On 9/27/2014 – members of the IAT Maine Chapter Walter Anderson (Yarmouth), Nancy Hathaway (Surry) and newly recruited members Bill Rixon (Freeport) and Katy Sullivan (Portland), set out on a beautiful Indian Summer day to attend the “Stars Over Katahdin” (SOK) event hosted by Elliotsville Plantation Inc.(EPI) Katahdin Woods & Waters on the East Branch of the Penobscot River. EPI is the landowner of many thousands of acres east and adjacent to Baxter State Park. Both Bill, and Katy are skilled astronomers and educators who graciously agreed to perform as the principle astronomical instructors for the SOK event.
New IAT Members Bill Rixon (Freeport) and Katy Sullivan (Portland)
Approximately 35 souls, including the Maine Chapter IAT, Maine Conservation Corps, Colby Outing and Space Clubs, Forest Ranger and family and assorted locals, assembled at 11:00A on a beautiful Indian Summer day at the EPI Woods & Waters Sand Bank Picnic area. Susan and Mark Adams, Recreational Managers for EPI at Lunksoos Camp led a daytime tour of the EPI Katahdin Woods and Waters Loop Rd. followed by group hike and mountain biking up Bernard Mt. near the IAT. At sunset EPI hosts, Susan and Mark, generously provided a sumptuous campfire supper for all, complete with dogs, corn, veggies and assorted goodies.
After sunset, the group assembled at the Star Watch site close to and just east of an imposing Mt. Katahdin. Devoid of any light pollution, an incredibly dark sky provided the backdrop for a vast and brilliant assortment of stars, constellations and astronomical phenomena. The highlight of the SOK on the EPI Loop Rd. event occurred when Bill Rixon and his colleague, Katy Sullivan, with skill and patience, expertly delivered several hours of awesome North Maine Woods astronomy to a rapt audience of star gazers.
We all express our heartfelt gratitude to Susan and Mask Adams (EPI) and Nancy Hathaway (IAT) for organizing and coordinating this unique and spectacular event!