All posts by Shawn Laatsch

Shawn Laatsch

About Shawn Laatsch

Shawn Laatsch is the director of the Emera Astronomy Center and Jordan Planetarium at the University of Maine. He started his astronomy education career in 1984 and has directed planetariums in university and science center facilities, taught undergraduate astronomy courses, and given numerous lectures around the globe. He serves as President (2017 & 2018) of the International Planetarium Society, Inc. the world’s largest organization of planetarium professionals. Shawn has a passion for sharing astronomy and stargazing with people of all ages.

Spectacular Morning Planets, Autumnal Equinox on Friday, and Acadia Night Sky Festival

If you are an early morning riser, the beginning of the week has a planetary show in store for you while Fall official begins on Friday with the Autumnal Equinox, and Acadia Night Sky Festival returns Thursday to Sunday.  For more on the Festival, see here.  Here is your guide to the sky for September […]

Possible Aurora, Cassini’s Grand Finale, and Clark Telescope Ribbon Cutting

The week ahead is and exciting one!  There is a good possibility of sighting Aurora on Monday night, and Friday is both the grand finale for the Cassini Mission to Saturn after 13 years of incredible discoveries, and at Emera Astronomy Center on the same day they are doing the ribbon cutting for the historic […]

Corn Harvest Moon and Remembering Voyager Probes 40 years later

The Labor Day Holiday has me off a day or two on my blogging duties, yet I’m nostalgically catching up as this week the Voyager probes celebrate 40 years of exploration, and I still remember when they were launched when I was a young boy of seven.  Between Viking landing on Mars in 1976 and […]

Totality memoirs and late summer skies

My brain is still processing my 4th total eclipse experience as I traveled from Maine to Idaho for the celestial event on August 21st.  Back here my two grad students Alex and Andrew held down the fort at Emera Astronomy Center and had over 900 visitors for the partial eclipse here in our state.  It […]

7,6,5 – countdown to the Solar Eclipse, plus a seagoat in your night sky

We are only week and counting as I post this today (Monday, Aug 14) for Solar Eclipse on August 21st.  This is an event you want to make sure to see.  Along with the eclipse we have planets and a seagoat in our evening skies.  Here is your guide to the sky for August 14 […]

Amazing Eclipses and Family Safety

This year on August 21st the lower continental United States will experience a solar eclipse, which is one of the most spectacular sights in all of nature.  It is a great family activity with many options for safe viewing.  Where you are on eclipse day will determine what you see, so let’s explore this topic […]

Full Moon, Lunar Eclipse in Europe, and the Perseid Meteor Shower This week we have a Full Moon, and a Lunar Eclipse (not visible here in the US) signaling the upcoming Solar Eclipse on August 21st.  The Perseid Meteor shower reaches it peak rates on Saturday morning before sunrise, and there is much more to […]

August treasure trove for observers

As August begins, get ready for a month of celestial sites, from the annual Perseid Meteor Shower to the Solar Eclipse along with wonderful planets and more.  In this week’s post we look ahead at our month while exploring the sights of our current sky as well.  Here is your guide to the sky for […]

Mercury, Moon, and Jupiter – a celestial dance!

This week the Moon dances with the planets Mercury and Jupiter. At the end of the week you have a chance to see a few Delta Aquarid meteors. Make sure you take some time to look up.  Here is your guide to the sky for July 24 – 30 , 2017… Spotless Sun, Dancing Moon […]

Apollo 11 at 48 and counting, Dolphin in the sky – oh my!

Forty-eight years ago on Thursday, the Apollo 11  LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) touched down on the Moon carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. It was the farthest place humans had ever ventured.  This week as you see the Moon in the morning take a moment to remember that historic time.  Here is your guide to […]