See moon close up, Saturn’s rings at Michigan’s largest free stargazing event

See moon close up, Saturn’s rings at Michigan’s largest free stargazing event


BRIGHTON, MICH. — Stargazers will get the chance to see outer space up close this month at Michigan’s biggest night-sky event of 2023.

“Astronomy at the Beach,” the state’s largest public astronomy and space science gathering, is coming to Island Lake State Recreation Area in Brighton on Friday, Sept. 22 and Saturday, Sept. 23 from 7 p.m. to midnight.

The event will be held rain or shine, is open to all ages, and is free with a state park Recreation Passport for park entry.

Visitors will be able to peer through more than 40 giant telescopes to see close-up views of the moon, the rings of Saturn, and other celestial wonders.

Other highlights include a NASA Artemis exhibition, a space object scavenger hunt for kids, laser-guided constellation tours, an astrophotography exhibit, and presentations on next year’s total solar eclipse.

Interactive demonstrations will showcase meteorites and reveal how comets are made. Local astromony clubs and vendors will be on hand as well.

The event will take place at Island Lake State Recreation Area’s Kent Lake Beach (marked “Island Lake Picnic Grounds” on Google Maps). Event organizers said more than 3,000 people are expected to attend over the weekend.

Astronomy at the Beach is hosted by the Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs (GLAAC), Michigan DNR, Michigan Science Center, UM-Dearborn Observatory, planetariums, and other organizations.

For more info, visit the event’s website and Facebook event page.


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