Barstronomy? Dark Skies, Northern Lights, Milky Way...Night Sky Watching on Beaver Island has never been more popular!
Barstronomy continued...Cold temps kept attendance down but did not discourage the dozen or so folks that got a glimpse of Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s moons, Mars, Pleiades, the seven sisters, globular clusters and more!
Photographer Bryan Gulick said he enjoyed a several hour session of star-gazing and photography.(see photo at right) and wife Christine was also enthusiastic about the night skies and the event. Christine, like many others that cold, cold week stayed well-wrapped in a blanket while viewing brilliant stars, and a few meteors.
I was thrilled to see the rings of Saturn! The Seven Sisters was clarified and brilliant through Tony’s magnifying binoculars and the telescope. Tony has been documented in the past, in the Columbus Dispatch newspapers and other articles, as a Barstronomer.
What that means is, Tony is an astronomer that takes his telescopes to bars and teaches folks how to use them to see the stars.
“Bar bet, astronomy,” Tony says. “Name the four moons of Jupiter and I buy the drink. If not, you buy ME the drink. That is a tough one,” Tony says. “The main goal is to get people interested in the night skies and to realize it is not that difficult to use a telescope or binoculars.” Tony said he probably would have tried more “Barstronomy” at local bars if Covid had not interfered and that Beaver Island viewing was incredible.
Those who did some viewing also were treated to views and descriptions of the Andromeda galaxy,
the Hercules cluster and many other stars and constellations. Tony was joined on one of the several dark sky evenings by guitarist and ukulele player, Eric Nassau. Eric, also from the Columbus area is a performing artist with several entertainment groups and recordings to his name. Eric played a gig in Traverse City and played a few tunes at the pavilion, teaming up with the avid Barstronomer for Stars and Guitars, September10. Unfortunately, it was chilly and the event happened with little notice or publicity. Eric and Tony were in the WVBI studios so you will be able to hear more about the dark skies and some great music, coming soon on 100.1 FM
That event was planned with intent to continue with the Beaver Island Dark Sky Project.
The work on Beaver Island continues every time we get more photos and people to visit or participate in active sky-watching. With Covid-19 restrictions still somewhat in place, travel remains difficult for would-be astronomers and guest speakers like NASA advocate Rod Cortright, Nightksky storyteller, Mary Stuart Adams, Dark Sky Advocate, Robert Parrish and others that might potentially expedite the International Dark Sky organization designation the island seeks. Stay tuned to the Facebook page, Beaver Island Dark Sky Project for more news about how you can participate and help further our efforts. The Beaver Island Association is a sponsor for the project and letters of support are needed to complete the application.