Grand Traverse Astronomical Society 2020 Star Party and Event Schedule

Northwestern Michigan College's Joseph H. Rogers Observatory, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and other locations.

Note: This schedule is subject to change so check often. Previous events will be removed.

Sleeping Bear Dunes events are proposed by the GTAS. The park has not yet formalized them.

Outdoor events will be canceled due to cloudy or inclement weather.

Day

Date

Time

Location

Comments

Friday

January 3*

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Moon, Orion Nebula

Thursday

January 30

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Greenspire School

STEM Night - 1026 Red Drive,  Traverse City, Michigan 49684

Friday

February 7*

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Venus early, Moon, Orion Nebula

Friday

March 6*

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Venus early, Moon, Orion Nebula

Friday

April 3*

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Venus early, Moon, Orion Nebula

Saturday

April 25

9-11 p.m.

SBDNL – Dune Climb

Venus, Crescent Moon, Twilight

Friday

May 1*

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Venus, Moon (Twilight)

Saturday

May 2

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Astronomy Day, Venus, Moon (Twilight)

Sunday

May 17

11 a.m.-4 p.m.

NMC Campus

NMC Barbecue: Sun, Meteorites, Exhibits

Saturday

May 23

9-11 p.m.

SBDNL – Platte River Point

Crescents of Venus and Moon, plus Mercury, Twilight

Friday

June 5*

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Moon (Twilight)

Saturday

June 20

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Binary stars, brighter DSOs (Twilight)

Saturday

June 27

☼4-6 p.m.& 9-11 p.m.

SBDNL – Dune Climb

Sun, Moon (Twilight), Jupiter & Saturn after 11 p.m.

Friday

July 3*

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Moon, Jupiter, Saturn very low at the end of the session from the Dome only. Twilight

Saturday

July 25

☼4-6 p.m.& 9-11 p.m.

SBDNL – Dune Climb

Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Crescent Moon, Twilight

Friday

August 7

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Summer Milky Way late, Jupiter, Saturn low from the Dome only.

Saturday

August 8

☼4-6 p.m.& 9-11 p.m.

SBDNL – Thoreson farm

Solar Viewing afternoon, Jupiter, Saturn DSOs, some Perseid meteors.

Tuesday

August 11

10 p.m. - 12:45 a.m.

SBDNL – Dune Climb

Perseid Meteor Watch, Moon rise 12:28 a.m.

Friday

August 14

5-? p.m.

200 block Front St
Traverse City

Friday Night Live – Sun. After hours if clear – Jupiter & Saturn

Friday

August 21

5-? p.m.

200 block Front St
Traverse City

Friday Night Live – Sun. After hours if clear – Jupiter & Saturn

Saturday

August 22

☼4-6 p.m.& 9-11 p.m.

SBDNL – Dune Climb

Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Crescent Moon early, Summer Milky Way

Friday

August 28

5-? p.m.

200 block Front St
Traverse City

Friday Night Live – Sun. After hours if clear – Moon, Jupiter & Saturn

Saturday

August 29

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Moon, Jupiter, Saturn

Friday

September 4*

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Jupiter, Saturn, Moon

Saturday

September 19

9-11 p.m.

SBDNL – Dune Climb

Jupiter, Saturn, summer Milky Way

Saturday

September 26

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Autumn Astronomy Day -– Moon, Saturn, Jupiter

Friday

October 2*

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, the Pleiades late.

Wednesday

October 21

8-10 p.m.

SBDNL-Dune Climb

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - 50th Anniversary Star Party. Saturn, Jupiter, Moon, Pleiades, northern Milky Way.

Friday

November 1*

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Crescent Moon & Saturn early, Great Andromeda Galaxy, Pleiades, northern Milky Way.

Friday

December 6*

9-11 p.m.

NMC Observatory

Moon, Great Orion Nebula, Pleiades, Double Cluster


* On these dates the viewing session is preceded by a meeting and program by the GTAS at 8 p.m. Normally meetings are on the first Friday of the month, except August. All are welcome to these meetings.


Annual events not yet scheduled:

See www.gtastro.org for updated outreach events around the area.

Also go to the society’s FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/GT-Astro/302863949922366

Explanation Key

SBDNLSleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Locations: Dune Climb on M 109 and Thoreson Farm in the Port Oneida area on South Thoreson Rd. on August 10th. See gtastro.org/members/ for a map.

- Sun viewing (Note that we are currently in a solar minimum, so sunspots are a rarity. However the society has two hydrogen alpha solar telescopes which allow viewing of the Sun’s chromosphere and prominences which generally show activity even without sunspots being visible.)


Conditions:

Dark - Dark skies. Deep Sky Objects (DSOs: star clusters, nebulae and galaxies) visible depending on the season.

Twilight - Twilight lasts through out the viewing period. Some brighter Deep Sky Objects may be visible near the end of the viewing period.

Objects other than planets:

Orion Nebula - A stellar nursery 1,800 light years away. The best and closest such object. Visible on winter evenings.

Summer Milky Way - Many Deep Sky Objects are visible in our galaxy. The Milky Way is best seen on August and September evenings with the moon out of the sky. This also means dark skies.

DSOs – Deep sky objects which are star clusters, nebulae (clouds of gas), galaxies

In Case of Inclement Weather:

NMC Rogers Observatory star parties:

Other star parties will be canceled.

Festival events will have exhibits only if observing is not possible.


Fees:

The GTAS does not collect fees, however we do accept donations. In some venues we cannot solicit donations, such as at NMC or Sleeping Bear Dunes who collect their own fees. If we can solicit donations we will have our donation jars out if you'd like to contribute. We also accept donations of used telescopes which we either can use for star parties or resell at our annual yard sale.


The GTAS is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) educational organization subsisting on membership dues, and donations, which are tax deductible.

For more information on events at the Rogers Observatory call (231)995-2300

For more information on events sponsored by the GTAS go to www.gtastro.org 

Link to MapQuest map of the Rogers Observatory, Traverse City, MI (drive entrance)

Schedule as of 11/30/19. Changes can be made at any time, so check often.