MOUNT GILEAD — The open lawn at Headwaters Outdoor Education Center was the place to be for sky watching and stargazing Saturday evening, Oct. 13. As darkness fell on Home Road, the stars and constellations became visible in the cloudless sky.
Families roasted hot dogs and marshmallows around the campfire until it was dark enough to begin seeing the stars come out. Brian Summers, a retired Galion teacher, brought a 4 and 1/2 inch Dobson mirrored telescope and invited everyone to view several stars and planets.
Visitors had an unobstructed view of the planet Saturn and its rings through the Dobson telescope. The red planet, Mars was also seen through the telescope in all its glory. Several other people set up their telescopes and pointed out the Big Dipper and other constellations to stargazers.
At the end of the evening the Dobson telescope was shifted to the direction of the moon. The craters, seas, and mountains of the crescent moon were visible in great detail. It was the first time many visitors had looked through a high-powered telescope.
Summers also volunteers at Warren Rupp Observatory near Mansfield where there are regularly scheduled opportunities to look through their 36 inch telescope. Summers said that telescope is the largest in the state. He encouraged people to visit Warren Rupp Observatory for their public viewings on the first Saturday of the month.
Headwaters Center volunteers kept kids involved making nature crafts when they weren’t looking through the telescope. Volunteers included Marilyn Weiler, Gail West, Mia Shotwell and Kim Forget.
Soil and Water Administrator Dan Barker was glad to see the turnout of about 50 that included several families and children. Morrow County Soil and Water Conservation District operates Headwaters Outdoor Education Center.
The next Headwaters event will be a “Holiday Make it and Take it” with crafts for both adults and children on Sunday Nov. 4th from 2-4 p.m. All materials and items for the crafts are free. Donations will be accepted for future projects such as Wee Discover, Wild Days and other Headwaters Outdoor Education Center activities.
Headwaters Outdoor Education Center is located at 150 Home Road (County Road 76) north of Mount Gilead.