"Find Your Park" After Dark: 2019 Star Parties at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

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    The stars shine bright over the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Located far from sources of urban light pollution, visitors can take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities for both close up and panoramic views of the night sky in the National Lakeshore during the astronomy events held in the park. The 2019 monthly astronomy programs hosted by the National Lakeshore will run from April through October. Park rangers and members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society (GTAS) will help you unravel some of the mysteries of the night sky, as well as discover more about the daytime sky.

    Each event will have drop-in telescope and information stations for you to visit at your leisure. Be sure to stop by the ranger greeter table for more information about the stations and their locations. The dark sky in the park provides an excellent opportunity to observe deep space objects, like the Milky Way. For programs held at the Dune Climb, feel free to hike up the dunes during this event to conduct your own personal skywalk.

    Enjoy the following celestial events:

    • Saturday, April 13th at the Dune Climb (9:00-11:00 PM): Viewing highlights include the Moon, binary stars, and brighter deep sky objects later (twilight)
    • Saturday, May 25th at the Dune Climb (9:00-11:00 PM): Viewing highlights include binary stars and brighter deep sky objects late (twilight)
    • Saturday, June 8th at the Dune Climb (4:00-6:00 PM and 9:00-11:00 PM): Viewing highlights include a solar viewing afternoon, the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter late (twilight)
    • Saturday, July 6th at the Dune Climb (4:00-6:00 PM and 9:00-11:00 PM): Viewing highlights include a solar viewing afternoon, the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter late (twilight)
    • Saturday, August 10th at Thoreson Farm (4:00-6:00 PM and 9:00-11:00 PM): Viewing highlights include a solar viewing afternoon, the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and some brighter deep sky objects
    • Saturday, August 31st at the Dune Climb (4:00-6:00 PM and 9:00-11:00 PM): Viewing highlights include a solar viewing afternoon, Jupiter, Saturn, and the summer Milky Way
    • Saturday, September 21st at the Dune Climb (9:00-11:00 PM): Viewing highlights include Jupiter, Saturn, and the summer Milky Way
    • Monday, October 21st at the Dune Climb (8:00-10:00 PM)**: Viewing highlights include Saturn early, dark, Pleiades, and the northern Milky Way; ** This is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore's 49th Anniversary Star Party