Jacob Gerritsen to present Protecting Lincolnville’s Night Sky talk, Nov. 8
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LINCOLNVILLE — Jacob Gerritsen is a local amateur astonomer/astrophotographer and the operator of the Galaxy Quest Observatory at Donkey Universe on Van Cycle Road in Lincolnville. He will be speaking about Protecting Lincolnville’s Night Sky, on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 6:30 p.m., Lincolnville Community Library.
You’ve probably seen nighttime images taken from space showing large areas of Earth ablaze with light from artificial illumination, according to the library, in a news release. This extensive lighting literally bleaches out the heavens, sharply reducing the number of visible starts. A new “Lights Out” exhibit at the national Museum of Natural History in Washington estimates that 80 percent of the people in the United States can no longer see the Milky Way. Large parts of Maine still have a “Dark Sky,” but coastal areas are increasingly bright. The Milky Way is fading in Rockland, Camden, and Belfast. Lincolnville’s sky is slowly brightening, but it is still much darker than in those larger towns.
Rural communities like Lincolnville have a unique opportunity, according to the release.
“In a society losing its view of the heavens, they can lead the way, modeling how to reclaim the night sky, protect what they value about their communities, and ensure that future generations can see the same starry skies that have inspired humanity across the ages,” said LCL. “If we do well enough here in Lincolnville, we could be designated an International Dark Sky Community by the International Dark Sky Association.”
Gerritsen will talk about why this issue is important and what we can do to preserve the stars for ourselves and the generations to come.