Michigan’s Largest FREE Astronomy Event!

September 13 & 14, 2019   6:00 pm-Midnight   (Rain or shine)

The Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs (GLAAC) is partnering with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources again this year to bring this event to the Kent Lake area of Island Lake State Recreation Area. Outdoor astronomy activities demand clear skies, but there’s plenty to do in the tent and park building as well. Our theme this year is the “Apollo 11 50th Anniversary!” Come look at the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn through our big telescopes! We’ll also have a discussions and demos in the “Big Tent!

What happens at Astronomy at the Beach?

Tentative Schedule of Activities:

  • 6:00 to Sunset: View sunspots, prominences and other features of the Sun through safe white-light and incredible hydrogen-alpha solar telescopes.
  • 6:00 PM: Learn about meteorites, rocks from space that have fallen from the sky. See and touch a piece of space! Very family friendly.
  • 7:00 PM: Watch a “comet” be made from dry ice and common household ingredients – learn about these celestial visitors. Very family friendly.
  • 7:30 PM: Oh What a Spin We’re In! From galaxies to planets to tornadoes, there’s a lot of spinning going on out there. Find out more about the space environment with liquid nitrogen and everyday common objects, participate in some angular momentum demonstrations, and watch a “fire tornado” come to life!
  • Losing the Dark: Why can’t you see many stars from your neighborhood? Learn about how light pollution is making it harder to see stars and other astronomical objects, and what you can do to help reverse the trend.
  • 3D tour of the Solar System: Take a short 3D movie tour through our Solar System. This presentation uses the red-blue 3D glasses, please arrive a little early to get your glasses.
  • 9:00 PM: Lecture (TBD): Come see a Professor, Engineer, Astronomer or Scientist give a lecture. Appropriate for all ages.
  • All evening: there will be a Children’s Sky Tour Treasure Hunt. See one of every type of object for a prize!
  • After sunset: observe dozens of celestial objects until midnight through the many telescopes provided by the GLAAC members. Highlights: craters on the moon, Jupiter’s Red Spot and moons, Saturn’s rings
  • All evening: very cool science demonstrations, member astronomy clubs to talk to, space pictures for sale, food available for purchase.
  • Visit our member clubs and sponsors. Participate in hands-on demonstrations, make-and-take activities, find out which club is nearest to you, and learn more about our wonderful sponsors

There is no admission fee to attend but a recreation passport is required for park entry. If you didn’t purchase one when you renewed your vehicle registration, you can get a sticker at the gate. The event takes place at Kent Lake Beach inside Island Lake State Recreation Area. Visitors are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle. Seating outside may be limited, so consider bringing chairs.

People will be looking through telescopes, and the use of white light of any kind makes this difficult. Please be considerate: use only flashlights with red filters and don’t use a flash when taking photos outside.

Early Flyer: [Link]

Let us know you’ll be there!

RSVP on our Facebook event


RSVP on our Meetup events:

Friday & Saturday

Invite your friends and family!




Detailed map of the site:

Information and Photos from Previous Years