Maine Is The Least Light Polluted State On The Entire East Coast
The Portland Press Herald is saying that of all the states on the entire eastern seaboard, Maine has the absolute least light pollution. In fact, the phrase they used was that Maine is one of the few places with "pristine skies".
I can 100% attest to that. Both places where I spend most of my time, home and camp, are amazing spots to be when it comes to star gazing. At camp, if the water is still at night, you can see the stars clearly reflecting in the water. It creates this kind of crazy 3D effect... Like there's no up or down. IT's a bit disorienting if you're standing on the dock.
If you look at the light map in the Press Herald article, you can see that a large chuck of the state... mostly south of Bangor, has quite a bit of light pollution. But as you go further north, especially into the Katahdin region, and close to the northwestern border with Canada, Maine has some truly pristine sky.
I guess those spots aren't necessarily a surprise. There's a lot of woods, and not a lot of people. But you won't find a clear sky like ours anywhere else in New England. But what other effects does all this light have? On animals? On people?
With animals, it confuses their migration patterns. When street lamps are brighter than the moon, you're bound to find trouble. With people it can lead to things such as depression, contribute to obesity, and some even think it could help push along certain types of cancer. Not to mention it's potential effects on sleep patterns.
It's been part of the catalyst for some towns to consider the effects of light on people and animals. Bar Harbor has actively tried to reduce light pollution. Even going as far as the annual Acadia Night Sky Festival. It features all kind of events and activities that are geared toward enjoying in the darkest conditions possible, to enhance enjoyment of star and moonlight.
Of all things Maine could or should be known for, this should be right at the top of the list. In a day and age where nothing but crazy stuff seems to be happening more and more all the time, it's nice to have our state known for something so awesome.