WINTER HARBOR, Maine (WABI) – If you’re looking for all that mother nature has to offer in Downeast Maine, Winter Harbor is as good a place as any.
For Tim Cushman, it turns out Winter Harbor is also a decent place to see nature that is truly out of this world.
“The sky for this location is a Bortle 3,” Cushman said. “So it’s considered a dark sky. So you don’t have a lot of lights from cities polluting the sky. So I can shoot without a filter, which is good.”
Cushman’s astrophotography hobby started with a small telescope just two years ago.
“Once you get started you fall into a deep, ‘well okay, well I gotta get this, I gotta get that.’”
Now, he captures breathtaking images of the cosmos from a full-fledged observatory in his backyard. And runs the entire operation from his phone.
“I use programs that’ll give you different images that are available for this location. Because what I try to do is shoot straight above. That way you go through less atmosphere and it’ll show me my best galaxies to shoot, or my best nebulas,” he said.
What sets an astrophotographer like Cushman apart from the rest of us is the regular look he gets at what’s far beyond the naked eye, and a better understanding of how vast the universe is compared to the humble planet where his telescope sits.
“All the stars that you see when you look up in the sky from this galaxy, from the Milky Way galaxy. A lot of those images you see are from different galaxies so they’re millions and millions of light years away. It’s hard to grasp because people, they don’t realize how far that actually is. We’re unbelievably small,” he said.