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Dark sky parks offering stargazing around Michigan

Preventing light pollution from damaging our night sky
Posted at 8:18 AM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 08:24:47-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Watching the night sky can be enjoyable for many and we are lucky enough in Michigan to have plenty of dark places to stargaze, but light pollution can damage that darkness.

According to theDNR, we are lucky enough to have more than 15,000 square miles of dark sky park areas across the UP. There are even a few local spots in West Michigan allowing for excellent night sky viewing, but light pollution can take away from our ability to see parts of our universe. We have to focus on light design, not just the brightness of the outdoor lights we install around our homes and cities.

"If you have lights that have glare lights that go outward, horizontally, that actually ruins your night vision and it makes you less able to see the person on the street or the car in the street. Light that goes straight up doesn't help you at all, it just makes the light and makes the sky less easy to see the light that is going straight down achieves your purpose without ruining your eyesight and without ruining the night sky", says Larry Molnar, Calvin University Physics & Astronomy Professor.

Out of town, away from city lights are the best places to find one of the 8 dark sky locations around the state. If you can’t get away though Calvin University has an observatory open to the public one certain days plus the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association as events all year long.