Hike & stargaze at the Northern Michigan Headlands Dark Sky Park in a free event with astronomer Jerry Dobek in Mackinaw City on Saturday, November 2, 2013.

Take a Northern Michigan night hike into the night life at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park, and then enjoy a tour through the life of an astronomer with special guest Jerry Dobek at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park this Saturday evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Professor Dobek has been a ‘star’ in the dark sky movement in the Great Lakes region, and has impressed his knowledge on students, lay people, and movie-goers alike through his initiative at the State Theater in downtown Traverse City. As the stars come out on screen, movie-goers also get the treat of seeing a beautiful replica of the night-sky overhead, on the ceiling. Each ‘star hole’ was hand drilled to simulate the size and brilliance of the star it represents, as it appears on Aug.11 each year (around the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower).

“The dedication to detail, accuracy and beauty is the hallmark of not only a well-rounded astronomer, but of a true devotee to the natural beauty of our nighttime environment,” said Program Director Mary Stewart Adams. “We are thrilled that Jerry will come and share his experience and enthusiasm with us at the Headlands, especially since he is well-versed in the preservation of dark skies through his involvement with the International Dark Sky Association. He is the regional coordinator for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Ambassador program, is a bona fide astronomer, and publisher of a rare set of plates and research into our celestial environment.”

November also brings an end to Daylight Savings Time, which means it’s easier to stay up late and celebrate the dark! “Nocturnal habitat is an important aspect of night sky preservation, so on this night we will take a walk along one of the Headlands trails to explore the nocturnal habitat, and we will follow up our hike with stargazing. We’ll be between the Orionid and Leonid Meteor Showers, which also makes for great night-sky viewing,” said Adams.

Like all events at the Headlands, this program is free and open to the public, with no reservations required. Event takes place rain, snow or shine!

Remember to set your clocks back one hour before bed on Saturday; Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.

For more information, call (231) 348-1704 or email darksky@emmetcounty.org.

Get more Northern Michigan events at the MyNorth Events Calendar and MyNorthTickets.com!