Our fifth event was a great success!
We brightened the longest night, celebrated the return of longer days, and met great people. Here are some highlights:
Our route followed the Solar System Walk given to the City of Longview by the Friends of Galileo Astronomy Club in 2001. The walk is a series of granite markers showing the relative distances between the Sun and the planets - it's our solar system, scaled down to Lake Sacajawea. The markers follow the path on the west side of Lake Sacajawea, over 1.64 miles.
Solar System Walk
We had passports for people to take to each planet and get stamped. Thank you to Pat and Bill at Copies Today/Speedy Litho for donating part of the printing for our passports - again. They looked great!
The planets were lit up in a small way or in a big way. Kids got candy at several planets and people got to know some of the great clubs in our community.
Bonus - Cowlitz River Kayakers had their annual Christmas Paddle at Lake Sacajawea. What a great sight to see all the lit up kayaks on the lake!
Cowlitz River Kayakers.
Bonus - Cowlitz Valley Runners hosted our first Solstice Fun Run - the world's longest! It was 3.7 billion miles from the Sun at the south end of Lake Sacajawea to Pluto at the north end.
Cowlitz Valley Runners
* * * * * If you walked the whole Solar System (3.7 billion miles!), you saw:
The Sun - Friends of Galileo Astronomy Club started off the event with lanterns and passports and candy for the kids. FoG has monthly meetings, sidewalk astronomy, star parties, and our annual overnight event at Mount St. Helens.
Mercury - Santa! It was a very busy time for him, of course, but he helped start start the walk with Christmas cheer.
Venus - The Girl Scouts of Western Washington came out again with a big, welcoming tent. They worked with the Boy Scouts to light up the path with luminaria... By the way, it'll be cookie season soon.
Earth - Three Rivers Christian School came out again to support the Solstice Lantern Walk. What a great turnout they had!
Mars - Shinju Dojo Aikido Martial Arts School was our very first planet sponsor in 2018! Learn self-defense and self-confidence in a friendly, low-impact, non-competitive atmosphere right here in Longview.
Jupiter - Longview Freemasons Lodge #263 - Thank you, Masons! Freemasons have been making good men better for centuries. Longview Lodge will celebrate its first century in 1924.
Europa - Bethel #65 of Job's Daughters, located in Kelso. They are 10-20 year old daughters of Masons. They learn leadership and develop great friendships.
Saturn - Cowlitz Coin Club. New to the event in 2023, the Coin Club had great conversations about the interesting coins they had on display.
Cowlitz Coin Club (on Facebook)
Uranus - The Boy Scouts of America, Cascade Pacific Council didn't just have a good set up and interesting information about their planet ("12 Facts About Uranus!"), they added s'mores and a warming tent! Both were very welcome at that point in the walk.
The Boy Scouts worked with the Girl Scouts to cover more than a mile and a half with glowing luminaria to mark the path. What a cheerful trail to follow. Wow!
Sacajawea - Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce. Another new sponsor this year. The Chamber puts on great networking events through the year.
Neptune - The Lower Columbia School Gardens had a very popular planet - with sample of terrific homemade bread. It was their first time at the Solstice Walk.
Comet Swift-Tuttle - Columbia River Reader brightened up the outer solar system again. Thanks for supporting us with a great description in the CRR!
Pluto - Friends of the Longview Public Library - another new sponsor. came all the way from Portland to set up at the far end of the solar system. Check out their calendar of events next time you're in Portland.
Join us for our next event!
Friends of Galileo
We are astronomy enthusiasts who love to learn and to share our wonder at the amazing sights right overhead.