Astronomy magazine editors share their unique insight from behind the scenes of the science, hobby, and magazine.
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Miniverse: Bringing the solar system down to Earth

Posted 11 days 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 11 days 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 one month 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 one month 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 one month 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 one month 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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...
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Celestron Announces New Chief Executive Officer

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
TORRANCE, CA (January 13, 2017) – Celestron, the world’s #1 telescope brand and a leading optics innovator, announced today that it has named Corey Lee Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Dave Anderson, current CEO, has resigned and will continue to assist Celestron in a consultant role.  "It has been a privilege to guide the amazing talent that comprises Celestron." Anderson said. "I’m committed to supporting a smooth and seamless transition of leadership.&rd...
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A mini-grant program for the solar eclipse

Posted 4 months ago by Michael Bakich
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) Solar Eclipse Task Force is pleased to announce a call for proposals for small grants to fund programs and activities aimed at engaging the public with the total solar eclipse August 21, 2017. The AAS anticipates funding 20 to 50 grants in the range $1,000 to $5,000. Support for these mini-grants is provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Accordingly, grants may go only to organizations within the United States. Highest priority will be given ...
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Memories of John Glenn

Posted 4 months ago by Michael Bakich
This guest blog comes to us from Astronomy magazine Contributing Editor Mike Reynolds. As people reflect on John Glenn and his passing, many have stated he was a hero. John Glenn was — and still is — my hero. I was nearly eight years old when Glenn flew his first historic mission. I was already enamored with astronomy and space travel; Alan Shepard’s 15-minute suborbital flight had done that to me. I followed closely everything I could read about space. I wanted to build my o...
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College credit for an eclipse course

Posted 4 months ago by Michael Bakich
This guest blog comes to us from Thomas Hockey. He’s announcing a cool college class that more institutions should think about offering. In 2017, the University of Northern Iowa, located in Cedar Falls, is offering a 2-credit undergraduate course titled “The Great American Eclipse.” It has no prerequisites. The class will meet weekly during our second-half semester in the spring (March and April). We then will culminate with a field trip to the eclipse center line on 21 August...
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Uwingu lets you name martian craters

Posted 4 months ago by David Eicher
by Nicole Kiefert This holiday season, give the gift of planets! Uwingu, a team of scientists dedicated to connect people with space exploration, is allowing people to name martian craters on the Uwingu Mars map, along with other unique gifts. One of the gift options is to name a martian crater, part of an Uwingu project to create a new Mars map and name all 500,000 unnamed features. Craters to be named range in size from about half a mile (under one kilometer) to 200 miles (350 kilometers). ...
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Airbus Safran Launchers and Arianespace offer chance to attend Ariane 5 launch

Posted 6 months ago by David Eicher
Airbus Safran Launchers and Arianespace have teamed up to promote their Ariane 6 launcher that is debuting in 2020 and its benefits to the general public.   To kick off the campaign, the two are promoting an Instagram contest and the lucky winner will get the opportunity to go to an Ariane 5 launch in 2017 at the European space port in Kourou, French Guiana with flight and accommodations included. Participants are asked to post an image of what Ariane 6 means to them. This could be anyt...
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Telescopic Time Machine: The 50 Year Legacy of the Orbiting Astronomical Observatories

Posted 6 months ago by David Eicher
A guest blog by Benjamin Palmer. What makes an astrophysical event timeless? Time itself. A concept ideally illustrated by the atmosphere at Cape Canaveral on April 8, 1966. Immortality was absent from Launch Complex 12 when an Atlas-Agena D roared to life. Tracing a brilliant arc through the Floridian sky, the fiery parabola soared to its apex, vaulting hopes, dreams, and a 3,800lb octahedron into Earth’s exosphere. Its unassuming name veiled a revolutionary purpose. The Orbiting Astro...
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A review of Inside PixInsight by Warren Keller

Posted 6 months ago by Michael Bakich
A guest blog by reviewer James Morse. Anyone who takes up astrophotography will, sooner or later, find their way to PixInsight (PI). For many of us who grew up on other image processing software packages, PI is everything we could hope for, with one major exception, which I will come to shortly. Whether you buy into the PI mantra of being true to the data or not (I am firmly in that camp but know many others who love PI that are not), it is a wonderful suite of tools. To quote from PI’s w...
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Celestron's Astronomy Insights now available!

Posted 6 months ago by David Eicher
By Nicole Kiefert The September 2016 issue of Astronomy Insights is available online. Insights is a 14-page digital supplement brought to readers by Celestron. Along with two full stories from Astronomy, this issue of Insights has a spread for Celestron’s LA Moon Walk that took place in August. The event had telescopes set up for observing, an International Space Station flyover, and brought in plenty of big names. They raised money for The Planetary Society and Free Arts.org through tic...
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The Miracle Mineral That Shaped Astronomy

Posted 8 months ago by Michael Bakich
A guest blog by Benjamin Palmer. Take a thoughtful glance around you. What do you see? Perhaps you’re ensconced in an office, fingers poised on a laptop’s trackpad, screen illuminating the paint on the walls. Maybe you’re gazing out the kitchen window, observing passing cars cast in the wash of street lamps below. You might even be out under the stars, eyes drawn from your Smartphone to the cosmic depths above. Three random scenarios, Venn-diagramed by unique grains of commo...
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Check out LA MoonWalk tomorrow

Posted 8 months ago by Michael Bakich
We just received an announcement for what looks to be a super-cool public astronomy gathering from our friend Michelle Meskill at Celestron. The company is organizing the event — called LA MoonWalk — to benefit The Planetary Society and FreeArts.org. And it’s happening tomorrow, Thursday, August 18, from 7 to 10 p.m., at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Ticket prices range from $15 to $75. The program is to help promote the Planetary Society and their new initiative STEAM Team.&...
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Day 1 at San Diego Comic Con

Posted 9 months ago by Michael Bakich
The world’s greatest multigenre convention is taking place. San Diego Comic-Con International 2016 officially started Thursday, July 20, and runs through Sunday the 23rd. Actually, Preview Night occurred Wednesday, July 19, for professionals, exhibitors, and press like me. I was fortunate enough to be awarded press credentials for the fifth time. I’m here for the whole shebang, and I’ve already had a heck of a time, scientifically speaking, that is. Comic-Con started in 1970 a...
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A 2017 eclipse listening guide

Posted 10 months ago by Michael Bakich
Darkness at midday is coming. With less than 425 days to go before the total solar eclipse that will cross the U.S. on August 21, 2017, things are kicking into high gear. This event’s popularity will dwarf anything any of us have ever worked on. So, I’m writing stories about the eclipse for the magazine, I’ve given more than two dozen talks about it, and I’m hosting what might become the largest single science event in history in St. Joseph, Missouri. (Read all about it ...
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Listen to speakers at the national eclipse conference

Posted 10 months ago by Michael Bakich
It's Thursday, June 9. I am in Carbondale, Illinois, for the fourth meeting of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Task Force, sponsored by the American Astronomical Society. My wife and I drove here from Milwaukee earlier today, a pleasant 6-hour road trip. A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about this conference and told you that talks on the first day would be free to the public. I hope some of you chose to come and I can meet you tomorrow. If you’re weren't able to attend, but you’d like ...
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An eclipse conference in Carbondale

Posted 11 months ago by Michael Bakich
If you're planning on hosting or helping with an event for the upcoming August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse, where will you be June 10 and 11, 2016? On that Friday and Saturday, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, will host the fourth 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Workshop, sponsored by the American Astronomical Union. And the group has invited the public in to hear the talks. Previous meetings in Baltimore, Maryland, Columbia, Missouri, and Portland, Oregon, were quite successful...
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Mercury, transits, and K'nex

Posted 11 months ago by Korey Haynes
I hope you got a chance to enjoy the transit of Mercury today! Most of the world had at least some chance to see it (sorry, Australia), and here in Wisconsin, we could view the whole event — or, we could have, if the weather had cooperated. I spent the day at Yerkes Observatory. The clouds were patchy, but we had solar telescopes for checking out the Sun directly, and projection boxes for a different kind of experience. Inside, we were running the SLOOH livestream, which I hope you got ...
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Astronomy as citizen science

Posted one year ago by Korey Haynes
This past Saturday, April 16, kicked off National Citizen Science Day (though events run throughout the month), and I spent it celebrating with the estimated 350,000 attendees of the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. Visitors were mostly families, with kids of all ages eager to participate in hands-on science activities and to meet professionals from every imaginable science field. At Astronomy's booth, we were handing out solar viewing glasses in preparation for the Great...
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Buy and sell astronomy gear April 9

Posted one year ago by Michael Bakich
On Saturday, April 9, 2016, the Sheboygan Astronomical Society is hosting its ninth 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, camer...
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Become an OSIRIS-REx Ambassador

Posted one year ago by Michael Bakich
A guest blog by Dolores Hill Who in the world would spend their free time talking to the public about the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-Rex) mission and asteroids? OSIRIS-REx Ambassador volunteers and OSIRIS-REx team members, that’s who! We have a terrific group of volunteers who staff tables at public events such as the University of Arizona’s College of Science Lecture Series where the mission’s Principal Inves...
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Come enjoy a full day of astronomy

Posted one year ago by Michael Bakich
It’s almost here! Astronomy is in the astronomical capital of the universe, and we’re ready to rock. Here are the details: Event: The 2016 Tucson Star Party Date: Saturday, February 13 Time: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Venue: Pima Community College (PCC) East Campus, 8181 E. Irvington Road Location: Near the PCC observatory on the south side of campus Hosts: Astronomy magazine and the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (TAAA) Other groups involved: The Southern Arizona chapter of the ...

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