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Don’t be afraid of the dark

Dark Sky initiative debuts at Ely Winter Fest

Keith Vandervort
Posted 1/17/18

ELY – The Ely Winterfest and Dark Sky Ely are presenting five entertaining and educational dark sky events next month during the annual winter festival.

“As part of an international effort to …

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Don’t be afraid of the dark

Dark Sky initiative debuts at Ely Winter Fest

Posted

ELY – The Ely Winterfest and Dark Sky Ely are presenting five entertaining and educational dark sky events next month during the annual winter festival.

“As part of an international effort to become more sky aware, our group is exploring ‘astro-tourism’ possibilities as a way to expand our tourism base, as well as methods to control the spread of intrusive lighting, light pollution and the wasted energy costs in town and on our own rural properties in the Ely area,” said Roy Misonznick, of the Ely Photographic Collaborative

“Look Up UR In Ely” is the event name of the dark sky initiative of ElyDarkSky LLC. EDS is a local Ely chapter of The International DarkSky Association, he said.

The events, scheduled for Feb. 3 and Feb. 10 at various venues around town are sponsored by: Ely Winter Festival, International DarkSky Association, Grand Ely Lodge, Adventure Inn, North American Bear Center, and the Ely Photographic Collaborative.

Ely Dark Sky’s goals include:

•Offer research and education about light pollution to area businesses and residents.

‰Offer assistance to local businesses desiring to expand into the “astro-tourism” market by evaluating their exterior lighting needs and practices and advising ways of decreasing energy costs and if needed, decreasing localized light pollution by making changes to the exterior lighting of their properties.

•Offer assistance to local business and government agencies in their marketing efforts directed at dark sky enthusiasts.

“Dark Sky Awareness programs are popping up all over the world as more people realize that light pollution is expanding into historically dark areas preventing skies dark enough to view the wonders of the night sky,” Misonznick said.

“Eighty percent of Americans cannot see the night sky any longer, mostly due to light pollution. They can’t see the Milky Way, the Northern Lights, the International Space Station, satellites zipping by.,or even the stars,” he said. “We are fortunate way up here in Ely. We already have lots of dark sky. On a clear night billions and billions of stars are visible, even from town.”

The Dark Sky Ely programs offered include:

•“Jim Rock’s Native American Star Stories and Planetarium,” Saturday, Feb. 3, 10 a.m. to noon, Vermilion Community College gymnasium. UMD’s GeoDome Theater inspires minds of all ages using the latest in display technology. Real, dynamic earth and space data comes to life. Through guided inquiry led by James Rock, program director of Allworth Planetarium of UMD, the audience embarks on a mindful voyage from the surface of the Earth all the way to the edge of the known universe.

•“Mike Lynch and The Stars,” Saturday, Feb. 3, 7-9 p.m., North American Bear Center, indoors and outdoors. For more than 40 years, Mike has been teaching classes and putting on star parties through community education, nature centers, and other entities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. His goal is to help people make the stars their old friends. Powerpoint program followed by outdoor star viewing (dress warm).

•“Aurora Borealis Photography 101,” with Roy Misonznick of the Ely Photographic Collaborative, Saturday, Feb. 10, 9:30-11 a.m., Grand Ely Lodge. Roy will explain basic techniques and equipment needed to make basic photos of the Northern Lights and the night sky. Tableside food service available from Evergreen Restaurant.

•“Star Trail Photography 101” with Les Conrad of the Ely Photographic Collaborative, Saturday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Grand Ely Lodge. Les will explain and demonstrate techniques he uses to make phenomenal star trail photographs. Table side food service available from Evergreen Restaurant .

•“Night Sky With The Naked Eye” by Bob King, Saturday, Feb. 10, 1:30-3 p.m., Grand Ely Lodge. Bob presents an entertaining, passionate and informative one-hour program. He works at the Duluth News Tribune as a photographer and photo editor. He’s also an amateur astronomer and has been keen on the sky since age 11. Bob’s modest credentials include membership in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) where he is a regular contributor, International Meteorite Collectors Assn. and Arrowhead Astronomical Society. He also teaches community education astronomy classes at UMD’s Allworth Planetarium and recently had his first book published, “Night Sky with the Naked Eye,” about all the wonderful things to see at night with just your bare eyeballs. Tableside food service available from Evergreen Restaurant.

For more information on these or future events by Ely Dark Sky contact Roy Misonznick at roy@ElyDarkSky.org or call 218-235-9999 or on facebook at ElyDarkSky or on the web at www.ElyDarkSky.org.

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