Star-Gazing in Touchet

Church members, friends and community members met at the Touchet Church on Sabbath evening for a star-gazing event. After worship and a light supper, four telescopes were set up as dusk began to fall. One of the telescopes was set up by visitor Tom Ahl, past president of the Tri-Cities Astronomy Club. Todd and Charlene Garlick organized the whole event.

Soon the planets began to show up, first Venus, then Jupiter followed. It wasn’t long before we heard Charlene Garlick exclaim with excitement that she could see one of the moons of Jupiter. Of course everyone had to look, and before long, a total of four moons were observed by the enthusiastic star-gazers.

As the sky grew darker, Venus and Jupiter disappeared over the horizon and the star-gazers turned to see what else the sky had to offer. The Big Dipper was first to be seen, followed by Scorpius, Arcturus and Bootes, then Cassiopeia. Ahl then pointed out through his telescope another galaxy called Andromeda.

At about 10:30 p.m. the planet Mars showed up, with its red hues, over the eastern horizon. For many, seeing Mars through the telescope was a first-time, thrilling experience.

We were reminded of the Creator and how truly big He is when we study the stars and understand the vastness of the heavens.

December 01, 2005 / Upper Columbia Conference