We live in an amazing Universe, come explore with us.

 

We are on a journey of discovery. 

Image by History in HD
Image by Alexander Andrews
Looking Through Telescope

Upcoming Public Events

Open to the General Public, Educational Fun for all Ages!

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Solar Observing with the Northwoods Explorers

at the Minocqua Winter Park

Moved to Sunday 1-3 PM June 26

(Saturday's forecast looks poor)

Join the Northwoods Explorers for an afternoon of observing the Sun and learning how stars work. We will begin with a short presentation in the Chalet on how the Sun's weather affects planet Earth and how other stars compare to our Sun. Then, with good weather, we'll observe the Sun using specialized telescopes that safely view in the Hydrogen-alpha wavelength to reveal in great detail the Sun's Chromosphere. If we're lucky, we might see Prominences that are much larger than planet Earth, shooting out into space from the limb of the Sun. If there are any sunspots, we might view the magnetic fields separate its atmosphere to reveal a view below! 

If it's too cloudy for our telescopes, we will continue with an extended presentation inside the Chalet.

Students will have a chance to make UV bracelets and necklaces with beads that change color when exposed to the UV light coming from our sun. 

If the weather cooperates we will try to repeat the experiment that William Herschel used to discover Infrared light that opened a new perspective into the Universe.

Warning: Do not look directly at the Sun without proper equipment, it can be very harmful to your eyes.

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Ma

Stargazing with the Northwoods Explorers

at the Minocqua Winter Park, Friday, August 5th

8:30-10:30 PM

(Backup Saturday August 6th)

We plan to observe the moon with many of its craters using high-performance telescopes, then  Cygnus the Swan, the area of the sky where the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy can be easily seen.  Later in the evening we'll try to view the Andromeda Galaxy through image-stabilized binoculars, around 10 PM we may get the first evening glimpse of Saturn and its rings, although it will be low in the sky so the best view might be in the next month when it can be seen higher in the sky. 

 

Program begins at 8:30 PM with an introductory program inside the Chalet, Stargazing 9 - 10:30 PM  If the weather doesn't cooperate we will extend the program inside the Chalet.

 

Please Note: White light flashlights are NOT ALLOWED! Please use red lights or cover your white light with many layers of red cellophane or a thick red balloon. A white light shined into dark-adapted eyes is painful, and ruins their view for another twenty minutes and they might miss something important! 

 

Park in the main lot, telescope observing area is on the other side of the Chalet.

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Stargazing with the Northwoods Explorers

at the North Lakeland Discovery Center

 Friday, September 2nd, 7:15 - 10:00 PM

(Backup Saturday Sep 3rd)

With good weather, we'll observe Saturn with its ring system and Jupiter with a few of its moons using high-performance telescopes. With good seeing, the Eagle Nebula, the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud, and the Andromeda Galaxy with image-stabilized binoculars. We will also show M13 - the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules and, M57 the Ring Nebula which is the remains of a star that blew away its atmosphere. Come learn more about how these objects fit into the big picture. 

On Sep 2, Ganymede enters Jupiter's shadow around 9 PM

 

Program begins at 7:15 PM with an introductory program inside the Lodge, then stargazing 8:00-10:00 PM  If the weather doesn't cooperate we will extend the program inside the Lodge.

Attendees must register at the Discovery Center to reserve your spot. See Discovery Center – A Natural Destination for Discovery

 

White light flashlights are NOT ALLOWED! Please use red lights or cover your white light with many layers of red cellophane or a thick red balloon. A white light shined into dark-adapted eyes is painful, and ruins their view for another twenty minutes and they might miss something important! 

 

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Stargazing with the Northwoods Explorers

at the Minocqua Winter Park, Friday, September 23rd

7:00 - 9:30 PM

(Backup Saturday Sep 24th)

With good weather, we'll observe Saturn with its ring system and Jupiter with a few of its moons using high-performance telescopes. With good seeing, the Eagle Nebula, the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud, and the Andromeda Galaxy with image-stabilized binoculars. We will also show M13 - the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules and, M57 the Ring Nebula which is the remains of a star that blew away its atmosphere. Come learn more about how these objects fit into the big picture.

On Sep 23, Io will cast its shadow on Jupiter around 9:30 PM

 

We may also see the International Space Station zip by overhead at 17,500 MPH. 

 

Program begins at 7:00 PM with an introductory program inside the Chalet, then stargazing 7:30-9:30 PM  If the weather doesn't cooperate we will extend the program inside the Chalet.

 

White light flashlights are NOT ALLOWED! Please use red lights or cover your white light with many layers of red cellophane or a thick red balloon. A white light shined into dark-adapted eyes is painful, and ruins their view for another twenty minutes and they might miss something important! 

 

Park in the main lot, telescope observing area is on the other side of the Chalet.

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Stargazing with the Northwoods Explorers

at the YMCA of the Northwoods (Rhinelander)

Saturday, October 1st, 6:30 - 9:00 PM

With good weather, we'll observe Saturn with its ring system and Jupiter with a few of its moons using high-performance telescopes. We might have a chance at the Crescent Moon. With good seeing we hope to view the Eagle Nebula, the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud, and the Andromeda Galaxy with image-stabilized binoculars. We will also show M13 - the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules and, M57 the Ring Nebula which is the remains of a star that blew away its atmosphere. We may have a great view of the Pleiades!

Program begins at 6:30 PM with an introductory program, then stargazing until 9:00 PM  If the weather doesn't cooperate we will extend the program inside the facility.

We may also see the International Space Station zip by overhead at 17,500 MPH. 

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Stargazing with the Northwoods Explorers

at the North Lakeland Discovery Center

Friday, October 21st, 6:30 - 9:00 PM

(Backup October 22nd)

With good weather, we'll observe Saturn with its ring system and Jupiter with a few of its moons using high-performance telescopes. With good seeing we hope to view the Eagle Nebula, the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud, and the Andromeda Galaxy with image-stabilized binoculars. We will also show M13 - the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules and, M57 the Ring Nebula which is the remains of a star that blew away its atmosphere. We may have a great view of the Pleiades!

Program begins at 6:30 PM with an introductory program inside the Lodge, then stargazing 7:00-9:00 PM  If the weather doesn't cooperate we will extend the program inside the Lodge.

Attendees must register at the Discovery Center to reserve your spot. See Discovery Center – A Natural Destination for Discovery

 

White light flashlights are NOT ALLOWED! Please use red lights or cover your white light with many layers of red cellophane or a thick red balloon. A white light shined into dark-adapted eyes is painful, and ruins their view for another twenty minutes and they might miss something important! 

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Stargazing with the Northwoods Explorers

at the Minocqua Winter Park, Friday, October 28th

6:30 - 9 PM

(Backup on Saturday October 29th)

We might have a glimpse of the crescent moon before it sets, then we'll view Saturn with its ring system and Jupiter with a few of its moons using high-performance telescopes. With good seeing we hope to view the Eagle Nebula, the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud, and the Andromeda Galaxy with image-stabilized binoculars. We will also show M13 - the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules and, M57 the Ring Nebula which is the remains of a star that blew away its atmosphere. 

 

Program begins at 6:30 PM with an introductory program inside the Chalet, then stargazing 7 - 9:00 PM  If the weather doesn't cooperate we will extend the program inside the Chalet.

 

White light flashlights are NOT ALLOWED! Please use red lights or cover your white light with many layers of red cellophane or a thick red balloon. A white light shined into dark-adapted eyes is painful, and ruins their view for another twenty minutes and they might miss something important! 

 

Park in the main lot, telescope observing area is on the other side of the Chalet.

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Northwoods Explorers Membership Program

 

The Northwoods Explorers membership program offers the opportunity to learn more about our Universe and how to find your way among the nearby stars, then travel further into our amazing Universe. 

Visit our Membership Page Here

 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Squirrel Hill Aurora Watch

Signup to to watch the Northern Lights on the Minocqua Winter Park's Squirrel Hill Lookout that has an incredible wide view to the northern skies.

 

Our Sun looks like it's on the way to Maximum. This might increase the probabilities of seeing Aurora over the next few years.

 

Our nearest star could produce an incredible amount of activity.

 

Check our calendar to take advantage of the opportunities to safely observe Prominences on the limb of our Sun through Hydrogen-alpha (Ha) Telescopes during our daytime events.

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Past Events:

Stargazing with the Northwoods Explorers

at the Minocqua Winter Park, Friday, June 3rd

We had great skies but the mosquitos bugged us for the first hour, then they disappeared! We saw a beautiful Crescent Moon, then as it became darker, M13 - the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, then M57 the Ring Nebula, which is a star that has expelled most of its mass, we also saw a couple of faint fuzzies near M81 which were spiral galaxies that are about 12 million light years distant. Dew appeared at 10:30 so we packed up. Even at that hour, it was still somewhat light, sky glow was bright, this time of year there's only about 3 hours of astronomical darkness! 

 

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Total Lunar Eclipse

Sunday, May 15th, 2022

Minocqua Winter Park, 9-11 PM

 

The weather cooperated at first, we set up, then went inside the Chalet for our moon hands-on activity, learning about eclipses, moon phases, supermoons, the moon's day, and more. We went back outside to catch the moon's entry into the Umbra, sprinkles started then turned into rain! Yikes! We packed up what we could, then watched the rest with binoculars. What we saw was Beautiful!! We hope to see the next total Lunar eclipse on Nov 8th, 2022, in the very early morning.

In-between the clouds we saw the International Space Station zoom overhead.

For more information see Total Lunar Eclipse on May 15–16, 2022 – Where and When to See (timeanddate.com)  and EarthSky | Total lunar eclipse on May 15-16, 2022

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Stargazing with the Northwoods Explorers

 at the Minocqua Winter Park, Saturday, May 7th, 2022

Another fantastic evening at the Minocqua Winter Park, the wind died down, clouds were thin, we observed the crescent moon at 250x and M13, the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, some 25,000 light years distant, at 250x however, we only counted about a thousand stars, not the 500 thousand that are supposedly there!

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Aurora Watch on Squirrel Hill October 30th, 2021

The CME went south of our planet!!

We had a great time at the Squirrel Hill Lookout but the G3 rated storm didn't occur. However, we had an amazing view of our Galaxy! We observed Jupiter and 3 of its moons, Saturn and its rings, and the amazing moon Titan, then M13 the great Hercules Globular Cluster of around 500,000 stars, and the Ring nebula. The skies were clear enough to see M31, the Andromeda Galaxy 2.5 million light years away, with our naked eyes! Then we looked at it through imaged stabilized binoculars, it was as wide as a few full moons.

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Wisconsin Science Festival

A statewide celebration for school-aged children and their families.

 

Solar System Science Oct 21 - 5 PM, 2021 

Minocqua Public Library

We had a great turnout at the Minocqua Public Library, they watched a presentation on  “Solar System Science - Order out of Chaos” as a part of the Wisconsin Science Festival. They watched the Jet Propulsion Laboratory control center land Curiosity on Mars, then the JUNO mission's close-up views of Jupiter, and Cassini's mission revealing a wonderful view of Saturn.

Afterward, many children enjoyed trying to lift an 18 pound 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite! The skies cleared enough for most everyone to observe Jupiter with 3 of its moons and Saturn. The seeing was very good considering the nearby streetlamps. Dew started around 7 PM with temps at 37 F.   

We plan to schedule more events at the Minocqua Library soon, stay in touch by signing up for event notifications.

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Stargazing with the Northwoods Explorers of Space and Astronomy

Saturday, October 9th,  6:30-9:00 PM, 2021

 Minocqua Winter Park

Everyone seemed to enjoy the talk on our Solar System. The skies fully cooperated and we had a great view of Saturn and Jupiter in this beautiful park. The seeing was very good, we were able to use a 7mm eyepiece on a 1500mm FL telescope, we could have done even better but the scope wasn't tracking, to keep up with the rotation of our planet. We could see detail on Saturn and its shadow on the rings, Many bands on Jupiter could be seen, along with 4 of Jupiter's many moons. Just as soon as M13 was available on the 20" Dobsonian telescope the clouds came in along with an increase in dew, so we had to pack up.

We enjoyed the beautiful sky and the park was very accommodating. Stay tuned for future event announcements. 

Here's a news story covering this event from

WJFW Channel 12 Rhinelander

Northwoods Explorers host stargazing party // WJFW Newswatch 12

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​Friday September 10th 7:30 - 9:30 PM, 2021 

North Lakeland Discovery Center

The skies cleared and we had a wonderful evening under the stars at the North Lakeland Discovery Center in Manitowish Waters. We observed many objects -- Saturn and its rings along with Jupiter and its largest moons, the Andromeda galaxy some 2.3 million light years away. the great globular cluster in Hercules where 500,000 stars exist some 23,000 light years distant, and the Ring Nebula, which is the remains of a star's atmosphere expanding out into space.

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Stargazing with the Northwoods Explorers of Space and Astronomy

August 14th 2021

North Lakeland Discovery Center

We were fortunate to have a wonderful evening, no clouds, just a bit of smoke. We saw a few Perseids, a beautiful Crescent Moon, Jupiter and Saturn looked great but were low on the horizon so there wasn't as much detail. At our next event we may have a chance to view them higher in the sky. M13 looked fantastic through the 20" reflector, as well as a blue-hued M57 Ring Nebula. At the end a few were able to view M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, through image-stabilized binoculars.

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July 20th, 2021 "The Space Race"

Minocqua Country Club

(Private Event)

We presented to a wonderful group about the

amazing opportunities building bridges to the future in space,

and the challenge of finding scientists and engineers to help.

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July 13 2021 Solar Program 1-4 PM

North Lakeland Discovery Center

Our audience learned about the Sun and it's connection to planet Earth, then viewed a few small prominences that were bigger than Earth on the limb of the nearest star, and observed a sunspot's "hole" .

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Oct 9th, 2020 Starparty at the

North Lakeland Discovery Center

Success! The skies cooperated for a great night at the North Lakeland Discovery Center Friday Oct 9th. Two telescopes were setup, a 10" and a 12" Dobsonian Newtonian reflector.

 

We first saw Jupiter with 3 of its 60+ moons. Then IO became visible, coming out from behind the huge planet. Saturn was great too, but the "seeing" toward the horizon stopped us from using higher magnification, we could barely see the rings. Next was the distant M13, the great Globular Cluster in Hercules where over 500,000 stars fill the view of the eyepiece with light that started 23,000 years ago and remain a mystery. Next was M57, the Ring Nebula in Lyra, which looked like a small greenish-blue-gray cheerio or donut shaped object, which is the expanding atmosphere of a star which has turned into a White Dwarf.  With binoculars we saw M31, the great Andromeda Galaxy some 2.3 million light years away. At the end the Red Planet Mars was seen brightly in the East.  

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"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."

 

- Benjamin Franklin