Skip Marlin never tires of looking at the moon.
In a telescope he made himself, he can see the details one misses with the naked eye — the craters and valleys.
It was this view of the moon he was hoping to share with about four dozen locals, who gathered on the deck of the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve on Wednesday night to learn more about the night sky over Gulf County.
“We’ll start with the moon, and everybody will get a chance to look at it,” he told the group. “It’s really interesting to look at the moon because there’s a lot more detail up there that you normally don’t see.”
For about an hour, as the sun set over the bay, visitors took turns glancing at the moon and other night sky delights through one of Marlin’s three telescopes.
Marlin brought his equipment up to the deck that night to celebrate the end of the “Out of This World” exhibit at the Joe Center for the Arts.
But Richard Trahan, president of the Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves, said that he and Marlin hope to turn the stargazing into a monthly event.
“We have been doing this, and we’re looking at a series of monthly stargazing presentations,” Trahan said. “But we’re pulling out of June, July and August because of insects, but the rest of the year, we will have monthly stargazing events out here.”
Marlin said he hopes through helping locals and visitors in Gulf County learn about the night sky the program can help spread awareness about the effects of light pollution.
For more information visit http://www.stjosephbaypreserve.org/.