Mackinaw City is proud to have The Headlands International Dark Sky Park as a fantastic place for people of all ages to go and explore the beauty of the dark, starry sky. There are only ten dark sky parks in the world. A dark sky park is a designated public area where outside light influence is minimal and natural darkness showcases all the night sky has to offer.
On Monday, August 12, 2013, we were proud to be part of an experiment that shows the effect that outdoor lights and light spilling from our homes has on the night sky. We were asked to turn off all outdoor lights that spill upwards and to block all light coming from indoors , from 10:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. We turned off our sign and perimeter lighting. It was dark. But the big “wow” factor occurred when the Mighty Mac turned off the cable and tower lights. It was DARK. It took my eyes a few moments to adjust to the darkness and when they did, oh what a sight. I looked up and there must have been thousands of stars. They looked like diamonds on black velvet. I was told to watch for the International Space station to fly overhead. When it did it will be taking a picture of the area and measuring how much light Mackinaw City and St Ignace are reflecting into the night sky. The community that shows the least amount of sky pollution wins. I did see the space station . But I was most interested in the Perseid Meteor showers. This was a beautiful sight to watch the meteors without having all the lights distorting the night sky. The bridge lights were turned back on about 12:45 a.m. and so were the Riviera’s.
I did manage to take a few pictures of the historic event and I am having difficulty trying to describe the incredible beauty of this evening.