Earlier today, the National Park Service announced that the Woods & Waters Region of Katahdin is now a dark-sky sanctuary. This means that it's so far away from artificial man-made light that you can view the night sky in a totally natural state, completely free of light pollution.

According to the BDN, it's the first designation of it's kind on the east coast, and only the twelfth such in the world. Which is pretty cool. I'd like to think due to this designation, that there will some kind of protection for the region. Basically so some shmuck can't come out in to the woods and set up a neon sign factory.

But the Park Service says the lack of man-made light makes for spectacular views of the the planets, and various stars. Not to mention how amazing it must be to see the Northern Lights in spot like that. Katahdin Woods and Waters Superintendent Tim Hudson said this to the BDN:

Experiencing the night skies here will take you back in time to the night skies first experienced by the Wabanaki 11,000 years ago and the many people who have followed in their footsteps.

Folks are still in the planning stages for the 7th annual Stars Over Katahdin festival, scheduled for this September. If the governor's reopening strategy goes according to plan, then the festival will go on. But with the coronavirus making everything speculative, it's hard to say if it'll happen.

If they can't do the festival in person, they'll do a virtual version to view online. That won't be remotely the same, but still, I can't wait to see the view up there myself someday. Until then, I'll go wash my hands again.

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