Your guide to Wisconsin’s spring celestial events

Your guide to Wisconsin’s spring celestial events

Photo courtesy of Alexander Andrews via Unsplash.

By Good Info News Wire

March 14, 2024

As spring tiptoes into the Badger State, Wisconsin’s night skies are about to get lit — and not just by the occasional firefly. Prepare to crane your necks and feast your eyes on several shows in the sky, from meteor showers to a total solar eclipse.

We’ve scoped out the best stargazing events of the season (plus some of the best spots to see them), so put on your cosmic party hats and let’s get star-struck, Wisconsin-style.

Spring Celestial events that can be seen in Wisconsin

March 25: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Get ready for a subtle celestial show on March 25 with the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. This isn’t your dramatic darkening of the moon but rather a gentle shadow that makes the moon appear slightly dimmer. It’s a perfect night to step outside, away from the city lights, and marvel at the sky.

April 8: Total Solar Eclipse

Mark your calendars for April 8 because a solar eclipse is coming our way! This is a special moment when the moon passes between Earth and the sun, giving us a rare celestial spectacle. Whether you’re an avid skywatcher or just curious, this is a perfect opportunity to witness one of nature’s most awe-inspiring events. Make sure to grab your eclipse glasses and look skyward to catch this stunning display.

MORE: Your Guide to April’s Total Solar Eclipse in Wisconsin

April 22-23: Lyrids Meteor Shower

The cosmic spectacle of the Lyrids Meteor Shower is expected to reach its peak in Wisconsin skies on the nights of April 22nd and 23rd. Famed for producing bright meteors, or “shooting stars,” the best viewing times are typically after midnight and before dawn. Gaze upwards and find a constellation Lyra to potentially see up to 20 meteors per hour during the peak.

May 6-7: Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower

On the nights of May 6th and 7th, the Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower will put on a glittering display. Originating from Halley’s Comet, this shower is known for its swift and bright meteors. While this shower favors the Southern Hemisphere, in Wisconsin best viewing will again be in the early hours before dawn, with the meteors radiating from the constellation Aquarius.

June 9: Close Approach of the Moon & Saturn

On the evening of June 9, step outside to observe the Moon and Saturn as they make a close approach, appearing just over two degrees apart in the constellation Aquarius. Even though they may be too distant to view together through a telescope, their proximity will be easily visible with the naked eye and offers a serene and majestic addition to the night sky.

June 21: Summer Solstice

On June 21st, at precisely 10:58 AM EDT, the Summer Solstice will mark the official start of the summer season in Wisconsin. This event celebrates the longest day and the shortest night of the year. While the solstice isn’t typically a visual spectacle, it’s a momentous astronomical event that many cultures celebrate in various ways.

Prime Stargazing Locations for Spring Celestial Events in Wisconsin

Newport State Park – Ellison Bay

Designated as a Dark Sky Park, Newport State Park offers exceptionally dark skies perfect for viewing meteor showers and planetary alignments. The lack of light pollution means you’ll get a crystal-clear view of the cosmos.

Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center – Horicon

Located in one of the largest freshwater marshes in the United States, the expansive sky over Horicon Marsh provides a stunning backdrop for celestial events. It’s a peaceful escape ideal for a night of stargazing.

Blue Mound State Park – Blue Mounds

With its high elevation and remote location, Blue Mound State Park is another stellar choice for astronomers and casual stargazers alike. The park’s observation towers give you an unobstructed view of the horizon.

Kickapoo Valley Reserve – La Farge

The Kickapoo Valley Reserve’s dark skies make it a superb location for taking in the night sky. With plenty of open space, you can set up your telescope or lay back on the grass to enjoy the celestial display.

Governor Dodge State Park – Dodgeville

For those looking to pair a day of hiking with a night under the stars, Governor Dodge State Park presents the perfect opportunity. Find a secluded spot near one of the park’s two lakes and look up to be awed by the endless stars above.

Come Prepared

Remember that peak celestial event times can vary, so check local listings and weather forecasts. Arrive early to allow your eyes to adapt to the darkness and bring the necessary gear — like telescopes, binoculars, and star charts — to enhance your viewing experience. And above all, dress warmly for the cool Wisconsin spring nights under the stars!

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Your guide to Wisconsin’s spring celestial eventsYour guide to Wisconsin’s spring celestial events

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CATEGORIES: THINGS TO DO
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