Space and Nature

Why space can be considered nature

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of nature is “the physical world and everything in it (such as plants, animals, mountains, oceans, stars, etc.) that is not made by people” (Nature, n.d.). So why shouldn’t space be considered nature as well? Nature is about connectedness– to the Earth, other people, and yourself. Looking at the stars (and even some planets) outdoors reminds us how interconnected all of us are. No matter where you are in the world, you can look up at night and search for stars. When I look up at the stars, I am reminded of how amazing it is to live in this time and how many things had to come together and fall apart in order for me to be here. So next time you look at space, remind yourself and be grateful for how much beauty you get to experience on Earth. If you’re looking to go stargazing in Illinois or learn more about the moon, there is a list of places and a worksheet to complete below!

Places to Stargaze Near Urbana-Champaign:

  • Observatory– 901 S. Mathews Avenue Urbana, IL
  • Middle Fork River Forest- 3485 County Rd 2700 E, Penfield, IL 61862
    • About 40 mins away from Champaign
  • Weldon Springs State Park: 4734 Weldon Springs Rd, Clinton, IL 61727
    • About 50 mins away from Champaign
  • Spitler Woods State Natural Area: 705 Spitler Park Dr, Mt Zion, IL 62549
    • About 1 hour away from Champaign
  • Fox Ridge State Park: 18175 State Park Rd, Charleston, IL 61920
    • About 1 hour 10 away from Champaign
  • Shelbyville State Fish and Wildlife Area: 562 IL-121 Bethany, IL 61914
    • About 1 hour 10 away from Champaign
  • Hidden Springs State Forest: 101 SW 1st St, Strasburg, IL 62465
    • About an hour 20 away from Champaign

Places to Stargaze in Illinois

https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/recreation/stargazing/pages/bestlocationstostargaze.aspx

  • Apple River Canyon State Park 8763 E Canyon Rd, Apple River, IL 61001
    • Near northern border of IL
  • Castle Rock State Park: 1365 W Castle Rd, Oregon, IL 61061
    • Near northern border of IL
  • Franklin Creek State Natural Area: 1872 Twist Rd, Franklin Grove, IL 61031
    • Near northern border of IL
  • Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park: 8542 N Lake Rd, Lena, IL 61048
    • Near northern border of IL
  • Morrison Rockwood State Park: 18750 Lake Rd, Morrison, IL 61270
    • Near northern border of IL
  • Illinois Beach State Park: 1 Lake Front Dr, Zion, IL 60099
    • Near northeast border of IL
  • Beall Woods State Park: 9285 Beall Woods Fire Ln, Mt Carmel, IL 62863
    • Near southeast border of IL
  • Eldon Halzet State Park: 20100 Hazlet Park Rd, Carlyle, IL 62231
    • Near southwest border of IL
  • Giant City State Park: 235 Giant City Rd, Makanda, IL 62958
    • Near southeast border of IL
  • Iroquois County State Wildlife Area: 2803 E 3300 North Rd, Pembroke Township, IL 60958
    • Near southeast border of IL
  • Ferne Clyffe State Park: 90 Goreville Rd, Goreville, IL 62939
    • Near southern border of IL
  • Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area: 5010 N Jugtown Rd, Morris, IL 60450
    • 1 hour southwest of Chicago
  • Illini State Park: 2660 E 2350th Rd, Marseilles, IL 61341
    • 1 hour 20 southwest of Chicago
  • Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area: 10149 Co Rd 11, Chandlerville, IL 62627
    • Near western border of IL
  • Nauvoo State Park: 980 S Bluff St, Nauvoo, IL 62354
    • Near western border of IL

References

Illinois Department of Natural Resources. (n.d.). Best Locations to Stargaze – Stargazing. Best Locations to Stargaze. Retrieved December 2, 2021, from https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/recreation/stargazing/pages/bestlocationstostargaze.aspx

nature. (n.d.). The Merriam-Webster.Com Dictionary. Retrieved December 2, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nature

top picture: https://pixabay.com/photos/constellations-stargazing-person-1851128/

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