In its 2011 “A Call To Action” plan the National Park Service outlined a host of initiatives that it wished to pursue as the organization prepared to enter its second century. One of those was preserving the night skies so that visitors to the parks could continue to enjoy amazing views of the stars, the Milky Way and other celestial bodies. Dubbed the “Starry, Starry Night” plan, this initiative will actually be put into action this weekend in Voyageurs National Park.
Located in northern Minnesota, not far from the border between the U.S. and Canada, Voyageurs National Park is a remote and wild place. The park incorporates a series of interconnected waterways and dense Boreal forests that are home to moose, wolves, deer and even black bear. Located far from the lights of any town or city, visitors can get an unfettered view of the night sky, which is often clear and bright.
Tomorrow night members of Duluth’s Arrowhead Astronomical Society will gather inside the park where they will train their high-powered telescopes on the heavens. The event kicks off with a presentation inside the Rainy Lake Visitor Center where visitors are encouraged to gather at 8 p.m. Once that presentation is complete, the group will then head outside to observe the night sky starting at about a half-hour after sunset.
The event marks the start of the park’s Night Explorer Series, which includes a host of other stargazing activities throughout the summer. No fees or registration is required and a “Dark Ranger” will always be on hand to help facilitate the programs. The full schedule of those events can be found by clicking here.