Welcome to Strawberry Hill
Tonight’s forecast is 90% cloud-cover, chance of thunderstorms.
Stargazing at Strawberry Hill is POSTPONED until tomorrow, June 26th, at 9:45 pm.
Please pre-register – call 717-642-5840 or visit StrawberryHill.org.
Explore the science and the stories of the June night sky with Strawberry Hill Naturalist and local planetarium director Ian Clarke. Pack a flashlight for the hike to our viewing location. But once we get there it will be lights out, so our eyes can adapt to the the relative darkness of a moonless night on the Preserve. Then Ian will guide you on a tour of the stars and planets you see. This month, that will include the story of a star that may have come to us from another galaxy! Dress in layers. You may find it warm as you hike, but chilly when you’re standing still at the stargazing site. The talk will be aimed at people using only their unaided eyes, but feel free to bring binoculars if you wish. Due to the hike, however, you should leave telescopes at home.
9:45-11:15pm. Meet at the Preserve’s Nature Center.
$5 members / $8 non-members
Cloud dates (notification via Facebook, website, and email): 6/26, 6/27″
The 1994 Northridge Earthquake near Los Angeles had an odd aftereffect. According to a 2009 article in Environmental Health Perspectives, “many anxious residents called local emergency centers to report seeing a strange ‘giant, silvery cloud’ in the dark sky.” This cloud was the Milky Way, which callers had never seen. The Milky Way, and all but the brightest stars, had been hidden by artificial light. Whatever beneficial purpose that light may have served, once it’s lighting up the sky it is called light pollution. Today most of the population of the United States lives in places where the Milky Way, our home galaxy, cannot be seen.
We do not see the same night sky our great-grandparents did. Where they might have seen 2,500 stars, a modern suburbanite would be lucky to see 250, and an inner city resident perhaps 25. Research suggests that we don’t even sleep the way we did before artificial light became ubiquitous. Roger Ekirch, historian and author of At Day’s Close: Night In Times Past, found ample contemporaneous evidence that people once slept in two sessions, waking up in the middle of the night to pray, talk, have sex, or even visit neighbors before their “second sleep.” Such a shift of crucial habits emphasizes what a sweeping change has occurred in our environment.
But suppose you don’t want to live in the Black Forest in the 1500s or survive a disaster just to see the full panoply of stars. Instead of traveling to darker… Continue reading