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Science on Tap: Northwoods Explorers Club shares the night sky


People that stayed up late Sunday night got a show of the Northern Light in the Northwoods. It’s wanting to share astronomical events like that that inspired the Northwoods Explorers Club.

As President of the Northwoods Explorers Club, Jim Head enjoys sharing the many wonders of the night sky with people in the area.

“I just feel that when you study astronomy it really opens up many more doors to you. You have a better sense of the world. You have a better sense of your history, better sense of you. I think it’s great for everyone,” said Head.

The Northwoods Explorers Club offers presentations at local libraries and with outdoor education groups.

Head also enjoys going into schools and teaching kids.

“Astronomy is one of the easiest ways to get involved in the science and keep them serious and curious. There’s many different fields that branch off from astronomy once you learn how to observe the night sky, you learn more about the natural world,” he said.

Club members can even rent out telescopes once they learn how to properly use them.

Head would one day love to have a public observatory in the Northwoods.

“It’s a full-time job to maintain a telescope and find that one night that’s clear to be able to look out. If we had a public observatory with a telescope’s already set up and you just roll the roof off, it’d be much more convenient,” said Head.

For Head, exploring the night sky through a telescope is a way to leave the troubles on the ground behind, even if only for a little while.

“When you observe the universe, you just tend to get more peaceful. It’s a great chance to work with people. It brings people together, stimulates your brain, gives you a great experience. It allows us to see beyond ourselves. It gives us perspective,” said Head.

Head is this week’s Science on Tap Minocqua Speaker.

He’ll be talking about the benefits of getting involved in astronomy, how to get started, and what are the best times of year for observing different things.

Science on Tap is this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Oakfire Pizzeria in Minocqua. You can also watch it online.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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