Nantucket's Science Center                                               

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association
E-Comet Newsletter

Upcoming: Total Lunar Eclipse
Total lunar eclipse photo from

Come join us at Loines Observatory, 59 Milk Street, for a FREE public viewing of the Total Lunar Eclipse.  The show will begin this Sunday evening, 8PM to 1AM, with the most interesting totality happening between 10PM and 11PM.  Bring your warm clothes, a jug of hot chocolate, and your enthusiasm -- this is the last of this tetrad of Lunar Eclipses, which is very rare. 

Total lunar eclipses are rare -- only about one in three lunar eclipses are total.  Within the span of a decade, only four to five total eclipses can be seen from Earth.    Lunar eclipses usually do not occur in any specific order. However, every once in a while, four total lunar eclipses happen in a row. This is called a lunar tetrad. This tetrad has 4 Total Lunar eclipses in eighteen months.   There are at least six full Moons between two total lunar eclipses in a tetrad.  Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli calculated that the occurrence of such
tetrads varies over centuries. Some 300 year intervals have several lunar tetrads, while other 300 year intervals do not have any.  There are no Tetrads visible from North America before 2050.

Here is a short video released by NASA to
get you excited!
Here is a 20 secound video from NASA to get you excited!
The MMA in collaboration with
the Nantucket  Land Council and the Nantucket Shellfish Association, has produced a twenty-page book highlighting a decade of research focused on Nantucket Harbor.  Nantucket Harbor Research:  A Ten Year Summary is a synopsis of research projects conducted by island conservation groups ranging from horshoe crab populations to shell recycling to salt marsh restoration.  If you would like to receive a copy of this publication, please email:
The 2014 Annual Report for the MMA has been completed.  An online copy can be found on the MMA website here.  If you would like to receive a print copy, please email:
Host Your Next Event Under
the Stars
  Want to provide your guests with an unforgettable and unique evening?  Host them at our Loines Observatory.  Our gorgeous deck overlooks sensational sunsets and at night, the stars glitter like diamonds with a brightness only Nantucket can provide.  An astronomer will be at your service to show your guests majestic planets and star clusters through our world class telescopes.  This location is perfect for cocktail parties, birthday parties, corporate events, rehearsal dinners, and much more!
For more information, please call Lauren at
508-228-9198 or email:



Everyone at the MMA is sad to report that we have recently lost one of our beloved sea creatures.   Seek, the seahorse, was suffering from pouch emphysema, a common disease for seahorses, before he passed earlier this month.  After carrying many children, his pouch was filling up with air for no reason.  He survived an entire year with this condition and the MMA staff worked countless hours to remove the air from his sack (video of procedure available on Instagram here).  Seek is survived by his loving wife, Hide, who has moved to the MMA office on Vestal Street for the winter.
How well do you know Maria Mitchell?  Take our quiz and find out!
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New Member Benefits!
On September 15th, we will be updating our membership program.  Members will now have even more benefits!  Be on the lookout for an email from the MMA team or check back on our website to learn how you can become a 2016 member of the MMA.
  Because members really do have more fun!

Stargazing Hours 

September Open Nights will take place Monday and Tuesday nights from 7:30PM to 9PM.  Open Nights are free for Members and $10 for Non-Members.  View distant stars and galaxies using the largest public telescope on the East Coast.


October Open Nights will be on the 19th and 20th from 7:30 PM to 9PM.


   Welcome New Members!


We are excited to announce that we will be acknowledging our newest members in each E-Comet.  The MMA is a strong community and we are excited to welcome our newest members and their families:


Stephen Chase

Alan Foster

Susan Wyeth

Zachary McDonald

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         Maria Mitchell's Attic
       A blog about Maria Mitchell, the Mitchells, and the Mitchell House

September 24, 2015 
 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
Helene M. Weld, Second Vice President
Joan Gulley, Treasurer
Patricia L.R. Brennan, Ph.D., Clerk
Howard Blitman
John Hartner
Judy MacLeod
Malcolm MacNab, M.D., Ph.D. 
Toni McKerrow
Michael Nelson

Mary Archibald (Bebe) Poor, D.V.M.  

Katherine Rhode, Ph.D.
Eileen Rudden

Anne P. Strain
Edward Symes, III



Administration (508)228-9198

David Gagnon, Executive Director


Joan Alison Stockman, Director of Finance & Administration

George Donnelly, Director of Development & Communications

Sarah Erichsen, Development Coordinator

Lauren Berlin, Administrative & Marketing Assistant
Astronomy (508)228-9723
Gary Walker, Interim Director of Astronomy/Astronomer and Telescope Engineer
Vladimir Strelnitski, Ph.D.,
Maria Mitchell Observatory's Director Emeritus 
Mitchell House & Archives and Special Collections (508)228-2896
Jascin Leonardo Finger, Deputy Director & Curator of the Mitchell House, Archives, and Special Collections
Natural Science (508)228-9198
Andrew Mckenna-Foster, Director of Natural Science
Education (508)228-9198
Kim Botelho, Director of Education

Research Associates 
 Robert Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow
Edith F. Andrews, Ornithologist Emeritus
Peter Boyce,  Ph.D., Research Associate
Valerie A. Hall, Ph.D., Research Associate

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Maria Mitchell Association
4 Vestal Street, Nantucket, MA 02554
phone: (508) 228-9198
fax: (508) 228-1031
Maria Mitchell Association