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Boreal Community Media

"Celebrate the Night Sky" at area events this week.

Sep 16, 2018 11:28AM ● By Editor

By Teri Cadeu of the Lake County News Chronicle - September 13, 2018

Some North Shore area communities are recognizing "Celebrate the Night Sky" week Sept. 16-22. Although Beaver Bay doesn't have an event planned, the city is taking steps to become a "dark skies friendly" community.

"We don't have an awful lot of light pollution right now," Beaver Bay City Administrator Tim Anderson said. "But we're committed to not increase light pollution and to decrease it as much as we can within our city."

The city has had talks with representatives from Duluth-based Starry Skies Lake Superior, the local chapter of the International Dark Sky Association. The organization is dedicated to increasing awareness of light pollution and appreciation of the night sky by suggesting the implementation of star-friendly outdoor lighting.

"We haven't had a formal assessment, but Randy Larson from Starry Skies came up last year and one of the things he said is that most of our streetlights are mostly within the compliance level," Anderson said. "They aren't the new stark LED lights that cause that harsh brightness."

Although most of the city's streetlights are in compliance, Anderson said there are small steps others in the city could take to reduce their individual light pollution. Residents with house or garage lights are encouraged to use motion sensors, use shields and point the lights more downward to limit the spread of light.

"Even simple things make a difference," Anderson said. "At my house, as I assessed it, I noticed all I really need to do is point my garage light down more, at the building, instead of out onto the street."

The city doesn't currently have a light ordinance, but Anderson said when the city issues building permits, it would inform permit seekers of the city's "dark sky" status.

Water tower to the skies

One of the benefits of becoming a "dark skies friendly" community is the opportunity to become an astro-tourism location.

Astro-tourism is a relatively new travel trend where people seek locations where the night sky can be easily observed. A possible location in Beaver Bay is the old wooden water tower.

The water tower, moved to Beaver Bay in 1956, was in use from 1957-1982. The tower was built by the Soo Line Railroad in Markville, Minn,. and has a 50,000-gallon tank.

"We're trying to figure out what to do with it since it's one of the few remaining wooden water towers in Minnesota and we're trying to preserve it as much as we possibly can," Anderson said. "Our biggest dream would be to use it as an observation tower to see the skies. It's a pipe dream to have people go up in it. But the cost would be exorbitant."

Anderson isn't sure of the water tower's exact height, but he used a 20-foot ladder to reach the bottom rung of the ladder.

"I climbed up it for the first time a few weeks ago," Anderson said. "It was like, holy shmoly. It doesn't look that high when you're on the ground, but it's a ways up there."

The city is fundraising to preserve the tower and to clear away brush and remove trees to make the tower easier to see.

For more information on the Beaver Bay water tower project, contact City Administrator Tim Anderson at [email protected].

Celebrate the Night Sky Week

For complete schedule, visit

Sunday Sept. 16

Carlton, MN - Sunday Sept. 16
Star Party  - Oldneburg House - 604 Chestnut Ave, Carlton, MN 55718 - (218) 384-4835
6:00-11:00 pm

We will be kicking off our second annual Celebrate the Night Sky Week with stories, food, fun and telescopes!
Come join us in Carlton, MN as we celebrate our connection to the stars on the beautiful grounds of Oldenburg House, nestled into our beloved northern landscape and adjoining Jay Cooke State Park. Sky lore historian Mary Stewart Adams, producer of The Storyteller’s Night Sky, will wend us into why the stars mean so much to humans, and why our connection with the night sky is irreplaceable. Members of the Arrowhead Astronomical Society will be on board with telescopes to enhance our sky viewing pleasure. Join us, rain or shine!

Tuesday Sept. 18

Superior WI - Tuesday Sept. 18
Movie and discussion  - Superior Public Library, 1530 Tower Ave, Superior, WI 54880
6:30-7:30 pm

Cindy Hakala, our Starry Skies Lake Superior chapter President, will be showing a sneak preview of City Lights, Starry Nights, a 25-minute documentary movie about light pollution, how it impacts human and habitat health, and what we in the Lake Superior region can do to reduce light pollution and Celebrate the Night Sky!

Duluth MN - Tuesday Sept. 18
Community Ed Class "Astronomy for Everyone" with Bob King - UMD Alworth Planetarium
7:00 - 8:30 pm
$17 for four Tuesdays, 9/18 -10/9 + $8 Planetarium fee

Want to learn more about the night sky, constellations, and the latest space news? In our weekly survey of the heavens, we’ll use the planetarium to get better acquainted with the fall constellations and seasonal planets Saturn, Jupiter and Mars. Then, on clear nights we’ll head outdoors to explore the sky with eye and telescope. Fall topics include Mars, the Pleiades star cluster, one trillion galaxies, and how the stars created the elements.
Class held at the UMD Planetarium. Additional $8 fee/person goes toward supporting UMD planetarium programs, payable to UMD Planetarium and given to instructor the first night of class.


Wednesday Sept. 19

Duluth, MN - Wednesday Sept. 19
Circadian Rhythm Research Lecture - UMD Medical School Rm 130
3:30 - 4:30 pm

Shadab Rahman, PhD, MPH presenting at the UMD School of Medicine AHC Duluth Research Seminar   3:30 - 4:30 pm   UMD School of Medicine Rm. 130 - 1035 University Dr, Duluth, MN 55812 - (218) 726-7571.
Research Neurophysiologist Shadab Rahman is an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His primary research is in how light can modulate behavioral, endocrine and molecular outputs, with secondary interest in metabolic, immune and reproductive rhythms, the endogenous circadian regulation of these rhythms, and the effects of light exposure on these rhythms. Rahman presented at last year's Night Sky Seminar, and is working towards inaugurating a sleep study in our region.

Duluth, MN - Wednesday Sept. 19

PREMIERE of "City Lights, Starry Nights" Documentary Film
Fitger's Spirit of the North Theater, upstairs Fitger's Complex,  600 E Superior St, Duluth, MN 55802
7:00 - 9:00 pm

Join us in celebrating the release of the new 25-minute documentary film, City Lights, Starry Nights !!!  Learn about light pollution, how it impacts human and habitat health, and what we in the Lake Superior region can do to reduce, and eliminate, light pollution and Celebrate the Night Sky!

Joining us before and after the film will be sky lore historian Mary Stewart Adams, circadian rhythm expert Shadab Rahman, and astronomy guru "Astro Bob" King to answer YOUR questions about human health, the night sky, and what it all means to be connected to the stars!

Duluth MN - Wednesday Sept. 19

Sidewalk Astronomy - Fitger's Couryard, Lake-side of Fitgers' Complex upstairs from the Lakewalk
8:00 - 9:00pm

Thursday Sept. 20

Fredenberg Township, MN - Thursday Sept. 20
Star Party  -Fredenberg Community Center- 5104 Fish Lake Rd, Duluth 55803
7:00-10:00 pm

Join us for the 25-minute documentary City Lights, Starry Nights, popcorn, stickers, astronomers, telescopes,  and FUN!
Qusetions? Call Anita Anderson / 218-343-9476


Friday Sept. 21

Two Harbors, MN - Friday Sept. 21
Starry Skies Happy Hour! - Cedar Coffee Company- 1130 11th Street, Just North Of Shopko, Two Harbors, MN 55616
4:00-7:00 pm

Join us for live music, yummy treats and FUN!
Live music starts at 5:00 pm, Briand Morrison from Grand Portage, MN will be performing live jazz guitar
1130 11th St. / County Rd. 26 / up the hill from Super One
Questions?  [email protected]   /  218-830-1511

Duluth, MN - Friday Sept. 21

Star Party! - Amity Coffee / Lakeside Gallery - 4429 E Superior St, Duluth, MN 55804
5:30 - 9:00 pm

Join us for SPACE TRIVIA, telescopes, a film screening, special drinks, art and FUN!
We will screen City Lights, Starry Nights, a 25-minute documentary on light pollution,  with "Starry" art featured in Lakeside Gallery.
4429 E Superior St, Duluth, MN 55804 / 218- 525-7323

Saturday Sept. 22

Wrenshall, MN - Saturday Sept. 22
Star Party and Sci-Fi Movie - Free Range Film Barn - 909 County Road 4, Wrenshall, MN 55797
7:30 - 10:00 pm

Join us for a space themed sci fi movie in the Free Range Film Barn with telescope star viewing afterwards.. There will be organic popcorn and water available.  The barn is located at 909 County Road 4, Wrenshall, MN 55797