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The Red Glow of the Bold Coast

September 27, 2013; 12:21 PM ET

Our last few blog entries have been some night-photography information and were written by and shared with permission by Adam Woodworth. Please visit

We are keeping a close eye on Comet ISON for you and hope to have a blog about it with some updates and the most recent data to help you figure out if you would like to travel somewhere to see it.

The Red Glow of the Bold Coast, Cutler Coast, Maine

While this is definitely one of the darkest sky places I've ever been, it does have one big drawback for night photography, and that is the Naval Computer & Telecommunication Station (NCTS) in Cutler, 7.5 miles to the southwest of where this photo was taken. The NCTS consists of 26 towers with antennas, the largest towers being nearly 1,000 feet tall. Each tower has a red light on top that slowly blinks. With so many red lights so high in the air, they easily create a red glow for any long exposure photo taken at night looking toward the west.

The NCTS was used by the US Navy as a radio transmission station for communicating with submarines, and went into operation in 1961. Uniformed Navy personnel left the base in 2000 and the site is undergoing conversion to civilian use. There are two giant antenna arrays covering an entire peninsula. Each array consists of 13 antenna towers and spans over a mile across.

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About This Blog

Astronomy Blog
The astronomy blog, by Mark Paquette, discusses stargazing and astronomy issues and how the weather will interact with current astronomy events.