Stars Over Katahdin

Stars Over Katahdin is an annual celebration of the unparalleled night skies of the Katahdin region. Each year, we gather Volunteers In Parks (VIP) astronomers and star enthusiasts to observe the stunning celestial objects above the Loop Road Overlook at Mile 6.4.

STARS OVER KATAHDIN 2019

Saturday, September 21st
The Loop Road Overlook at Mile 6.4
Event details forthcoming

We’re still working on the exact programming for this year’s Stars Over Katahdin, but, given the success of previous events hosted by Elliotsville Plantation, Inc, we have our framework. We plan on hosting the annual campfire chat below the Loop Road Overlook where, with hot cocoa and s’mores in hand, some of our volunteers share scientific lessons and rousing anecdotes while we wait for the skies to darken. Following our campfire program, we head to the Loop Road Overlook where our Astro VIPs teach us what lies overhead through interpretation of stars, planets, and celestial objects seen with telescopes, binoculars, and the naked eye.

In year’s past, the Katahdin Learning Project and Northern Stars Planetarium teamed up to bring students at Katahdin Elementary and Oprick Myal Elementary interactive presentations on the night skies. We also work to build out exciting daytime programming around the night sky viewing while there’s still daylight to enjoy. The event takes place around the time when foliage is peaking in the north woods, so we often organize hikes in and around the Monument.

Stars Over the Katahdin takes place while Friends, EPI, and the National Park Service continue their collective effort to have the Monument designated as a Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark Sky Association. The efforts to conserve the night skies of the region were previously covered in the Portland Press Herald’s feature “Let there be dark: Advocates push Maine as astrotourism destination” and The County’s article “Dark skies a resource to protect”. Light pollution maps show that this part of Maine is home to a patch of dark skies larger than any other in the United States East of the Mississippi River. With a total eclipse expected to move directly over the Monument in 2024, dark sky advocates pushing for the International Dark Sky Sanctuary hope Katahdin Woods and Waters can be a major destination for astrotourists from across the world.