Dark night skies lend themselves to the ultimate stargazing experience in Downeast Maine at the 7th Annual Acadia Night Sky Festival, Sept. 10-14. The festival explores and celebrates the starlit skies through education, science and art workshops, lectures and parties and is presented by Celestron.
There will be events held throughout the duration of the festival in and around Acadia National Park. The park and Downeast Maine are home to stellar night skies, which afford viewers the opportunity to see the clearest star-filled night skies in the eastern U.S. The festival is geared towards families and astronomers alike, and is a great way for residents and visitors to celebrate and promote the protection of the night skies while enjoying nationally recognized speakers, workshops, solar viewings, hikes and more.
The festival kicks off with a variety of events, including a presentation by keynote speaker Dr. John A. Grant, III, a geologist at the Center for Earth & Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum. Grant will be presenting "Exploring Mars with the Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity Rovers." Following Grant's presentation, attendees may enjoy the "Stars Over Sand Beach" event, where attendees can gaze at Acadia's amazing night sky and learn about constellations guided by an Acadia National Park ranger.
Other events taking place during the festival include a sip and paint event, photography classes taught in the park, star parties allowing viewers to get up-close and personal with constellations and other night sky features, and a viewing of "The Astronaut Farmer" at the Celestial Cinema in Agamont Park. There will also be book signings and a variety of children's activities.
In addition to Grant, there will also be many nationally recognized speakers at the festival. Dan Barry, MD, PhD, is a former NASA astronaut and veteran of three space flights, four spacewalks and two trips to the international space station, as well as Alisdair Davey from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Other can't-miss events include an under-the-stars boat cruise with Abbe Museum educator and Wabanaki storyteller George Neptune, bioluminescent night paddles in Castine, and solar viewing at The Jackson Laboratory.
The 2015 Acadia Night Sky Festival is presented by Celestron. Additional support comes from Friends of Acadia, Bar Harbor Whale Watch, Bluenose Inn, Cape Air and Witham Family Hotels.