Astronomy at the Beach (Kensington Metropark)

Astronomy at the Beach is Michigan's premiere public astronomy event, drawing thousands year after to year. See dozens or hundreds of telescopes, tables from all the local astronomy clubs and stores, and a lot of people who are very excited about astronomy! We want ANYBODY and EVERYBODY interested in astronomy to show up.

There are all kinds of great events, but highlights include:

Feature Presentation: "The Universe - You Are Here"
Rocket through space and sail among billions of stars and galaxies making stops at our Moon and planets. Then accelerate to light speed and head into interstellar space and see all the galaxies.
Dean Regas – Cincinnati Observatory & co-host of PBS's “Star-Gazers”

All About Comets / Making Comets
Learn about these special celestial visitors and what a comet is made up of by watching how a comet can be made from dry ice and common household ingredients.
Mike Broughton of the Kensington Nature Center

The Rescue of Andromeda
Discover the Greek hero within us all, and story behind several fall constellations, as you witness the rescue of the Princess Andromeda. Youth volunteers from the audience will act out the scenes from ancient mythology. Bring your camera. There are no rehearsals, we just jump in and have fun.

Oh, What a Spin We're In!
We show how cold space can get through a series of fast moving demonstrations using liquid nitrogen and everyday common objects. Our most popular session for all ages. In addition, the wonders of angular momentum will be demonstrated with an actual “Fire Tornado”.
Jeff Conn of Wayne State University

Losing the Dark
Why can't you see very many stars from your neighborhood? Learn about how light pollution is making it harder to see stars and other astronomical objects, and what you can do to help reverse the trend.
Norbert Vance of Eastern Michigan University

3D Tour of the Solar System
Beginning with the Moon and the planets, and ending in the infinite reaches of intergalactic space, this short 3D movie is sure to please.
Dave D’Onofrio, Warren Astronomical Society

Constellation Laser Tours
Want to learn how to find your way around the night sky? If it is clear, you can locate the major summer constellations from this tour of the night sky and hear the mythology stories of the ancients who named them.
Diane Hall, WAS & Shannon Murphy, EMU & SAS

Sky Tour Scavenger Hunt
Using a worksheet, children move around our telescopes and binoculars to view the moon, planet(s), nebulae, star clusters and galaxies. Upon completion, a prize is awarded for ages 3 to 17 yrs.

Astronomical Observing!
An opportunity to look through any of the telescopes: We expect to be able to see Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and a great number of other fascinating objects such as galaxies, double stars, nebulae, and star clusters.

If you don't have a Metroparks pass ($20/year), they will charge $4 per vehicle at the gate, but the events are free.

We recommend you bring:

CASH for entrance to the Metro Park, if you don't have an annual pass

A snack (though there is a food counter)

Hat and jacket - it gets a bit chilly late.

Bug spray

Red flashlight (not essential - just don't bring a white one)


If you're bringing a telescope:

If you need power, bring a splitter and extension cord.

Small step stool. I use one with two steps. Have kids hold onto it so they don't grab your scope.

Clipboard + pencil/pen for the kid's contest.

(Thanks to Steve U. for recommendations!)

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  • Doug B.

    Excellent event last night Sept. 27th.

    September 28, 2013

  • Krissy K.

    It was the first Astronomy at the Beach that Mike and I attended, and we were pleasantly surprised. It was much bigger than we anticipated. Looking forward to going to this for years to come. Loved the variety of scopes. The weather was great!

    September 28, 2013

  • Joseph T.

    A great sky, great park, great friends and lots of friendly, inquisitive visitors. The kids were a hoot! :-)

    1 · September 28, 2013

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