WELCOME TO THE ASTRONOMY INSTITUTE OF MAINE!
(Updated 1 11 2013)
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Our mission is to provide programs, facilities, and resources to schools, teachers and the public, to promote astronomy as a stimulating educational and cultural activity for people of all ages.
Maine retains some of the last naturally dark skies on the East Coast. Maine's star-filled nights offer a universe of inspiration.
Natural curiosity and pristine nights turn people of all ages into space explorers. The Institute is currently focused on three outreach programs:
The annual Maine Starlight Festival is dedicated to preserving the nighttime environment as a valuable natural and educational resource, through grass-roots scientific management. Light pollution fills the sky close to the ground with glowing domes that hide distant starlight. As light pollution grows, the reach of human vision shrinks—a view of nearly 6,000 stars, stretching millions of light years into the past, dwindles to a mere handful. Science, poetry, art, and music are some of the ways we've learned to express the wonder of a star-filled sky.
The spectacle of a pristine sky is now reserved for the last undeveloped corners of our country. We work within communities to help them make informed results based decisions about the future of their night sky.
Our current efforts are focused on the state-of-the-art Nightscape Survey capabilities that we aquired with the technical assistance of the National Park Service through a 5 year collaborative effort that concluded in 2011. The measurement effort was initiated in 2007, and in 2008 we completed the first community inventory to take advantage of the NPS technology for the Acadia All American Road and concluded with the acquisition of AIM's independently owned and operated system in 2011. Our next steps include research into the field of light pollution science, geospatial mapping, and improvements in our presentation of spatially demanding information.
Educating Maine's Starlit Communities Since 2004
© Astronomy Institute of Maine All Rights Reserved
P. O. 249
Bernard, ME 04612