December 11, 2017
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Solar Eclipse Picnic August 21 in Machias

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STEM Guides Downeast and Downeast Amateur Astronomers are offering a Solar Eclipse Picnic on Monday, August 21, 12–4pm at Middle River Park in Machias. There will be activities and solar telescopes on display to view the eclipse (we will also have glasses available for viewing) as well as an eclipse presentation for the attendees.

We will see a partial eclipse in Machias, with about 60% of the sun covered. The eclipse will begin around 1:30 pm and last until about 4 pm. Peak time will be about 2:45pm. The next time we will have a total solar eclipse in Maine is 2024.

During a solar eclipse, the moon casts two shadows on Earth. The first shadow, known as the umbra, is the dark center of the moon’s shadow. This shadow gets smaller as it reaches Earth. The second shadow, the penumbra, gets larger as it reaches Earth. Here in Maine, we will be in the penumbra and see a partial eclipse. People standing in the umbra will see a total eclipse. For more information about the eclipse and to see the path of totality across the United States, visit:

Bring a picnic and come hang out to watch this astronomical event. There are a limited number of picnic tables at Middle River Park so you may want to bring a chair or a blanket. Middle River Park is across from Helen’s Restaurant and beyond the Sunrise County Trail. A map of Middle River Park can be found here: The event will be cancelled in case of rain or cloudy conditions.

STEM Guides Downeast connects STEM resources and activities to youth age 10-18 and their families in Washington County. STEM Guides Downeast partners include: Axiom Education & Training Center and Maine Math & Science Alliance and is funded by the National Science Foundation. For more information, contact Axiom Education & Training Center, 207-255-4917, or email