means that we're far away from city pollution. Namely, light pollution. On a clear night here at Windward, you can easily spot the Milky Way, as well as dozens of constellations. Star gazing has become a favorite nighttime pastime of mine.

Sarah watches as Jacque focuses her telescope on Jupiter


      Over the 4th, Jacque G. came to visit us at Windward again. Because the weather here had been nice, she thought ahead and brought her handmade telescope with her. She had taken a class from a man named John Dobson, the inventor of the Dobsonian telescope. John Dobson is also the co-founder of the Sidewalk Astronomers Organization. His telescope design is simple and unpatented. Because he never claimed rights to the design, people everywhere are able to construct their very own Dobsonian telescope.

      After watching a movie about John Dobson that Jacque brought, we went outside to look at the Moon thought her telescope. I've never seen it in such detail before, especially not through a hand made telescope. It was interesting to be able to see it moving slowly across the viewing area. We were also able to view Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. Since they're further away from the Moon, there was significantly less detail. However, we were still able to make out the moons of Jupiter.

      This is just one example of the ways that we spend our evenings here at Windward. Whether we're gawking at the moon, watching a movie, or laughing around a fire, the nights are never dull!

Notes From Windward
      Index - Vol. 66