Astronomy magazine editors share their unique insight from behind the scenes of the science, hobby, and magazine.
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Milwaukee residents, prepare for the eclipse with this event

Posted 2 days ago by Nicole Kiefert
Wisconsin residents, come prepare for the 2017 solar eclipse with a new event at UWM!  The Manfred Olson Planetarium at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is hosting a special eclipse show for the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21. The show, called The Sun’s Disappearing Act, is being directed by Director Jean Creighton and Robin Mello from the Peck School of the Arts.  The show will be lead by UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium student staff members who will go over the history, c...
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Get ready for the Eclipse Across America

Posted 9 days ago by Alison Klesman
The Great American Eclipse is coming, and soon. Whether you read our website regularly or receive our magazine each month, you likely already know that we here at Astronomy are pretty excited — and we’re not the only ones. On July 13, CuriosityStream will premiere its newest series: Eclipse Across America. This four-episode series is designed to get you ready for the biggest astronomical event to hit the United States in 99 years. It’s also the only eclipse documentary that ...
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Help St. Louis students view the eclipse

Posted 20 days ago by Michael Bakich
I received this plea for funding support from one of the people behind observing activities for the August 21 total solar eclipse in the St. Louis area. I thought I'd share it with our readers. Background The St. Louis Eclipse Task Force has been working since 2014 to prepare the St. Louis region for the August 21 total solar eclipse. In 2016, the task force launched its “Solar Glasses for Kids” program with the goal of providing ISO certified solar glasses to as many students as p...
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Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program: Toward the Future

Posted 22 days ago by Alison Klesman
I’m finally on my way home to Wisconsin from Santiago, Chile, by way of a connection in Dallas/Fort Worth. Our final morning in San Pedro was spent exploring otherworldly landscapes in the Valle de la Luna (otherwise known as the Valley of the Moon), which ranged from huge, untouched sand dunes to literal pillars of salt and hills rich with sparkling gypsum. The drive back to the airport in Calama was beautiful, and our final dinner in Santiago following the flight back was full of livel...
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Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program: ALMA Day 2

Posted 23 days ago by Alison Klesman
Saturday morning, the ACEAP ambassadors dutifully forewent their coffee in preparation for the physical required to visit the “high site” at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Observatory. The Array Operations Site, or AOS, is located about 16,700 feet (5,000 meters) above sea level – which is why there’s a short physical required prior to ascending. This site is where the 66 radio dishes and the correlator that processes the signals they receive ar...
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Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program: ALMA Day 1

Posted 26 days ago by Alison Klesman
This will be a quick post for a couple of reasons – the main one being that tomorrow, we’re headed up to tour the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Array Operations Site (AOS) above 16,000 feet, and we’ve all been told to get a good night’s sleep to ensure we pass the physical required to go that high. We landed in Calama yesterday afternoon and drove the rest of the way to San Pedro de Atacama, which is beautiful (if dry) and sunny. This morning, the...
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Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program: Santiago & La Serena

Posted 28 days ago by Alison Klesman
It’s been a busy week so far in Chile! But first, a little more background: Why am I here in the Southern Hemisphere? I’m participating in ACEAP: the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program, supported by the National Science Foundation and run via a collaboration of Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), and Gemini Observatory.  This unique program has several interlocki...
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Celestron's June issue of Astronomy Insights is available!

Posted one month ago by Nicole Kiefert
The June issue of Astronomy Insights is now available online. Insights is a digital supplement brought to readers by Celestron.  This 10-page issue of Insights covers the upcoming August 21, 2017 "Great American" eclipse. This issue features helpful articles to prepare for the big day, including: 5 things to do to get the most of the eclipse, 10 things to do on eclipse day, solar eclipse geometry, eclipse patterns, and tips to view the eclipse safely. You can find this month's issue he...
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Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program: We're Here!

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
My first day in Chile has been a busy one so far. After a slightly delayed flight (which, for me, is pretty much par for the course), we touched down in rainy Santiago about seven and a half hours later around 8:30am. Customs wasn’t a difficult process, and soon I’d found my luggage and my driver and was off to our hotel. Of course, I made the mistake of sitting on the bed “for a few minutes” after checking in – I’m glad I set an alarm, because soon it was ...
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Lowell Observatory is hosting an eclipse event in Madras, Oregon

Posted one month ago by Nicole Kiefert
The two day event is packed with presentations, star parties, and more.  The Lowell Observatory is hosting an educational event for the total solar eclipse August 20 and 21 in Madras, Oregon. The event, called the Lowell Observatory Solar Eclipse Experience, will include presentations, a star party, science demonstrations, and, of course, viewing the eclipse.  The activities will be held on the football field at Madras High School and the Madras Performing Arts Center. The festivitie...
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Asteroid Shatner is now officially part of our solar system

Posted one month ago by Michael Bakich
Someone once said, "Good things come to those who wait." And I now can announce that a very good thing has happened, indeed: the Minor Planet Center (MPC) has officially named an asteroid for William Shatner. Shatner (31556) also goes by the moniker 1999 EP5. (Actually, the 5 is a subscript, but I don't know how to create one in this blogging software.) Roy A. Tucker, who operates Goodricke-Pigott Observatory, discovered this minor planet March 13, 1999. That date was the 69th anniversary of th...
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The 230th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society: Wednesday & Thursday

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
For me, the last two days of this year’s spring AAS meeting seemed to narrow in on both the future and the past of astronomy. From confirmation of quintessential theories to a look back over the ground astronomers have covered in a relatively short time, the talks I attended were both enlightening and encouraging.  Wednesday morning marked the final press conference of the meeting. It was at this conference that Kailash Sahu of the Space Telescope Science Institute announced the fi...
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The 230th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society: Tuesday

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
Tuesday at the AAS was a trip through a number of different astronomical fields, from stars to galaxies and back to the solar system we call home. The day kicked off with a press conference on “inconstant stars.” Rodolfo Montez from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory spoke about work charting R Aquarii’s X-ray jets. The R Aquarii system contains a white dwarf and a red giant star, whose “volatile stellar relationship” has resulted in a breathtaking nebula ...
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The 230th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society: Monday

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
This week marks the 230th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, currently taking place in Austin, Texas. It’s been a busy first few days. I’ve had to pick and choose between simultaneous sessions once or twice, but I haven’t been disappointed in the least by any of the fantastic talks I’ve attended so far. My Monday morning began with an exciting press conference covering recent discoveries in the field of black holes (a subject near and dear to my heart, I adm...
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Sidewalk astronomy club leader is heading to Chile

Posted one month ago by Nicole Kiefert
The group is working to get younger generations interested in STEM education. A new kind of astronomy group is popping up all over the country. The group, called #popscope, is a public astronomy project run by volunteers who take science to the streets to get the community and youth involved. The volunteers are taking the pop-up telescope method around to promote STEM education in public spaces and to get the community more invested in science. One of those #popscope volunteers, Ariel Hicks,...
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The Adler Planetarium celebrates women in space science and STEM education in a full-day special event

Posted 2 months ago by Alison Klesman
Last Thursday, May 11, the Women’s Board of the Adler Planetarium hosted their 15th annual Women in Space Science Award Celebration. This day-long event began with an award ceremony honoring a unique and accomplished woman in the field of space science and exploration, then culminated in an afternoon STEM workshop for local Chicago schoolgirls. I had the pleasure of attending the celebration, which this year honored Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Interiors Program Manager and Chief Astron...
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Testing Equipment for the Eclipse Megamovie

Posted 2 months ago by Michael Bakich
This guest blog comes to us from Juan Carlos Martínez Oliveros. I see the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, as a great opportunity for scientific developments, and a unique opportunity for scientists and the public to work together to make awesome discoveries. Just knowing approximately how many people will see this event and that in many ways each member of the public will be a scientist (at least for a day) fills me with energy. That’s why I’m honored to be part of th...
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Celestron's April issue of Astronomy insights is now available!

Posted 2 months ago by Nicole Kiefert
  The February 2017 issue of Astronomy Insights is available online.  Insights is a digital supplement brought to readers by Celestron. This 10-page issue of Insights is specifically about Orion and the deep-sky treasures you can find within it. Learn more about the fascinating nebulas in the sky and see stunning pictures this this month's issue of Astronomy Insights. You can find it here.   ...
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Join the hunt for dark matter with CuriosityStream's new film

Posted 2 months ago by Alison Klesman
Dark matter is a term that elicits both curiosity and confusion. First posited in the 1930s, the case for dark matter has grown in the ensuing decades, as measurements consistently found that galaxies were forming and moving as if they had more mass than was visible. This invisible mass was dubbed, naturally, “dark matter,” because it neither absorbs nor gives off light. Astronomers now believe that dark matter is the substance that gives the universe structure, guiding “no...
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All along the eclipse path

Posted 2 months ago by Michael Bakich
A week ago, Michael Zeiler, owner of GreatAmericanEclipse.com, sent me something outlandish. Something eccentric. Something amazing: a 50-foot-long map that charts the path of the Moon’s shadow during the August 21 total solar eclipse. Zeiler had produced a much (much!) smaller version for sale. And although most people into astronomy generally think of him as the eclipse map guru, his actual job is as a technical writer at the Environmental Systems Research Institute. There, he helped de...
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Miniverse: Bringing the solar system down to Earth

Posted 3 months ago by Alison Klesman
We all know space is vast — but how vast is vast? When it comes to the solar system, everyday units of measurement such as inches, feet, and miles become too small to realistically measure the distance between planets. For example, the average distance between Earth and the Sun is nearly 93,000,000 miles (150,000,000 kilometers). You likely have a hard time really picturing 93,000,000 miles, but can you picture 2,680? That’s easy — just picture the United States! 2,680 miles...
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Submit your nominations for the Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award

Posted 3 months ago by Nicole Kiefert
The American Astronomical Society is accepting nominations for the Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award.  The award is for an achievement in astronomical research by an amateur astronomer in North America. As an amateur astronomer, nominees cannot be professionally employed in the astronomy field. People are allowed to nominate themselves, so long as the work contributes to the advancement of the science of astronomy. To nominate yourself or anyone you think should win the award, follow t...
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10 reasons to come to the Darkest Sky Star Party

Posted 3 months ago by Michael Bakich
On Saturday, April 29, a unique star party will take place in southwestern New Mexico. America’s Darkest Sky Star Party (DSSP) will occur with a variety of telescopes in Lordsburg and Animas, New Mexico, a lovely area dominated by antique silver mining that now boasts one of the best skies in the world for stargazing. Astronomy magazine Editor David Eicher and Senior Editor Michael Bakich, well known astronomy personalities, will be your hosts to all things celestial. If you’re wond...
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Chasing eclipses with Chicago's Adler Planetarium

Posted 4 months ago by Alison Klesman
2017 is the “Year of the Eclipse” at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois. In preparation for the upcoming total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, which will be visible across the United States, the Adler is opening a new temporary exhibit on Saturday, March 25, 2017: Chasing Eclipses. Chasing Eclipses takes visitors through the history and science of solar eclipses and eclipse viewing, explaining how and why they occur and tracing the path the Moon’s shadow will cut a...
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Need a new telescope or accessory?

Posted 4 months ago by Michael Bakich
On Saturday, March 25, 2017, the Sheboygan Astronomical Society is hosting its tenth annual Swap ’N’ Sell. This year’s event, like the previous ones, will take place at the Aviation Heritage Center of the Sheboygan Airport in Wisconsin from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For those of you who own a GPS or like to use Google Maps or MapQuest, the address is N6191 Resource Drive, Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin 53085. Maybe you have some astronomy stuff like telescopes, eyepieces, accessories, came...
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Join us for a dark sky adventure

Posted 4 months ago by Michael Bakich
On Saturday, April 29, Astronomy Editor David J. Eicher and Senior Editor Michael E. Bakich will host a full day and night of astronomy presented by Dark Sky New Mexico, which manages one of the darkest locations in the United States. The star party will begin at 11 a.m. at the Hampton Inn in Lordsburg, New Mexico. This site offers both spacious meeting rooms and a convenient meeting place, just off Interstate 10. Both hosts will present two lectures each. At noon, Eicher will detail “Th...
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Celestron's February issue of Astronomy Insights is now available!

Posted 4 months ago by David Eicher
By Nicole Kiefert The February 2017 issue of Astronomy Insights is available online. Insights is a digital supplement brought to readers by Celestron.  This 7-page issue of Insights gives readers 25 very helpful tips for the upcoming 2017 eclipse. From weather to locations, miscellaneous things to bring to camera tips, Astronomy's senior editor Michael E. Bakich has some things for you to think about when planning your eclipse day.  Check out all the tips in this Insi...
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When will your state next experience totality?

Posted 4 months ago by Michael Bakich
On January 26, I posted a blog I called “When did your state last experience totality?” It proved quite popular, so I thought I would bookend the question with this list that shows the next time (after the August 21, 2017 event) that any part of each state (and the District of Columbia) will experience totality. Once again, two dedicated eclipse aficionados — Canadian Stephen Bedingfield and John Tilley of England — helped me out by correcting a few mistakes I’d in...
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Show a special someone a whole new world for Valentine’s Day!

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Press Release) – Boulder, Colorado— Uwingu Announces 2017 Mars Valentine’s Day Gifting  Show a special someone a whole new world for Valentine’s Day! Space and astronomy public engagement company Uwingu announced today a very special way for anyone to celebrate Valentine’s Day 2017—by naming a crater on the world’s only citizen’s Mars map for a special Valentine’s someone. Prices start at $10, with half of eac...
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When did your state last experience totality?

Posted 5 months ago by Michael Bakich
While I was sitting in an Astronomy story meeting yesterday, John Wenz, one of the other editors, asked the question, “When was the last time each of the 50 states saw totality?” Having spoken and written extensively about the eclipse (talks, podcasts, stories, blogs, even a book), I thought I’d heard every eclipse-related query. Not this one. Anyway, John’s question sent me into research mode, and the list below is what I discovered. Please note that I’m using &ld...