Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will celebrate its second ever Astronomy Day at the Dune Climb. The event will take place on Saturday, July 29. All astronomy events are free with a park pass.

As darkness falls on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the glorious night sky becomes visible. You can enjoy special night sky experiences at the National Lakeshore this year through a series of monthly astronomy programs from now through October. Join Park Rangers and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society (GTAS) for guided explorations of the night sky and even a few daytime events as well. The next Solar Viewing and Star Party event is Saturday, July 26, 4-6 p.m. and 9-11 p.m., at Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive Overlook #3. Please park at Picnic Mountain; the next right after the #2 stop. From 4-6 p.m., there will be a solar viewing opportunity to see the sun up-close. Solar glasses will be available to borrow. Then from 9-11 p.m., view the stars, Mars, Saturn and the summer Milky Way.

As darkness falls on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the glorious night sky becomes visible. A four-hour lunar eclipse is the feature for the National Lakeshore’s first Star Party of the year. This unique program will take place during the early morning of Tuesday, April 15, from 1:30-5:30 a.m., at the Dune Climb. Participants are asked to park in the row furthest from the dunes facing M-109. This Star Party could be cancelled during inclement weather; the decision is usually made a few hours in advance. Please call Park Rangers at 231-326-4700, ext. 5005, for a voicemail message with the decision.

“What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen with this telescope?” asks a visitor to the Leelanau School’s Lanphier Observatory. My stock answer is another question: “You mean in the sky, or on the beach?”

It’s almost 10 p.m. and the hottest July 20th on record here since 1977. Undaunted, humans are thicker than mosquitoes on the deck above the beach at The Leelanau School’s C.H. Lanphier Observatory.

Scientific discoveries in nuclear science, practical tips in astronomy, and the importance of Dark Sky Parks and outdoor lighting will be discussed during the Traverse Astronomy, Philosophy and Energy (TAPE) forum at 7 p.m., June 7, at Northwestern Michigan College’s Milliken Auditorium.