Best Dates & Locations to Explore Northern Michigan’s Night Sky –

Notable Northern Michigan Sky Watching Events for 2021

May 6 and 7, 2021 | And Aquariid’s meteor shower
The shower runs annually from April 19 to May 28. This year it will peak on the night of May 6th and on the morning of May 7th. It can produce up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak, although most of the activity can be seen in the southern hemisphere. In the northern hemisphere, the rate can reach around 30 meteors per hour.

July 12 | Venus-Mars conjunction
Venus and Mars will be visible through a backyard telescope at the same time. Once your eyes adjust, it should be easy to see both planets unaided. “As we approach Venus-Mars, these two planets will be about half a degree apart (about the latitude of the full moon),” says astronomer Jerry Dobek, director of science and astronomy at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City.

August 12th & 13th | Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks
These meteorites are the remnants of Comet Swift-Tuttle and can fall at their apex at speeds of up to 60 per minute. Since they are fast on the move, they look particularly bright and colorful. “Both the Eta Aquariiad and Perseid showers should be a nice view this year,” says Dobek. “The Eta-Aquariids will be affected a little by lunar disturbances, but the Perseids will fall under a growing crescent moon.”

Virtual display | Students from Northwestern Michigan College’s Astronomy Club and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society are hosting virtual public viewing evenings every first Friday of the month due to the pandemic. For more information and updates on the resumption of in-person events, visit the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society’s official website.

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