Posted by: Kath Usitalo | March 21, 2012

Starry Eyed In Michigan

Star gaze at Michigan's Dark Sky Park (Robert de Jonge photo)

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned  The Aurora Over Lake Superior, the Northern Lights video produced by Upper Peninsula photographer Shawn Malone, and earlier referenced the International Dark Sky Park at the Tip of the Mitten.

On many nights since I’ve gazed at the sky trying to see the stars, planets, the moon…anything but light pollution and airplane lights. There have been a couple of very clear evenings revealing a surprising number of constellations for the 313, but nothing like the spectacular star shows that fill the sky in northern Michigan.

If you’re curious about what’s up and want to do some celestial exploration, check out these opportunities to view the night skies with astronomers at star parties and observatory open houses. Fees are charged for some events and all are subject to clear skies, so check with each source before you go.

Keep your eyes open for other opportunities to watch the sky; we had impromptu encounters with astronomers who shared their telescopes on Beaver Island and Brockway Mountain Drive.

Look up…and don’t forget to wish upon a star!

Saturday, March 24
6:30-8:30 p.m. Venus and Mars: Our Closest Celestial Neighbors, International Dark Sky Park, The Headlands, near Mackinaw City on Lake Michigan

Saturday, March 24
8-11 p.m. Public Viewing Night, Fox Park Public Observatory, Potterville

Tuesdays March 27 and April 3, 10, 17, 24
8:30-10 p.m. Mars Observation Nights on the lawn of the Grand Rapids Public Museum
Visit the museum’s Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium and the Facing Mars exhibit through May 6

Friday, Saturday March 30, 31 and twice monthly through October
9-11 p.m. Public Observing Nights, Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University, East Lansing

Fridays, March 30, April 13
9-11 p.m., Open House, Angell Hall Observatory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Saturday, March 31
6-11 p.m. Sidewalk Astronomy Night, Lake St. Clair Metropark, near Mt. Clemens

Friday, April 6, Saturday, April 28 and twice monthly through October
Public viewings at J.H. Rogers Observatory, Traverse City

Friday, April 20
International Dark Sky Week, Dark Sky Park, the Headlands, near Mackinaw City on Lake Michigan

Saturday, April 28
1-4 p.m. International Astronomy Day 2012, Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills

Tuesday, June 5
4-10 p.m. Venus Transit, International Dark Sky Park, the Headlands, near Mackinaw City on Lake Michigan

Wednesday, July 25
8 p.m. The Northern Lights: A Northern Michigan Experience, International Dark Sky Park, the Headlands, near Mackinaw City on Lake Michigan

Sunday, August 12
9 p.m. True Blue with the Perseid Meteor Showers, International Dark Sky Park, the Headlands, near Mackinaw City on Lake Michigan

Sunday, August 12
Meteor Fest, Wolcott Mill Historic Center, Ray Township

Friday-Saturday, September 21-22
Astronomy on the Beach, Kensington Metropark, near Milford

Saturday, September 22
6:30-8:30 p.m. Harvest Moon Pot Luck, International Dark Sky Park, the Headlands, near Mackinaw City on Lake Michigan

Calvin Observatory at Calvin College is open to the public on clear Wednesday evenings, Grand Rapids

Sherzer Observatory at Eastern Michigan University is open on Thursday evenings through April and select nights May-August, Ypsilanti

Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association hosts public viewing nights at the James C. Veen Observatory on select Saturdays, April-September

Stephen F. Wessling Observatory near Fremont hosts public star parties but hasn’t yet posted the 2012 schedule; check the website for details

 

For Michigan travel info: Pure Michigan

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: