Dark Sky Viewing Articles

Discover the Park – Activities

Treasures of the night: Friends to focus on protecting the night sky over the Apostle Islands in 2024 and beyond

Treasures of the night: Friends to focus on protecting the night sky over the Apostle Islands in 2024 and beyond

It begins with a faint glimmer, just a hint of brightness on the northern horizon, then builds, rising like an aria. Soon, the night sky is glowing green and red, dancing with light, shimmering like diamonds. The aurora is out. The northern lights are gleaming above the Apostle Islands. Aurora over Honeymoon Rock - Jeff Rennicke photo“To watch the white sail of a full moon gliding across the stars or see the brushstroke of the Milky Way or the flicker of northern lights painting the night sky is to witness one of true the wonders of the world, a gift of nature,” says Jeff Rennicke, Executive...

Northern lights celebrated during 6th annual Aurora Summit at Red Cliff

Northern lights celebrated during 6th annual Aurora Summit at Red Cliff

The weekend of November 3-5th saw one of North America’s largest displays of aurora borealis (northern lights) this year, visible as far south as Colorado. While clouds obscured the display in the Apostle Islands, even cloudy skies could not dampen the enthusiasm of the several hundred skywatchers gathered at the Legendary Waters Resort in Red Cliff for Aurora Summit 23.“The Aurora Chasers knocked it out of this world over the weekend at Aurora Summit 23,” said Melissa Kaelin, co-founder of the Aurora Summit, and author of Below the 45th Parallel: The Beginners Guide to Chasing the Aurora in...

And the sky danced – northern lights put on a show in the Apostle Islands

And the sky danced – northern lights put on a show in the Apostle Islands

CRACK! The lake ice is restless tonight, crackling out in the darkness like old bones, weakened by wind and warm spring days. But I am safely on solid ground along the mainland portion of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It is nearing midnight. The stars overhead are as bright as sparks from a campfire. But it is not lake ice or campfires that have me out this late, alone and in the cold. It is what is happening just above the ice: here in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore the northern lights are out.    Northern lights over York Island with a meteor tail on the left - Jeff...

The Apostle Islands after dark – celebrating our night sky

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...