Dexter is surrounded by state parks where many of us enjoy days at the beach, family outings, and time on the trails and in the woods. There’s another feature that could draw us back yet again: night sky viewing.
This Saturday, August 11, Island Lake Recreation Area will host “Meteors and S’mores” during one of nature’s greatest shows – the Perseid Meteor Shower. Join local astronomy experts from the Ford Amateur Astronomy Club who will guide the group under the “falling stars” while enjoying s’mores provided by the park.
“If you live in a big city or immediate suburb, it’s nearly impossible to get a good look at the night sky. There’s just too much competing light, but if you go into one of our state parks, the view changes dramatically,” said Ami Van Antwerp, a DNR communications specialist.
According to Space.com, air pollution has made Earth’s atmosphere less transparent and more reflective, and an increase in light on the ground has created “a bright background light resembling a perpetual twilight” that makes it tough to see stars. That’s where the 40,000 acres of state land in the Dexter vicinity can help.
“When you’re in a state park at night, definitely look up!” said Van Antwerp. “My family was at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park last summer around the same time as the meteor showers. Every night felt like our own private light show, whenever we stepped outside the tent.”
No special equipment is needed to view these meteor showers. The Perseids are among the brightest showers of the year and can easily be seen with the naked eye. The meteor shower peaks this year August 9-13.
Bring blankets, seating, bug spray and snacks and enjoy a night of stargazing – campers and visitors are all welcome. Only red-lens flashlights will be allowed at this event. Complimentary s’mores and campfires are part of the celebration.
The event will be canceled if raining or severe weather is forcasted. In the chance of overcast skies a brief educational program regarding meteors will be presented and s’mores will be served. Meet at Spring Mill Pond. For more information call the park.
Date: August 11, 2018
Time: 08:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Location: Island Lake Recreation Area, Meet at Spring Mill Pond
Contact: Island Lake Recreation Area 810-229-7067
Please Note: A Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry into Michigan state parks. Dates occasionally change and events may be canceled due to inclement weather and other reasons. Please call the park to confirm dates/times prior to your arrival.