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Best time to travel to Maine

Stargazing

Gaze up in the night sky and look for remote galaxies and space objects

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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Being a relatively low populated and rural state, Maine offers great stargazing opportunities. Thanks to some efforts to limit light pollution, the state hosts a few Dark Sky Sanctuaries and viewing areas specially designated for stargazing. The best time to experience the night sky in Maine is summer. July and August not only bring the best weather, but also the best visibility of the sky full of stars. So grab some blankets and maps of the starry sky, and you will surely have a night to remember.

Acadia National Park

Located on the Maine coastline, Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park offer endless clear night skies. Light pollution is quite low due to the remoteness of big cities and the efforts of the Bar Harbor conservation commission to limit light pollution in the park.

Sand Beach, Jordan Pond, Ocean Path, and the west side of Mount Desert Island are among the best locations for nighttime excursions in the park. The view of the Milky Way is stunning here in late summer and early fall. National Park hosts the annual Acadia Night Sky Festival every September.

The Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument

The Katahdin region is known as one of the best stargazing spots on the East Coast with an outstandingly starry sky. Constellations, the Milky Way galaxy, and even the occasional northern lights can be seen on a clear night. No wonder Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument has been recognized as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark Sky Association. A great place for hiking, paddling, and other outdoor activities, the park has minimum light pollution and hosts astronomy events in the fall.

Cobscook Bay State Park

Located at the top right corner of Maine, in Washington County, Cobscook Bay State Park is one of the top places for stargazing in the state. Thanks to low light pollution and plenty of public accommodations available, it has become a popular spot for astronomy gatherings. Every August since 2006 it hosts the Maine State Star Party, attracting professional and amateur astronomers.

Those who want to educate themselves about space will also find plenty of opportunities in Maine. Blueberry Pond Observatory in Pownal, Starfield Observatory in Kennebunk, and Southworth Planetarium at the University of Southern Maine in Portland feature numerous exhibits as well as science and astronomy programs.