News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, November 17, 2022
Event teaches how to identify stars and become good night sky stewards

Night sky

Night sky wonder.

Photo courtesy of Wilson Museum

Maine is one of the last dark sky states on the East Coast where the stars and the Milky Way can still be seen. Join the Wilson Museum on Monday, November 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for an indoor/outdoor star party to celebrate and learn about Maine’s beautiful dark sky at the Hutchins Education Center, 112 Perkins Street.

Master Maine Guide and amateur astronomer Karen Francoeur will share easy ways to begin identifying the stars, and the students of the Witherle Memorial Library Night Sky Steward Group will impart tips on how to be good night sky stewards, according to a press release. If the evening sky is clear, attendees will practice using their new knowledge to identify the stars in the emerging winter constellations. Everyone is encouraged to bring binoculars and a chair or blanket and dress in layers.

Francoeur, of Castine Kayak Adventures, leads summer paddlers through the galaxy in a floating planetarium during Castine Kayak’s bioluminescent night tours.

The Night Sky Steward Group aims to minimize light pollution in Castine through education. Since beginning in the spring of 2022, the student group, led by librarian Debra Orado, educates the public on how to be good night sky stewards at the flip of a switch and the effects of light pollution on health, circadian rhythms and the wildlife on the land and in the water, reinforcing the message of turning out outside lights when not outside

This program is part of the “Starlight: A Guide Throughout Time” segment of the museum’s Connecting to Collections series made possible through the support of Bangor Savings Bank.