Spoutwood Farm Observatory
View of the Observatory overlooking the Farm
Welcome to the Spoutwood Farm Observatory Home Page. Our mission is to help Spoutwood Farm reconnect people with nature and discover through astronomy their sense of wonder and awe for the universe we live in. Who among us hasn't gazed at the night sky with silent reverence?
The Hubble Deep Field, in the constellation Ursa Major. Nearly every image is a galaxy.
Spoutwood Farm is pleased to offer to the public a place to follow in the footsteps of astronomers like Galileo and Newton and enjoy the beautiful, mesmerizing wonders of the night sky, viewed through several powerful telescopes. We stage four Open Houses every year, timed to mark the passage of the seasons with a small celebration and observing party hosted in the enchanting Frodo Straw Bale Building. Please see our Schedule tab for more information or to learn about scheduling a private tour for your group.
Also, we are always open during the May Day Fairie Festival and the Mother Earth Harvest Fair. Don't miss the stunning views of the sun through our solar filters!
Our booth for the 2011 May Day Fairie Festival A young patron enjoying the charm of the Frodo Building
The Calendar: The Link Between Agriculture and Astronomy
Astronomy and agriculture developed hand-in-hand from the time of late pre-history, launching us into the present epoch of historical civilization around 3000 BC. The regular motions of the sun, moon, planets, and stars were recorded for several millennia until the perfected measure of days, months, and years became a predictable and reliable science. The scale, precision, and human effort required to build and operate for example Stonehenge (ca. 2600 BC) clearly demonstrate the vital importance our ancestors placed on astronomy.
Stonehenge in Spring
Inventing astronomical calendars allowed our ancestors to plan the annual agricultural effort with far greater accuracy than ever before and maximize crop yields. The results were vast surpluses of food nearly every year, allowing art, music, poetry, and monumental architecture to flourish. As agriculture and our society advanced the calendar evolved as well, with increasing degrees of accuracy, until 45 BC, when Julius Caesar instituted the standardized 365-and-a-quarter-day solar year that still forms the basis of our calendar today.
The Julian Calendar
Though we a part of the larger non-profit entity Spoutwood Farm, the Observatory is almost exclusively financed by private and other independent means. The loyal support of our patrons, in form of volunteer labor, staff, and above all financial support makes it possible for us to exist. To all of our supporters may we extend our heartfelt gratitude - thank you!
Interested in helping out? Contributions to the Spoutwood Farm Observatory, part of a 501-c3 organization, are fully tax-deductible. Please see our "Support" tab (coming soon) for information.
Click on any of the pictures below to see our latest image collections!
Feel free to browse around our website by hovering your mouse pointer over the 'Observatory' heading at the top of this page and selecting from the drop down menu. For your convenience, a basic site map has also been provided below. Don't miss our 'Space Gallery' tab, new in 2012!
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