Special Events

You are here

Dark Sky Caravan

The Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium is hitting the road! We're heading toward the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness August 11-17, 2018

Ester Lake with Milky Way

Photo of Esther Lake in Grand Portage State Forest ©Travis Novitsky

Road Trip to the Stars

August 11 – 18, 2018

We’re taking the GeoDome mobile planetarium and our telescopes on a trip up the North Shore and beyond to celebrate the dark skies we enjoy here in northern Minnesota.

Dark Sky Map of Arrowhead Region

Source for this image: www.lightpollutionmap.info

Our final shows will take place at the end of the Gunflint Trail, one of the best places in the entire country for observing the stars.

Join us for free!

Each day, we’ll be in a new place with the portable planetarium and telescopes to observe the sun, stars, planets and moon!

This is the perfect time of year for stargazing.

Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Milky Way will be visible in the evening sky. This is also the time for the Perseid Meteor shower where we can expect to see 50-70 meteors or shooting stars per hour. If it's cloudy or raining, we can still take a tour of the universe in the GeoDome mobile planetarium.

Destinations & Times

Inside GeoDome

Cloudy skies aren't an issue with the GeoDome. We'll take you on a tour of the universe rain or shine.

Daily programs will run from 5 to 11 p.m.

Free shows will be offered in the GeoDome on the half hour. If there are cloudy skies or rain limiting our outdoor activities, there will be hands-on activities in addition to the planetarium shows.

Dates & Locations - 5 to 11:00 p.m. each day (except where noted)

  1. Saturday, Aug. 11 – UMD Planetarium
  2. Sunday, Aug. 12 – Tettegouche Visitor Center
  3. Monday, Aug. 13 – Birch Grove Community Center, Tofte
  4. Tuesday, Aug. 14 – Voyager Brewing Company, Grand Marais
  5. Wednesday, Aug. 15 – Grand Portage Community Center, Grand Portage from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  6. Thursday, Aug. 16 - Seagull Lake Community Center, upper trail Gunflint Trail
  7. Friday, Aug. 17 – Seagull Lake Community Center, upper trail Gunflint Trail

Before You Go

Wear long pants/sleeves. It may be summer, but the temperature can cool down in the evenings, and you're not moving around very much while observing.

Wear bug spray. It's a good idea to protect yourself from mosquitoes and you'll enjoy the time more if you're not having to swat away bugs. But please do not spray bug spray near the telescopes. Apply it beforehand or briefly walk away from the telescopes to spray.

You may also want to bring a flashlight or head lamp to walk safely to your vehicle if attending at night.

Want to Learn More?

Check out the Starry Skies Lake Superior chapter of the International Dark Sky Association.

Find out what you can do to protect night skies for present and future generations.

Plan a visit to the UMD Planetarium or schedule the GeoDome in your community. Happy Stargazing!

Thanks To Our Sponsors

University of Minnesota Duluth in cooperation with:

Arrowhead Astronomical Society

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Grand Portage Chippewa

Gunflint Trail Historical Society

Superior National Forest

Visit Cook County

Voyager Brewing Company

Other Special Events:

Kavli Fulldome Lecture Series

The Kavli Lecture Series offers you the chance to hear from experts around the world as we stream their presentations live in our full-dome theater. The presentations are made possible through a partnership with the Adler Planetarium and the Kavli Foundation. 

Upcoming Lecture

Presenter: Dr. Shane Larson
Date: Friday, November 9, 2018
Title: "The Cosmos in a Heartbeat"
Time:  Friday at 7:30pm CST

About the Lecture

A human lifetime is more than a hundred billion times shorter than the current age of the Universe. Whether you are a professional astronomer, or a casual backyard stargazer, you have only a few decades to drink it all in—to wonder how it works and how you got here.

The cosmos is full of strange happenings that we sometimes are lucky enough to witness because we happened to be paying attention to the stories the Universe is telling us. These tales are carried on bursts of light, showers of sub-atomic particles, and the faint whisperings of gravity, and every day that passes, we’re getting better at deciphering them.

In our lifetimes, we will only ever have a glimpse of the cosmos. But that glimpse is enough to transform our perceptions in dramatic ways and to answer the oldest questions we have about what the Universe is doing all around us

Regular admission prices apply:
Adults - $5
Children (6-12), Seniors (60+) and Students with ID - $3
Children 5 and under - free.

For disability related accommodations, please contact us at least two weeks in advance at planet@d.umn.edu or 218-726-7129.