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Total Lunar Eclipse Dark Sky Park

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January 31
5:30 am - 9:00 am
Event Categories:


All Ages


Dark Sky Park/Dark Sky Viewing Area
7725 E. Wilderness Park Dr.
Mackinaw City, MI United States
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While often thought of as just a summer destination, the Straits of Mackinac is known to roll out the white carpet during the winter season with special events and outdoor activities like hiking, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

The award-winning Headlands International Dark Sky Park is hosting several events over the next few months, including:

Prepare for the Celestial Highlights of 2018, including the Total Lunar Eclipse Saturday, January 27 from 5-7pm.

Eclipse seasons happen twice a year, every year, and for 2018, they straddle the months of January/February, and July/August. This evening, Headlands Program Director Mary Stewart Adams will share information and images about the coming Total Lunar Eclipse, which falls on a Blue Moon (!), cultural beliefs regarding eclipses, and what it means when Lunar Eclipses precede Solar Eclipses (as they do this year). How can you get the most out of your viewing experience? And what else is going on overhead this year? We’ll create calendars together, emphasizing the highlights of the year.

Then catch the Total Lunar Eclipse as it sets into Lake Michigan west of Headlands, Wednesday, January 31 from 5:30-8:45am.

The January 31st Total Lunar Eclipse will be visible in North America, beginning at 5:51 am as viewed from Headlands, with Full Moon hanging heavy and low over Lake Michigan. Join us for fascinating views of the Moon passing through Earth’s shadow as it plunges into the lake! NOTE: Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses can be watched with the naked eye, and through telescopes.

Eclipse times are as follows:

5:51 am penumbral eclipse begins; Moon will be over the western horizon

6:48 am partial phase of eclipse begins

7:51 am total lunar eclipse begins (Moon appears reddish brown)

7:56 am will be maximum eclipse visibility at Headlands

8:01 am Moon will set into Lake Michigan and beyond view for us at Headlands, though eclipse endures; the Sun will be rising in the east at the same dynamic moment!

More program details will be posted soon, but mark your calendars now. This is an early morning, midweek event, with Full Moon setting into Earth’s shadow and Lake Michigan in the west, as Sun is rising in the East.

Throughout the winter season, trails for hiking, snowshoeing and even snowmobiling welcome visitors to the area. While there is no access to the regular parking lot at Historic Mill Creek, you can park near the entry area and the hiking trails from there – at no charge. Wilderness State Park offers not only winter hiking and cross-country skiing along 20 miles of trails in addition to snowmobiling, but overnight accommodations in rustic cabins or in your own tent are allowed.

Mackinaw City is centrally-located to provide snowmobile access to the Straits area. Utilize the north central State Trailhead located off of Crossing’s Drive to experience the DNR’s groomed routes, connecting Mackinaw to Cheboygan, Petoskey, Gaylord, Rogers City, Alpena and places south. The Mackinac Bridge Authority offers a ride for you and your sled north across the Bridge for $10 plus $2 additional for an extra passenger to access the trails north of the Bridge.

For lodging reservations throughout the remainder of the fall and into the winter season, visit MackinawCity.com/stay/.