I've said it once, I'll say it again: I'm a total space nerd! I love anything and everything having to do with the cosmos. I'm especially a fan of stargazing here in west Michigan.

Luckily for me we have several resources for amateur astronomers in Michigan which include the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society (KAS), several public observatories across the state, and three certified International Dark Sky Parks-- including Dr. TK Lawless Park in nearby Three Rivers!

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However, when it comes to public observatories in particular you'll have to make a drive. The nearest public observatories you'll find in Michigan are in the Ann Arbor area. Thankfully, that's about to change as west Michigan's first public observatory is set to host its grand opening!

Hemlock Crossing Public Observatory

MLive reports the Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Association (SAAA) has raised over $100,000 to build the observatory located in Ottawa County. Construction began on the observatory last year and the Hemlock Crossing Public Observatory is set to welcome the public on October 8, 2022 from 7:00- 9:00 p.m. Weather permitting, you'll even be able to see the stars through the observatory's 16-inch telescope.

Another amazing detail is that the observatory will be free to use and plans to be open at least one night a week for public viewing. In addition, the public observatory plans to host school field trips, organizations, and group outings to learn more about our vast solar system. SAAA president Frank Roldan tells MLive its the only fully public observatory in west Michigan. This is a big deal!

I'm looking forward to many stellar viewings to come! Find more details on the grand opening celebration here.

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