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 Events

Stargazing with the Northwoods Explorers

at the Minocqua Winter Park, Friday, June 3rd

(with a backup on Saturday June 4th).

Program begins 9 PM, stargazing 9:30-11 PM

With good weather we hope to view the crescent moon with many of its craters, then a few deep sky objects far from our Milky Way -- M101 The Pinwheel Galaxy some 21 million light years distant and M51 the Whirlpool Galaxy 23 million light years away, and M81 and M82, two galaxies that are 12 million light years away. All of these are Spiral Galaxies, similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Our other targets will be M3 and M13, which are Globular Clusters, each with hundreds of thousands of stars in a cluster. These objects are part of our galaxy but not in the spiral arms, instead they are found above and below the spiral disk of the Milky Way Galaxy.. Later in the evening M57, the Ring Nebula should come into view, it is the remains of a star that blew away its atmosphere. Come learn more about how these objects fit into the big picture. 

Program begins at 9 PM with a short talk on our place in Space. 

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 behind the Chalet.

If the weather doesn't cooperate, we will hold a short program inside the Chalet.

Reserve your spot by sending an email to TheNorthwoodsExplorers@gmail.com

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Solar Observing with the Northwoods Explorers

at the Minocqua Winter Park

Saturday 1-3 PM June 25th

(with a backup the next day 1-3 PM )

Join the Northwoods Explorers for an afternoon of observing the Sun. We will use specialized telescopes that only view in the Hydrogen-alpha wavelength to reveal in great detail the Sun's Chromosphere. If we get lucky, we may see Prominences that are much larger than planet Earth shooting out into space from the edge of the Sun, and if there are any sunspots, we can try to look down the middle of it! 

There will be a hands-on presentation on how the sun works and how its weather affects planet Earth.

Reserve your spot by sending an email to TheNorthwoodsExplorers@gmail.com

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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

 

We are working on a last-minute notification list to watch potential Aurora on the Minocqua Winter Park's Squirrel Hill Lookout that has an incredible 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, and to safely watch incredible Prominences on the limb of our Sun through our Hydrogen-alpha (Ha) Telescopes.

We may also schedule a few get-togethers to work on our instruments, and to work with remote observatories on the other side of our planet to observe the night skies during our winter days Up North.

Spring, Summer, Fall events are coming up, sign up for event notifications!

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Past Events:

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 one on Nov 8th, 2022.

In-between clouds we saw the International Space Station fly 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