2016 Eagle  Lake  Observatory  Special  Events

This page highlights the special events we are opening the observatory for. These events are generally ”Cancelled if Cloudy” events and happen during the work week or on weekends not on the regular public star party schedule.

This year we are holding special events for the Transit of Mercury, happening the morning of May 9th as well as the Opposition of Mars.  For any changes to the observing schedule, check the Public Star Party schedule and/or the MAS homepage for the latest updates. For directions and additional information on the Eagle Lake Observatory, visit the Eagle Lake Observatory website.


Location: Eagle Lake Observatory at Baylor Regional Park
Address: 10775 County Rd 33, Norwood-Young America, MN

Transit of Mercury – May 9, 2016


2016 Transit of Mercury

The first “Special Event” of the year is the Transit of Mercury. This is a daytime, early morning event to observe the planet Mercury crossing in front of the disk of the Sun.  Beginning about 6:00 am, that’s right 6:00 AM.  Don’t worry if you can’t get there at 6:00,  the transit will last until about 1:30 pm.

This is the first transit of Mercury since November 2006. The next will be November 11, 2019 when we’ll once again have an early morning event as the transit begins before sunrise from here.  After the 2019 transit, Mercury will not cross the disk of the sun for an additional 13 years in November of 2032.

This star party is a ”Cancelled if Cloudy” event. Be sure to check the MAS home page and/or the MAS Discussion Forums for the latest updates if the sky looks questionable for viewing.

If clear, the star party begins at 6:00 am.  Be sure to dress warm!!!

Opposition of Mars

Dual Star Parties May 27 & 28, 2016

Address: 10775 County Rd 33, Norwood-Young America, MN


2016 Mars Opposition

See Mars at it’s best!! The weekend of May 28, Mars will be the closest to earth since 2005 resulting in the best views of the red planet in the past 11 years. Join us for the weekends special star parties to observe Mars.

We’ll be holding back to back public star parties Friday and Saturday nights.

The Mars Opposition star parties are ”All weather” events.  Even if its cloudy, we’ll be there to talk astronomy, give a tour of the observatory, answer your astronomy questions, etc.


Public Star Party Sept 10, 2016

Star Trek 50th Anniversary

Address: 10775 County Rd 33, Norwood-Young America, MN

For the first time we will be having a Star Trek themed public star party.  Help us honor 50 years of  Star Trek on the anniversary of  “The Original Series” (TOS), which premiered on Sept 8, 1966  as well as Gene Roddenberry’s 95th birthday  (Aug 19, 1921).  Join us in recognition of one of the most iconic TV and movie franchises of all time.


With 28 seasons of prime time television, the 13th motion picture released in July AND a new Star Trek series beginning in January, Star Trek is truly a multigenerational phenomenon. Star Trek has been cited as an inspiration for several technological inventions, including the cell phone and tablet computers. The franchise is also noted for its progressive civil rights stances. The Original Series included one of television’s first multiracial casts. (Star Trek wiki)

Richard Lutz wrote (IMDb reviewer): “The enduring popularity of Star Trek is due to the underlying mythology which binds fans together by virtue of their shared love of stories involving exploration, discovery, adventure and friendship that promote an egalitarian and peace loving society where technology and diversity are valued rather than feared and citizens work together for the greater good. Thus Star Trek offers a hopeful vision of the future and a template for our lives and our society that we can aspire to.”


So, bring your tri-corders, communicators and com-badges.  Dress up for the occasion or come as you are.  We are planning on a special presentation and displays.

This VERY special event is an ”All weather” event.  Even if its cloudy, we’ll be there to talk Trek, astronomy, give a tour of the observatory, answer your astronomy questions, etc.