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CMAS Summer Schedule 2017

Mark your calendars! The astronomy calendar is quite full this summer, starting with this month’s star party at Brower Observatory.


Saturday, June 17, 2017, 9:00pm
Rain Date: Saturday, June 24

Star Party at Brower Observatory
341 Route 126, Whitefield, ME 04353

Come meet the new members! We have half a dozen in just the last month. One will be arriving from Massachusetts with his C11, a reminder of how lucky we are to live every night under dark skies. See the newly refurbished Brower Observatory, standing proudly under its new roof of architectural shingles, ready for years of further service. Please note: Several people were accidentally misinformed that the star party was scheduled for Saturday, June 10, the day after the full Moon, when the skies are most obscured by moonlight. The correct date is Saturday, June 17.


Thursday-Sunday, July 20-23, 2017 — Stellafane Convention
Springfield, Vermont —

One of the world’s greatest star parties is held only four or five hours drive away, depending upon where one lives in CMAS’s realm. Astronomers attend from all over the country, even all over the world. Every year, we discuss attending. This year, let’s go! This is not just a star party, but also a convention of amateur telescope makers, the best opportunity anywhere to see telescopes of unusual designs, exceptional optics, and surprising beauty. Spread the word throughout the club, and report back about how many may want to attend.


Saturday, Jul 22, 2017 8:45pm
Rain Date: Saturday, August 5

Star Party at Galaxy Quest Observatory
84 Vancycle Road, Lincolnville, ME 04849

For those who say, “Drive to Vermont? Bah!” CMAS offers a compelling alternative. We miss seeing many of you from the East who can not get to Brower or DRA, and so look forward to meeting on your own turf. With the 18” Big Dob as our time machine, we’ll reach across lightyears of deep space to see worlds scarcely visible in smaller telescopes.


Saturday, August 19, 2017, 8:00pm
(No rain date, due to next week’s Maine State Star Party)

Star Party at Damariscotta River Association
110 Belvedere Road, Damariscotta, ME 04543

Only at DRA do we find summer skies charmed by frogs chirping in nearby ponds. Even if the frogs don’t actually sing by this time of summer, at least the hordes of mosquitos will be gone, leaving us free to enjoy the skies. DRA is centrally located near many members, and so is consistently well attended. A number of the new members live near here, so let’s give them a great start in astronomy!


Monday, August 21, 2017 — Total Solar Eclipse

This eclipse represents a rare opportunity to witness one of the most awe-inspiring and beautiful events of anyone’s lifetime. People will be traveling from all over the world to see this; so, as rare, total eclipses go, it is actually occurring quite close to us. The apparent expense and hassle of traveling South by car or West by plane is thus actually smaller that it will be at nearly any point in our lifetimes. One might say, “Wait for April 8, 2024, when a total eclipse passes through Maine;” but, eclipses are like star parties, easily ruined by clouds. Now remains the better of the two great opportunities of our lifetimes, in the sense that we would be heading to skies that see fewer clouds than Maine in April. We considered a road trip to Southern states for viewing, but then Jon and Dwight had dinner with the editor of “Sky and Telescope” magazine, who suggested it would be less costly, less tiring, and a surer bet to fly to St. Louis, Missouri, and then drive several hours to the best location, depending upon the weather that day. Send us your thoughts on how to make this trip happen!


Friday-Saturday, August 25-26, 2017
(Depart Sunday morning)

Maine State Star Party
Cobscook Bay State Park

The CMASians who attended last year unanimously agreed that this is a truly great event, one never to be missed. Come meet your fellow Maine scopeheads in a locale of truly astonishing beauty, along the coast, near the Canadian border. We have good skies at all of CMAS’s observatories, yet a trip to Cobscook Bay illustrates the true meaning of “dark skies.” There are more stars above than even we Central Mainers know, so come see ’em with us! Special thanks to Charlie Sawyer, President of Downeast Amateur Astronomers, who has organized this event every year, and immortalized it in this verse:

Bring your scope
And bring your tent.
We all know
It’s time well spent!


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