2017-04-06 / Life in Leelanau

Lakeshore lines up star party calendar

The first of a series of Find Your Park After Dark Summer Star parties for 2017 will be held from 9-11 p.m. April 22 at the Dune Climb in Glen Arbor Township.

The Dune Climb, located in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, is located far from sources of urban light pollution and allows for an unhindered look of the night sky and offers a peek of the universe as it was seen in times long past.

Star parties are offered at different locations to take advantage of the best places to see eclipses, meteor showers, solar viewing and more.

Sky parties run monthly from April through October. Park rangers and members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be on hand to help viewers unravel some of the mysteries of the night sky.

Events will be cancelled due to inclement weather or cloudy conditions. The decision to cancel will be made two hours in advance; call 326- 4700, ext. 5005 for a message with the decision.

All programs are free, but participants will need a park pass, which may be purchased at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center.

Party-goers should bring a flashlight for the walk back to their car. They may also want to bring bug spray, binoculars, beach chairs, blankets and water.

For those events held at the Dune Climb, visitors should park in the row furthest from the dunes with headlights facing M-109.

Here is a schedule of events:

April 22, 9-11 p.m. — Dune Climb

May 13, 9-11 p.m. — Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive #3 Dune Overlook; park at Picnic Mountain, just past stop # 2.

June 24, 4-6 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. — Dune Climb

July 29, 4-6 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. — Dune Climb

Aug. 12, 4-6 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. — Thoreson Farm in Port Oneida

Aug. 21, 12:50-3:40 p.m. — Dune Climb; a partial solar eclipse will be visible from this site.

Sept. 23, 9-11 p.m. — Dune Climb

Oct. 21, 8-10 p.m. — Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive #3 Dune Overlook.

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