Where to Catch the Peak Geminid Meteor Shower in Kalamazoo
Alright, my inner child/nerdy self is about to be on display. I absolutely love everything that involves space. I was the kid who begged her father to take her to the planetarium every weekend and insisted on memorizing the constellations. With all of that being said, I've never actually witnessed a meteor shower which feels almost shameful. But, it looks like I may finally have my chance tonight.
The Geminid Meteor Shower, also known as the most dependable meteor shower according to amsmeteors.org, are currently in their active stage. They were predicted to be active anywhere between December 1st and the 22nd with the most active nights on the 13th and 14th. Now, I know what you're saying...hey we're already too late! But, that's not the necessarily the case.
On asmeteors.org, they say that,
If your weather appears to be overcast on the peak night, the two nights prior and the one night after the peak will also produce impressive activity.
Which means tonight, we should still be able to see some action! Of course, there are a couple of downsides. Even though it's been relatively warm, those early hours are still a little chilly. And where do you go to make sure you can actually see the meteors?
It turns out, Michigan is home to two International Dark Sky Association recognized parks. According to their website, The International Dark Sky Association is, "the leading organization combating light pollution worldwide." So, when they say - hey this is the best spot to watch meteor showers and the like - you know it's legit. One of those spots is right outside of Kalamazoo.
Dr. T.K. Lawless Park was designated as an International Dark Sky Park at the beginning of this year. And it's not hard to see why. Look at that view!
Now, the website doesn't give any specifics for hours for Dr. T.K. Lawless Park but a google search says they close at 6pm. I don't know how that's going to work with an early morning meteor shower but you can contact them here. As well, there is a charge of $1 for admission if you're a county resident and $3 for non-county residents.
If you live close to the UP, you can enjoy the second International Dark Sky Park in Michigan, The Headlands.
The Headlands is normally open and free to the public 24/7 but with Covid-19 changing everything I would double check before making the trip. You can find all the information you need here.
If you do plan to sit outside and watch the Geminids Meteor Shower make sure you bundle up! The lows are forcasted to be in the mid 20's.