In this file photo made Dec 20, 2006, stars trails streak across the sky in a 75-minute time-exposure at Acadia National Park, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

Advocates in Maine are looking to make it known that the state contains the largest area free of light pollution in the eastern half of the United States in order to draw more tourism.

Space News

Feb 20, 2018

The latest news from out of this world.  We’ll preview the NASA launch schedule for 2018 and discuss the role commercial space flight might play in satellite launches and human exploration of space. 

Guests:  Dr. Julie Ziffer, Physics Professor at the University of Southern Maine.  She was part of an international research team that was the first to discover water-ice on an asteroid surface.  The International Astronomical Union recognized her contributions to planetary science by naming asteroid 7909 Ziffer in her honor.


Shawn Laatsch, Director of the Emera Astronomy Center & Jordan Planetarium at the University of Maine. He's also the president of the International Planetarium Society, Inc.


Jason Crusan, Division Director for NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems.

Dark Skies

Jan 24, 2018

Parts of Maine are treasured for their amazing night sky, unaffected by the light pollution of cities and towns. In other parts of Maine, efforts are underway to reduced light pollution, by rethinking outdoor lighting.  Bird lovers, astronomy buffs and tourism officials are among those promoting the dark skies movement here in Maine, and across the nation.

Guests: Ed Gleason, astronomer and planetarium manager at University of Southern Maine


Nancy Hathaway, chair of the Surry Conservation Commission and mindfulness instructor who has been involved with dark skies efforts in Maine


Doug Hitchcox, staff naturalist at Maine Audubon

News from Space

Jul 10, 2017

From the upcoming total solar eclipse to the latest news from private space launches, we’ll check in with our amateur and professional astronomers for what to look for up in the sky in the coming weeks.

Guests:  Edward Gleason, University of Southern Maine Planetarium Manager

Shawn Laatsch, Director, Emera Astronomy Center & Jordon Planetarium, UMaine

Bernie Reim, author of the monthly astronomy column in the Portland Press Herald and an astronomy lab instructor at the University of Southern Maine

Astronomy News

Jan 27, 2017

Astronomy experts join us to discuss which celestial events to be on the watch for in the coming year. What's up at the International Space Station? What are the Mars Rovers up to?


Nancy Atkinson, Contributing Editor for Universe Today. Author of Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our Views of the Cosmos. (via ISDN)

Edward Gleason, astronomer and manager of the Southworth Planetarium at the University of Southern Maine

'Cosmos' and Space

Jun 23, 2014

Few things are more fun, fascinating and educational than gazing into the night sky to see and learn about all that's happening away from the pale blue dot we call home. The success of the re-imagined TV show "Cosmos," starring Neil DeGrasse Tyson, has renewed interest in space, exploration and the science of astronomy.

  Look! Up in the night sky! It's a meteor, its an asteroid, its a falling satellite!

Host Irwin Gratz was joined by 

Neil F. Comins, Ph.D., Professor, Physics and Astronomy, University of Maine 

Nicole Hastings, Assistant in Instruction, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Bates College

and Jerry LaSala, Professor of Physics and Director of the Southworth Planetarium at USM