Clinton County residents look to the sky for International Dark Sky Week

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By Liam Tiernan
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

This sign welcomes visitors to Sleepy Hollow State Park

This sign welcomes visitors to Sleepy Hollow State Park

It isn’t a national holiday, it’s an international one.

International Dark Sky Week is underway, but until April 10 you can still participate in the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ celebration of the event.

For the entire week, the DNR is keeping multiple state parks across Michigan, including Sleepy Hollow State Park in Laingsburg, open past 11 p.m. to allow residents to participate in this holiday.

International Dark Sky Week was created in 2003 with the goal for “people to be able to see the wonder of the night sky without the effects of light pollution. The universe is our view into our past and our vision into the future,” according to Jennifer Barlow, creator of the holiday.

To celebrate, thousands take to the darkest places they can think of to look up into a darkened sky and see the stars without artificial light.

“I love the stars and I love the awareness it brings,” said Tae Kim, an MSU astronomy club member who, along with other members of the Astronomy Club, drove to Sleepy Hollow State Park for the April 4 kickoff.

According to the DNR, attendance of the event has been increasing every year since Michigan began having Dark Sky Week events in 2005.

“I’ve been attending Dark Sky Week events around the state since they started,” said Dirk Hitchcock, a Laingsburg resident who showed up to the event lugging a huge Orion telescope. “I’ve been photographing stars for years and these events are the best pictures I’ve gotten in a long time.”

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