Free astronomy programs with telescopes at Hurricane Ridge

PORT ANGELES — For the fifth consecutive summer, John Goar is leading a free astronomy program with telescopes at Hurricane Ridge, 17 miles up a paved road from Port Angeles in Olympic National Park.

He also will lead two evening hikes for stargazers next month.

Known as the park's volunteer “astro-VIP,” Goar is a math and science teacher in Kingston and a member of the Bremerton-based Olympic Astronomical Society. He is certified by the U.S. Astronomical League as a Master Observer.

His programs last about an hour. Using the telescopes, he shows the planet Saturn and its moons, other planets and stars, globular star cluster M13, the Ring Nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy.

Meet Goar at the Ridge's visitor center nightly on these dates and times:

■ Tonight through Wednesday, July 23, 10:45 p.m.

■ Thursday, July 24, through Wednesday, July 30, 10:30 p.m.

■ Thursday, Aug. 14, through Wednesday, Aug. 20, 9:45 p.m.

■ Thursday, Aug. 21, through Friday, Aug. 29, 9:30 p.m.

The viewings on July 26 and Aug. 23 will include a “star party” by Olympic Astronomical Society members "who will be happy for the public to look through their telescopes," Goar says..

No program if cloudy

If skies are cloudy, Goar's program will be canceled.

For program status, phone the Hurricane Ridge Road hotline at 360-565-3131 after 4 p.m. the day of the program.

“Dress warmly,” says Goar, noting that the visitor center is situated at 5,242 feet.

Full moon hikes

In addition, you can explore the star-filled summer night with Goar with his “Full Moon Hikes” to Hurricane Hill next month.

The hikes, which are 3 miles round trip, will depart from the Hurricane Hill trailhead, 1.5 miles past the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, and Sunday, Aug. 10.

“Please wear sturdy shoes,” says Goar. “A constellation tour will occur at the top of Hurricane Hill.”

Like the telescope programs, the hikes will be canceled if it is cloudy. Check the hotline after 4 p.m. the day of the hike.

For more information, visit

Last modified: July 18. 2014 11:13PM
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