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.
An initiative is underway to have a sixty-acre parcel near Lake City designated as a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association. In the meantime, several areas in the area provide ideal stargazing opportunities such as Windy Point Overlook and several public campgrounds.
While the Slumgullion Discovery Center is a future project, the Lake Fork Valley Conservancy, owners of the sixty-acre parcel, are working on stargazing programs for the public in the near future.
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 Shower
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.