Written by Leanna Westerhof. Media by Kayla Morton.
How many of us go on with our lives without ever looking up? It seems like it is the last place we ever expect to see anything worthwhile. This is the opposite of the truth. We have the opportunity to see the galaxy and wonder of God’s creation. I don’t know where you are from and how clear the night sky is in your hometown, but here in Greenville, I urge you to take advantage. Take advantage of living in the middle of nowhere not surrounded by bright lights. Take a couple of friends, a blanket and go stargazing.
Stars were used by ancient navigators at night before the compass and google maps were invented and they will always be around… or will they? Light pollution is an ever increasing problem in our growing world. Before the internet, people looked to the night skies for answers and were inspired by the mystery of the universe. That mystery is slowly disappearing due to the simple fact that it is increasingly difficult to see the stars.
Some tips for stargazing include:
Go find a dark spot away from the city to look up at the night sky. Living in Greenville, this is not hard. Just pick any direction that is not in the direction of St. Louis. The Ayer’s Field Station is a great place to spread out on a blanket and enjoy nature and the infinite night sky.
You don’t need binoculars or a telescope to see constellations, you only need imagination. Find a common pattern, such as the Big Dipper and go from there. The Big Dipper is not actually a constellation, but by using it as a guide, you can find Polaris, the North Star, the Little Dipper and Ursa Minor the Little Bear. Orion’s Belt is another easy pattern to spot in the night sky as it consists of three stars in a row. Visit this website to learn more about how to spot the constellations in the sky.
Take advantage of the opportunities living in the corn desert of the Midwest offers because you never know where you will end up after graduation. You might end up in some far corner of the U.S. in a city where you are lucky if you see more than three stars. So, take a moment to gander up at the infinite universe our Creator and Lord made to show his glory.
Psalm 19 (NIV)
The heavens declare the glory of God;
“The skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
Night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
No sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
Their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out if his chamber,
Like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
And makes its circuit to the other;
Nothing is deprived of its warmth.”