Stars over Katahdin

Photo by John T. Meader, 2015
The recent event, Stars over Katahdin, was a fabulous time!
Stars over Katahdin was co-sponsored with Katahdin Woods and Waters who hosted this event on the Overlook off the KWW Loop Road, east of Katahdin Lake and Baxter State Park. This particular area of the North Maine Woods is one of the very few large areas of dark skies, because of low light pollution, east of the Mississippi River. We would like to thank recreation directors Susan and Mark Adams of KWW for their generous time given to help make this happen and Roxanne and Hannah Quimby, Lucas St. Clair for making their land available for this and other recreational activities.

Photo by John T. Meader, 2015
The cloudy sky opened at 9pm and around 10:30/11:00pm a dome of clouds from the west closed the show.

Photo by Maureen Ellerton
IAT Board member Earl Raymond told stories to eight students from the Colby Outing Club. He spoke of the history of the surrounding land as we scooted around moose scat going up Barnard Mountain. The view under mostly clear deep blue skies was refreshing. I was happy to benefit from Earl’s stories. Maureen Ellerton was also an inspiration to the younger students.
While hiking the mountain trail, we met “Chizzlin Cheswick”, a 4,000-mile hiker going from Key West to Newfoundland, sitting in the Katahdin lean-to. He recently completed the Appalachian trail after starting from Miami, Florida with hopes to complete the Eastern Continental Trail to Newfoundland.

Enjoying campfire supper – photo by Walter Anderson
After hiking we enjoyed some delicious campfire food.

While sitting around the campfire, we listened to some fun and interesting chats that were given by astronomers and geologists. Bob Marvinney, IAT Board member and state geologist, talked about the Geology of Katahdin. Chief IAT Geologist, Walter Anderson, also provided us with some geological information. Walter even brought a specimen of the State of Maine Fossil for “show and tell”!

Photo by Bob Marvinney
We then walked up to the Loop Road Lookout where the telescopes were set up overlooking Katahdin and Millinocket Lake focused on The Garnet, Albireo the double eye of Cygnus, Saturn, galaxies, and on and on. The Milky Way was bright and the attention to detail was beyond words. Special thank you to the following generous astronomers who brought telescopes:
Bob MarvinneyLarry Berz from Maine School of Science and Maine and the Francis Malcolm Planetarium in EastonJames Stepp Dean of Students at UMPIJohn Meader astrophotographer and director of Northern Sky Planetarium who visits school with his domeEarl RaymondBill Rixon with binoculars and stories
Some slept on the overlook under the sky, tents, camper and some in cabins at Lunksoos. Breakfast was served and then a few of us boated down the Sebois/East Branch.