Southern Maine Astronomers and Their Events Coming Up!

The Southern Maine Astronomers, or the SMA, is a group of both professional and amaetur astronomers that writes about and photographs space through Google Groups and Night Sky Network. They also are actively fighting light pollution and preserving dark Maine skies. SMA club members share ideas and mentorship to members, which include students and the general public interested in astronomy. They host events every month to share their love and ideas about space and the night sky. Events include members and guest speakers, who give presentations though Zoom. Here are some upcoming events the SMA are hosting:

Event 1: Defending the Dark

All are welcome to Southern Maine Astronomers’ monthly club meeting on Thursday, October 6th, 2022. The meeting will feature a talk by Tara Roberts Zabriskie, Producer and Director, of a new short film on the effects of light pollution, especially in the state of Maine. The meeting will include the showing of the 35 minute film, ‘Defending the Dark,’ followed by a discussion with Ms. Zabriskie on the making of the film and her motivation in doing so. The meeting will occur on Zoom at 7pm. They will also have a tour of the constellations Lyra and Lacerta.  To get the Zoom link, please click the ‘Contact Us’ form on their website at southernmaineastronomers.org. They look forward to seeing you there!

Photo of the ‘Heart Nebula’ Courtesy of the SMA Photo Gallery on Their Website: https://www.southernmaineastronomers.org/#gallery

Event 2: An Evening of Astronomical Exploration

All are welcome to Southern Maine Astronomers’ Monthly Star Party on Saturday, October 8th, 2022. Come enjoy an evening spent fraternizing with amateur astronomers, hobbyists and beginners alike, and observe the stars. There is no equipment required as the club will have several telescopes set up for your viewing pleasure, although please feel free to bring your own equipment if you like. The event will include a laser pointer tour of constellations. The event will occur rain or shine: if inclement the meeting will occur indoors and include talks, telescope demos and observing tips. The event will be from 7PM – 9PM, at 179 Neptune Drive, Brunswick, ME. Call 207-751-4651 or visit their website at southernmaineastronomers.org for more details.

Event 3: Nautical Star Party

SMA is co-hosting a star party with Maine’s First Ship, a non-profit that, over a 10-year period with all volunteer labor, built a replica of the pinnace Virginia, the first vessel built by European settlers in North America.  The replica vessel was launched on June 4, 2022 and is tied up at the Bath waterfront awaiting completion of the rigging and Coast Guard certification. The star party will focus on early navigation techniques and the navigational stars that the crew probably used on the Virginia’s maiden voyage back to England in the fall of 1607. They will use these navigational stars as a segue into basic astronomy of apparent magnitude, distance and stellar evolution and conclude the evening with several deep sky objects visible in late September skies. The event is free and open to the public. The event will occur on Saturday, September 24th, from 6PM – 9PM. The address is the Jane Stevens Visitor Center at 27 Commercial St, Bath, ME 04530. For more information, call 207-751-4657 or email rburgess250@comcast.net.

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