Because of its remote location, Lake City is well suited for great stargazing opportunities. On a clear night, one can marvel at the moon, planets, constellations, and other spectacular phenomena of our universe. Certainly, a good set of binoculars or telescope will enhance your “up close” viewing.

One of the best places in Lake City to view the stars is The Slumgullion Discovery Center, a sixty-acre parcel of land located 3 miles south of Lake City.  

The Lake Fork Valley Conservancy (LFVC) staff and local volunteers are currently preparing an extensive application with the International Dark-Sky Association to have the proposed Slumgullion Discovery Center designated as a Dark Sky Park.  A Dark Sky Park is one of six designations identified by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). IDA is an award-winning organization that was established in 2002 to recognize and promote areas that provide excellent stewardship of the night sky.

Night-sky photography is also getting very popular, and the internet – particularly Instagram – is full of stunning images of star fields and the Milky Way. They may look like highly polished images taken by photographers with years of experience, but it’s actually advances in modern cameras that are the main reason for the genre’s sudden popularity. 

If you have a camera with a good deal of manual control and a clear sky, taking pictures of the night sky is much easier than you might think. Check out our tips for photographing the night sky. 

Watching for meteors, one of the best astronomy activities in Lake City, is absolutely free and requires nothing more than patience, the naked eye, and mostly clear sky conditions. Although they last only seconds, meteors are always fun to watch as they streak across the sky. And, there are times a fireball (a very large meteor) may flash above. There will be an abundant variety of astronomical events in 2019. Here are some dates you should mark on your calendar.

2019 Astronomical Event Calendar

April 19 - Full Moon

April 22, 23 - Lyrids Meteor Shower

May 4 - New Moon

May 6, 7 - Eta Aquarids Meteor Showermilky way 984050 1920

May 18 - Full Moon, Blue Moon

June 3 - New Moon

June 10 - Jupiter at Opposition

June 17 - Full Moon

June 21 - June Solstice

June 23 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation

July 2 - New Moon

July 2 - Total Solar Eclipse

July 9 - Saturn at Opposition

July 16 - Full Moon.

July 16 - Partial Lunar Eclipse

July 28, 29 - Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower

August 1 - New Moon

August 9 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation

August 12, 13 - Perseids Meteor Shower

August 15 - Full Moon

August 30 - New Moon

September 9 - Neptune at Opposition

September 14 - Full Moon

September 23 - September Equinox

September 28 - New Moon

October 8 - Draconids Meteor Shower

October 13 - Full Moon

October 20 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation

October 21, 22 - Orionids Meteor Shower

October 27 - Uranus at Opposition

October 28 - New Moon

November 5, 6 - Taurids Meteor Shower

November 11 - Rare Transit of Mercury Across the Sun

November 12 - Full Moon

November 17, 18 - Leonids Meteor Shower

November 24 - Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter

November 26 - New Moon

November 28 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation

December 12 - Full Moon

December 13, 14 - Geminids Meteor Shower

December 22 - December Solstice

December 21, 22 - Ursids Meteor Shower

December 26 - New Moon

December 26 - Annular Solar Eclipse

Protecting Dark Skies
For more information about preserving the night sky, visit the International Dark Sky Association.

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970.944.2527  •

Lake City/Hinsdale County Visitor Center
800 Gunnison Avenue
PO Box 430
Lake City, CO 81235
Mon - Fri  9am - 5pm
Sat-  9am - 3pm
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