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Astronomy at the Common Ground Fair


This weekend (September 22, 23, and 24, 2023), join your fellow CMASians and astronomers from other clubs by volunteering with Dark Sky Maine at the Common Ground Fair. Light pollution hurts astronomy, blinds motorists and pedestrians, wastes electricity and money, and hurts the tourist economy. Proper outdoor lighting at night enables astronomy, helps people to see better, reduces electricity costs, and promotes tourism. This is something everyone can believe in, and promote to others. There are three ways to help at the Common Ground Fair. Pick one or two, or support all three:

(1) Staff Dark Sky Maine’s information booth;

(2) Help with observations of the Sun near the booth (this will attract a lot of attention!);

(3) Help with the star parties on Friday and Saturday night for the fair’s other volunteers.

Dark Sky Maine is Maine’s clearinghouse for coordinating all activities related to preserving Maine’s dark skies. A major attraction at the Fair is a tent filled with organizations offering information about life in Maine. This is a superb opportunity for astronomy clubs to promote the virtues of saving Maine’s dark skies.

There are no politics to promoting dark skies, so volunteers can be comfortable advocating. Dark Sky Maine seeks to persuade people to want to install good lighting in new construction or when old fixtures need to be replaced, and stands against mandates that would only result in political deadlocking or defeat. Extensive knowledge is not required of volunteers. Knowing and caring about the issue is enough. The rest can be learned from other volunteers and the literature that Dark Sky Maine will make available for distribution.


Volunteers should contact Nancy Hathaway of Dark Sky Maine to receive the necessary tickets into the fairgrounds. Some of the available tickets allow free entrance; if those run out, others are available at discounted rates. Anyone wanting to enter after 5:00pm to help with only an evening’s star party will be admitted free, but still needs to be added to the admittance list. Free campsites are available for anyone wanting to stay overnight.


Nancy Hathaway, President

Hathaway.N (at Gee-Mayle.kom)


284 Crosby Brook Rd, Unity, ME 04988

Google Maps Plus Code: HPP5+XP3 Unity, Maine

September 22, 23, and 24, 2023

Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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