The 3rd annual Acadia Night Sky Festival runs from tonight through the 26th.

I WAS HAVING A conversation with a colleague when the idea of a “5-year plan” came up. She had her career and life mapped out, down to promotions, number of kids, and where she wanted to travel. All I had (and I think I’m OK with this) was I wanted to be living somewhere where I can see the stars at night. I’d lived in central New Jersey for four years — not a place conducive to gazing at the sky and seeing much of anything.

A good option, at least if I want to stay on the East Coast, would be Maine — specifically near Acadia National Park. From NPS: “Visitors to Acadia can enjoy stunning views of the Milky Way arching over the dark night sky, which is a sight that two-thirds of all Americans cannot see where they live due to light pollution.” And the park is one of the best, if arguably one of the only, places to even see the Milky Way along the East Coast.

The Acadia Night Sky Festival promotes and celebrates the night sky in the park with a weekend of events, including star walks and lessons on how to photograph the stars.

Friday 23 Sep, Saturday 24 Sep, and Sunday 25 Sep from 8:00-10:00 p.m. – Star Parties

Each night the event is in a different spot.

“Rangers, volunteers, and local astronomers will point out constellations and other night sky features visible with the naked eye, binoculars, and through telescopes.” For more information and locations for each night, call: 207-288-8832.

Saturday 24 Sep from 6:30-9:30 p.m. – Photography Workshop with Bob Thayer

“Learn to photograph Acadia’s night sky with photographer and naturalist Bob Thayer.…Bob will explain site selection, composition and photographic techniques in low light conditions.” Reservations required — call 207-288-5103, ext. 122. Prepay $45.