The Dark Sky at Night

The Sea Ranch is an excellent place to star gaze, moon watch, and observe the occasional comet or meteor shower. The community assiduously protects the dark sky by keeping external lighting subdued and night light pollution minimal throughout the ranch. We take it so seriously that it is actually written into the regulations governing the construction of our buildings.

A number of our home owners and a lot of our visitors are amateur astronomers and when something particularly important is happening in outer space you will find that folks turn their whale-watching telescopes skyward. Unless you are a professional astronomer looking for the latest super nova, you won't really need the clear sky charts or the telescopes to enjoy the show. Our sky is so clear that you can even watch the satellites circle overhead and see the moon missions coming in for a landing on earth.

Every night is different and every night is enjoyable - even (perhaps particularly) the stormy ones. A rainy night full of thunder and lightening viewed from the comfort of a warm living room, with a fire in the fireplace, can be far better than the best that television has to offer. A moon peeking through the clouds can be every bit as provocative as a sky full of shooting stars or a flaming comet. In most cases, it just depends on who is with you to enjoy the experience.

solstice moon 12/21-22/2010 solstice moon 12/21-22/2010 solstice moon 12/21-22/2010

When the show is as dramatic as it was in December of 2010 it is easy to understand the awe that the skies held for the ancients. Many of our owners and guests have travelled widely and have visited places on every continent where every civilization has admired the slow motion ballet in the skies and has derived meaning from it. Places like Stonehenge, Kufu, and Chaco where scholars recorded the exact alignment of the heavens and derived from their observations social systems that controlled all human activity. (A number of these observations still play an important part in our lives.) Some of these events are rarer than others. Because it coincided with the winter solstice, the full eclipse of the full moon on the night of December twenty-one/twenty-two was one of those events. It was a stormy, moody night with light rain and fast moving clouds, but these images were captured from the deck of a home in The Sea Ranch.

Whatever the season, whatever the weather, our dark sky is something to behold.
When was the last time that you really thought about what else is going on out there?