July 18, 2014

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association
E-Comet Newsletter

A big thank you to everyone who supported our annual gala:  
An Evening with the Stars

A great time was had by all at our annual gala this past Sunday.  We would like to say thank you to all of our great supporters!

From the solar telescope to a raffle for a downtown parking space everyone enjoyed themselves. Photo far right: Winners of the raffle enjoying their prime parking space.

Animal Naming Contest

The Aquarium's calico lobster and the Natural Science Museum's tortoise need names!  Come by and visit us at the Aquarium and the Natural Science Museum to meet the animals and submit your name into the contest.  The winner will be announced in mid August and will receive a gift from MMA!

Junior Historians
(Ages 7-10)

Programs offered on Tuesdays & Thursdays:
  • Nantucket Girls  
  • Games of Long Ago
  • Scrapbooks & Dreams
  • Mystery History Ghost Tour
  • Mashop & the Puckwudgies: Nantucket Native American Legends
  • Keep the Lights Burning

For more information or to pre-register, visit our website or call 508.228.9198

Director Of Astronomy Awarded Observing Time With Hubble Space Telescope

Dr. Michael West and his collaborator, Dr. Michael Gregg (University of California, Davis), were awarded observing time with the Hubble Space Telescope for a project titled "Morphological Transformation in the Coma Cluster."  The project will study the environmental impact of the Coma Cluster - one of the largest groups of galaxies in the nearby universe - on its member galaxies.  

Stars & Senses Night Hike 

Join MMA staff for an evening hike under the stars.  You will test your night vision, listen for nocturnal animals and learn about their adaptations, take a solo journey if you dare, learn the stories of summer constellations, and more. 

Photo: "Nantucket At Night" By Greg Hinson

Members: $10
Non-members: $15


MMA Wins Second Place For Website

The Maria Mitchell Association's website has been awarded second place by the New England Museum Association (NEMA) in the website category.  This year NEMA received 168 publications from 57 museums entered in twenty different categories.  The winners will be announced in the summer issue of New England Museums Now and our publication will be exhibited at NEMA's annual conference in Boston/Cambridge, MA, November 19-21, 2014.

Summer Discovery Camp & Teen Programs
(Ages 5-15)

Discovery Camp is underway and the kids are all having a great time!
Register today to reserve your spot!

Discovery Camp Scholarships Are Still Available!

Thanks to a generous grant offered by the EGCF, a non-profit foundation, the Maria Mitchell Association is offering up to 24 scholarships for eligible Nantucket residents and visitors.  The grant reduces the cost of the Discovery and Naturalist Leadership Programs by 80% with the purchase of a Family Membership for $25.00.

For more information or to download an application, visit our website.  


If you have any questions, please call us at 508.228.9198 or email Kim Botelho, MMA's Director of Education. 

2014 Best Of The Cape & Islands

The Maria Mitchell Association is proud to announce that we have won three silver awards in Cape Cod Life's Readers Choice Awards in the following categories:
  • Family Activity
  • Kids Activity
  • Museum     
Check out any of our activities or properties on our website!

Nantucket Barn Owl Population Research Report


Dr. Bob Kennedy, MMA Senior Research Fellow, visited the Barn Owl boxes in the MMA Barn Owl Box Nest Program in late June.  Here's his report on his visit:

"The news on our Nantucket Barn Owl Population is better than I expected.  Of the 18 nest boxes in our program, we found three that contained 11 young and two that had roosting adults.  (I) have heard from other box owners not in the Maria Mitchell Association Barn Owl Nest Box Program that at least one other box has young in it.  All of this is very good news indeed since our May 2014 survey and subsequent report, was not very optimistic.  And I am assuming that a few other boxes may have nesting birds with young as well."  


Check out the video below of young barn owls in a box in Madaket and view a map of the Barn Owl boxes in the MMA Barn Owl Nest Box Program. 

Barn Owl Nestlings


If you have a Barn Owl box and would like to have it monitored, please consider joining the MMA Barn Owl Nest Box Program

New Astronomy Book Completed By
Director of Astronomy

Dr. Michael West has completed his new book, 50 Years of Astronomy on Mauna Kea, and delivered it to the publisher (University of Hawaii Press). This photo-rich book looks at the development of astronomy on this remote mountaintop in Hawaii, which today is home to the most powerful collection of telescopes in the world. The book will be published in 2015. 

Birthday Parties at MMA!

Come celebrate your child's birthday with us.  We are now offering private birthday parties June through October!

For more details on booking a party, visit our website.

New Telescope For Loines Observatory

As summer crowds swell at our public stargazing nights, the wait to look through the two telescopes at Loines Observatory increases. To alleviate this, a new portable 8-inch telescope has been purchased to show visitors objects in the sky from the wooden deck between the two larger telescopes. The new telescope is computer controlled and can quickly lock on planets, stars, and galaxies for viewing.

Stargazing Nights at Loines Observatory

Where: 59 Milk Street Extension
When: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday
(Weather Permitting)
Time: 9-10:30PM

Members: Free
Non-members: $10/person

2013 Annual Report

You can now view our annual report online.

Let us know what you think!

Which of our sites have you visited?

Write us a review on Trip Advisor

Connect with us:


Also follow our Astronomy news and tweets from @ACKstronomy.

 4 Vestal Street
Nantucket, MA 02554
(508) 228-9198
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Board and Staff


John L. Daniels, President
Deb Manus, First Vice President
Michael Nelson, Treasurer
Malcolm MacNab, M.D., Ph.D., Clerk
Howard Blitman
Patricia L.R. Brennan, Ph.D. 
Patty Gibian 
Judy MacLeod 
Toni McKerrow

Mary Archibald (Bebe) Poor, D.V.M  

Eileen Rudden
Anne P. Strain
Edward Symes, III
Helene M. Weld



Administration (508)228-9198
Janet E. Schulte, Ph.D., Executive Director

George Donnelly, Director of Development & Communications
Joan Alison Stockman, Financial Administrator

Kyra Taylor, Administrative Assistant
Astronomy (508)228-9723
Michael West, Director of Astronomy, Ph.D.
Vladimir Strelnitski, Maria Mitchell Observatory's Director Emeritus, Ph.D.
Gary Walker, Astronomer and Telescope Engineer

Mitchell House & Archives and Special Collections (508)228-2896
Jascin Leonardo Finger, Curator of the Mitchell House

Natural Science (508)228-9198
Andrew Mckenna-Foster, Director of Natural Science
Education (508)228-9198
Kim Botelho, Director of Education 
         Robert Kennedy, Senior Research Fellow, Ph.D.         
Edith F. Andrews,Ornithologist Emeritus
                                            Peter Boyce,  Research Associate, Ph.D.                                        
       Valerie A. Hall, Research Associate, Ph.D. 

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Maria Mitchell Association
4 Vestal Street, Nantucket, MA 02554
email: info@mariamitchell.org

phone: (508)228-9198
fax: (508)228-1031
web: http://www.mariamitchell.org
Maria Mitchell Association