16th Annual Kensington Astronomy at the Beach 2012

The 16th Annual Astronomy at the Beach, hosted by Kensington Metropark and the Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs (GLAAC), will be held September 21st and 22nd, 2012. It runs from 6:00 pm to midnight rain or shine both nights. Outdoor astronomy activities demand clear skies, but there’s plenty to do in our pavilion as well.

This year, we will celebrate the last Space Shuttle missions to the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station and discuss the future of the American manned space program. Our keynote speaker is two-time shuttle astronaut and geophysicist Dr. Andrew Feustel, a native of Lake Orion. Drew will talk about his work repairing the Hubble and installing modules on the International Space Station, as well as the future of space exploration.

There are activities for almost any interest and taste:

  • Come early to view sunspots, prominences, and other features of the sun through safe white-light and incredible hydrogen-alpha solar telescopes.
  • 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM ongoing (every 1/2 hour): A night sky simulation tours the constellations for the current evening sky using a portable planetarium.
  • 6:15 PM: Learn about the celestial visitors we call comets. Watch a “comet” be made from dry ice and common household ingredients. Very family friendly.
  • 7 PM: Kids can become the constellations in the “Rescue of Andromeda” impromptu play.
  • 7:30 PM: Learn why light pollution is making it harder to see stars and what you can do to help reverse the trend.
  • 7:50 PM: Find out how cold space is through a series of fast moving demonstrations using liquid nitrogen and everyday common objects, then watch a “fire tornado” come to life!
  • 8:30 PM: Get a user-friendly introduction to astronomy from the Earth to the farthest reaches of the universe – then take a 3D voyage into deep space!
  • 9 PM: Meet a real astronaut, Drew Feustel, and learn from his insights into the future of NASA and spaceflight in general.
  • 10 PM: Get a laser-guided tour of the night sky and learn the shapes of the constellations.
  • All evening: there will be a Children’s Sky Tour Treasure Hunt. See one of every type of object for a prize!
  • Stay late and observe dozens of celestial objects until midnight through the many telescopes provided by the GLAAC members.
  • Camera Mart, Great Red Spot Astronomy, and other vendors will have various astronomy products including telescopes, binoculars, eyepieces, books and computer software on display and for purchase.

There is no admission fee to attend but a Metropark vehicle pass is required. If you don’t have a yearly pass, a daily vehicle pass can be purchased at the gate for just $5.00. The event takes place at Maple Beach inside Kensington Metropark. Food and beverages can be purchased at the Metropark concession stand. 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 if taking photos outside.

Download and share the Astronomy at the Beach flyer:
Color (PDF, 1.2 MB) / Black and White (PDF, 1MB)
Press Release (PDF, 264 KB)
2012 Program and Schedule (PDF, 147 KB)

The night sky isn’t as dark as it used to be: it is harder to see stars, galaxies and nebulae. Find out why.

Sponsors

Information and Photos from Previous Years

  • 2018 Events

    September 14th and 15th, 2018
    Astronomy at the Beach, 6PM-12AM
    Kent Lake beach in the Island Lake State Recreation Area.

  • Latest

    I’d ask if anyone saw the eclipse this morning, but this is SE Michigan ☁️☁️☁️

    So, does anyone have a favorite eclipse picture they’d like to share?
    ... See MoreSee Less

     

    Comment on Facebook

    Mine from September 2015 one ... sorry too cloudy this morning

    Brian Ottum of the Lowbrows used his remote New Mexico system to capture the eclipse. www.facebook.com/UniversityLowbrowAstronomers/

    View from towards the ecliptical North Pole. Earth, Moon, and distance between drawn to scale. Arc segment through Moon shows size of Earth's umbra at this distance. If this arc meets the node where the moon crosses the ecliptic, there is an eclipse.

    1 month ago

    Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs

    So who is checking their back yard this morning?Update on the Michigan fireball - this image shows the trajectory of the meteor as determined by the eyewitness accounts posted on the American Meteor Society Website. Our analysis yields a similar result, and we have calculated that this was a very slow moving meteor - speed of about 28,000 miles per hour. This fact, combined with the brightness of the meteor (which suggests a fairly big space rock at least a yard across), shows that the object penetrated deep into the atmosphere before it broke apart (which produced the sounds heard by many observers). It is likely that there are meteorites on the ground near this region - one of our colleagues at JSC has found a Doppler weather radar signature characteristic of meteoritic material falling to earth.

    Pieces of an asteroid lying near Detroit? Let's see what the meteorite hunters find.
    ... See MoreSee Less

    So who is checking their back yard this morning?

     

    Comment on Facebook

    Pete was taking the trash containers to the curb and saw it in Wixom and heard the boom a couple minutes after coming inside.

    This is my guess of the meteor's strewn field.

    $1m for a pound of it they’re guessing!

    Jennifer Cruthirds send those boys out in the backyard!

    Rhonda

    Debi Keeling

    + View previous comments

    3 months ago

    Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs

    Astronomy at the Beach is a two-night annual event bringing together amateur and professional astronomers and science educators to share our love of space and astronomy with the public.

    On both Friday and Saturday nights, from 6 PM until midnight, we'll dazzle your eyes with views of the Moon, Saturn, and more, and expand your mind with presentations about many aspects of popular astronomy.

    Please note that this year we are at Kent Lake Beach in the Island Lake State Recreation area. (Up until last year, we met across the highway at Kensington Metropark.) For most metro Detroiters, it will be a shorter drive! Simply go south on Kensington Road from I-96, then make a left on Kent Lake Beach Road almost as soon as you enter the park. (Google Maps calls the site "Island Lake Picnic Grounds".)

    Learn more: www.glaac.org/astronomy-at-the-beach/

    Astronomy at the Beach 2018Sep 14, 6:00pmIsland Lake Recreation AreaAstronomy at the Beach is a two-night annual event bringing together amateur and professional astronomers and science educators to share our love of space and astronomy with the public.

    On both Friday and Saturday nights, from 6 PM until midnight, we'll dazzle your eyes with views of the Moon, Saturn, and more, and expand your mind with presentations about many aspects of popular astronomy.

    Please note that this year we are at Kent Lake Beach in the Island Lake State Recreation area. (Up until last year, we met across the highway at Kensington Metropark.) For most metro Detroiters, it will be a shorter drive! Simply go south on Kensington Road from I-96, then make a left on Kent Lake Beach Road almost as soon as you enter the park. (Google Maps calls the site "Island Lake Picnic Grounds".)

    Learn more: www.glaac.org/astronomy-at-the-beach/
    ... See MoreSee Less

    Astronomy at the Beach 2018