Archive - Star Trails Above Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Bristol, Maine

August 07, 2021


Each weekend we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD featuring a lighthouse for this weekend's Lighthouse Day was originally published December 1, 2012.

Photographer: John Stetson
Summary Author: John Stetson

The photo above showing the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse and trails of overhead stars was captured just before dawn in Bristol, Maine on October 23, 2012. The camera was facing east. Venus is the brightest trail, rising from the Gulf of Maine. At the latitude of the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, approximately 44 degrees north, all stars having a declination greater than 46 degrees (stars at the top left of the photo) would be circumpolar -- they never rise and set but are above the horizon throughout the year. Said in another way, at a latitude of 44 degrees any star will be circumpolar if it's less than 44 degrees from the north celestial pole. At the North Pole, all of the stars in the sky are circumpolar. Note that the Tiangong-1 satellite appears as an arc perpendicular to the star trails above the lighthouse.

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