Winter Boreal Star Observation Week Commences this Saturday

Minnesota’s night sky enthusiasts are expanding their annual Boreal Stargazing Week to various locations from February 10-18 due to the growing success of their summertime series. These free events provide attendees an opportunity to explore the universe alongside dark sky experts and experience Minnesota’s night skies. Activities include night sky tours, Nordic ski stargazing, snowshoe hikes, and live talks with astronomers. The events are sponsored by several organizations, including Voyageurs Conservancy, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, Starry Skies North, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Highlight events of the Boreal Stargazing Week include a nighttime snowshoe hike at Voyageurs National Park. The hike is guided by a park ranger and Voyageurs Conservancy, and it includes a telescope observation session. The hike takes place on February 10th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Black Bay Beaver Pond near the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Snowshoe rentals are free and available upon arrival at the trailhead.

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness offers a snowshoe event to the Hegman Lake Petroglyphs on February 12th and 16th. This event allows participants to experience the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the world’s largest Dark Sky Sanctuary. The event is hosted by the Superior National Forest and the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness.

The Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium, University of Minnesota Duluth, is hosting an event on February 16th where attendees can learn about the adverse effects of light pollution and how to protect the night sky. The event includes a viewing of Jupiter and the moon.

Other events include a Night Sky Watching Party in Twin Cities on February 16th and a Ski Event and Telescope Program at Voyageurs National Park on February 17th. These events provide a great opportunity for people of all ages to learn more about the universe and the importance of preserving dark skies for stargazing. Some events require registration, and equipment like snowshoes or skis are provided for free in some locations.

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