The Apostle Islands after dark – celebrating our night sky

If you’ve ever visited the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore after dark, you know the night sky is simply breathtaking. Against a backdrop of the darkest skies in Wisconsin, millions of stars glitter like diamonds. The core of the Milky Way comes alive as it arcs across the southern horizon during the spring and summer months. A brilliant full moon casts a beam of light across the lake. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll see the Northern Lights dance.

These are all great reasons why the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore could become the next dark sky park… making it that much more attractive to star gazers, photographers and nature lovers from around the world. The Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore has established a committee to explore the suitability and feasibility of designating the Apostle Islands as an International Dark Sky park.

The International Dark Skies Association, which reviews applications and designates dark sky locations has declared April 19-26 as Dark Skies Week, 2020. You can learn more about the online event and watch the presentations here.

We’ve included one presentation called Dark Sky Art in our National Parks, featuring Dr. Tyler Nordgren, Artist, Astronomer and Night Sky Ambassador.

The program description: “Art is at the heart of the U.S. National Parks. A new generation of night sky photography and “See the Milky Way” travel posters have played a significant part in the realization that ‘Half the Park is After Dark.” 

If you’re interested in night photography in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, be sure to check out our Fine Art Prints featuring the Milky Way above the iconic lighthouses and features of the National Lakeshore. Click the link to see the series, made by Friends volunteers, with proceeds benefiting the park. Buy a print today to support the work of the Friends, including the effort to gain dark sky status for the islands we all love.

Photo credit: Mystic Dreams by Joe Garza, our 2019 Friends Fine Art print of the year.

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