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    our 2019 Membership Directory
    & Community Guide

  • Sleeping Bear Dunes STAR PARTY

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    Name: Sleeping Bear Dunes STAR PARTY
    Date: May 25, 2019
    Time: 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM EDT
    Event Description:

    EMPIRE, MICH. -- Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is practically synonymous with sun-drenched summer days, but a series of special “Star Parties” will soon let visitors experience the park’s magic at night, too.

    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.

    All sky programs offered by the National Lakeshore are free. Participants need only purchase the park entrance pass or have an annual pass displayed in their vehicle to join in the fun. Programs will be cancelled if the sky is not visible due to weather conditions. The decision to cancel is usually made two hours in advance. Please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5005, for a voicemail message with the decision. 

    For all evening astronomy events, bring a flashlight for the walk back to your car and bug spray, if needed. You are welcome to bring your own binoculars, beach chairs, and blankets for a more comfortable experience, and water is always recommended for National Park Service (NPS) programs. Park rangers and GTAS staff will wear red glow necklaces or bracelets at the events. For more information about the GTAS, go to http://www.gtastro.org/. 

    There will be prospects for star-gazing, meteor showers, solar viewing, storytelling, and more. Starry night skies and natural darkness are important components of the special places the National Park Service protects. National parks enclose some of the last remaining harbors of darkness in America and provide an excellent opportunity to experience this endangered resource firsthand. These events are also the perfect occasion to “Find Your Park” in the stars and share your adventures at FindYourPark.com. So visit the National Lakeshore and enjoy the following celestial summer events:

    May 25 (9:00-11:00 p.m.) Dune Climb
    Highlights: Binary stars, brighter deep sky objects late (twilight)

    June 8 (4:00-6:00 p.m. and 9:00-11:00 p.m.) Dune Climb
    Highlights: Solar viewing afternoon, Moon, Mars, Jupiter late (twilight)

    July 6 (4:00-6:00 p.m. and 9:00-11:00 p.m.) Dune Climb
    Highlights: Solar viewing afternoon, twilight, Moon, Jupiter, Saturn later

    August 10 (4:00-6:00 p.m. and 9:00-11:00 p.m.) Thoreson Farm
    Highlights: Solar viewing afternoon, Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, plus some brighter deep sky objects

    August 31 (4:00-6:00 p.m. and 9:00-11:00 p.m.) Dune Climb
    Highlights: Solar viewing afternoon, Jupiter, Saturn, summer Milky Way

    September 21 (9:00-11:00 p.m.) Dune Climb
    Highlights: Jupiter, Saturn, summer Milky Way

    October 21 (8:00-10:00 p.m.) Dune Climb
    Highlights: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - 49th Anniversary Star Party. Saturn early, dark, Pleiades, northern Milky Way

    For a listing of other programs, check the park’s event calendar at https://www.nps.gov/slbe/planyourvisit/calendar.htm. For more information about the GTAS, go to http://www.gtastro.org/. 

    This event is the perfect opportunity to “Find Your Park” in the stars. Starry night skies and natural darkness are important components of the special places the NPS protects. National parks hold some of the last remaining harbors of darkness and provide an excellent opportunity to experience this endangered resource.

    Location:
    At the Dune Climb.
    Park in the row furthest from the dunes with your headlights facing M-109. Overflow parking, within easy walking distance to the Dune Climb, is in the Great Lakes Picnic Area. The picnic area entrance is located just south of the entrance to the Dune Climb. Follow the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail from the parking area to the Dune Climb. Volunteers will be assisting with parking at both locations.
    Date/Time Information:
    May 25, 2019
    9-11pm
     
    Fees/Admission:
    All Star Party events are FREE
    Although, a visitor’s pass is required for entry into the park.
    ($25 per vehicle, good for seven days)
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