Astronomy magazine editors share their unique insight from behind the scenes of the science, hobby, and magazine.
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One asteroid at a time? Nah.

Posted 3 days ago by Jake Parks
Asteroids are some of the oldest and most undisturbed objects in our solar system. These miniaturized, rocky worlds have been—for the most part—peacefully orbiting the Sun since the formation of the solar system some 4.5 billion years ago. It’s estimated that over a million of the floating boulders are crowded together in the main asteroid belt, located about halfway between Mars and Jupiter. And every once in a while, one of them gets bumped out of orbit. But, over the cour...
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Astronomy’s Mars globe brings our celestial neighbor to your desk

Posted 4 days ago by Nicole Kiefert
Explore more than 200 of the Red Planet’s amazing features By Leah Froats Our human fascination with the Red Planet traces back to the 19th century, carrying on unwavering to the modern day. Of course, when the first Mariner spacecraft visited Mars in the 1960s, it found a desolate world. Ideas about martians faded away. But numerous spacecraft over the past 50-plus years, including orbiters, landers, and rovers, have uncovered an amazing planet that tells us a lot about the solar syst...
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Guest Blog: The ExoLife Finder: A next-generation telescope for imaging exoplanets

Posted 9 days ago by Alison Klesman
By Jake Parks A few years back, a group of astronomers put forth a proposal for a beast of a telescope—The Colossus. At 77 meters in diameter, the Colossus telescope would have been nearly eight times the diameter of Hawaii’s Keck Observatory, currently one of the largest ground-based observatories in the world. And since a telescope’s light-gathering power increases by the square of its diameter, the Colossus telescope would have also had a whopping 60 times the resolution...
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Creating contagious STEM interest: The Adler Planetarium's Celestial Ball

Posted 11 days ago by Alison Klesman
Fundraising galas are a great opportunity to pull out your best formalwear, meet amazing people, and support a fantastic cause — like inspiring future scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. That’s exactly what took place this past weekend at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, the oldest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere and, to me, the very model of modern and engaging public science programming. I grew up in a south suburb of Chicago and went there often when I was younge...
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Guest blog: Observe the Moon in Augmented Reality

Posted 11 days ago by Nicole Kiefert
You’ve Got the Whole Moon in Your Hands By Leah Froats Ever wanted to hold the Moon in the palm of your hand? Well, now you can … sort of. AstroReality, a branch of Quantum Technologies, now offers an augmented reality (AR), 3D printed lunar model that allows for exploration of the Moon’s notable features and landing sites. Astronomy received the LUNAR Pro model, AstroReality’s most advanced Moon model, for review — here are our thoughts. The model Accordin...
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Guest blog: Portrait of the Milky Way Galaxy poster

Posted 13 days ago by Nicole Kiefert
by Sharona Lomberg The One Earth Message Project announces that in cooperation with Astronomy magazine, we are offering FOR THE FIRST TIME ANYWHERE a new poster of a famous work of space art: a revised version of Jon Lomberg’s classic Portrait of the Milky Way mural commissioned by the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Since its creation in 1992, this has been considered one of the most accurate depictions of our Milky Way Galaxy ever made—and now there i...
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Talks Announced for the Darkest Sky Star Party

Posted 13 days ago by Michael Bakich
On Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14, Dark Sky New Mexico (DSNM) and The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS) will host a star party in southwestern New Mexico. The second America’s Darkest Sky Star Party will occur in Animas, New Mexico, a lovely area dominated by antique silver mining that now boasts one of the best skies in the world for stargazing. Along with a clear dark sky, one of the highlights of any star party is the lectures that attendees hear. And this star party will...
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The OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft will Slingshot Past Earth

Posted 16 days ago by Michael Bakich
I just received an email from Dolores Hill, Senior Research Specialist at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson about an important date in OSIRIS-REx’s life. She reminded me that tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the OSIRIS-REx launch from Cape Canaveral. And she thought I might like to post the following. Thanks, Dolores, I would. In preparation for the spacecraft’s Earth Gravity Assist Maneuver on September 22, the mission invites amateur astronomers and the public...
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Donate your used eclipse glasses!

Posted 17 days ago by Nicole Kiefert
Maybe you were one of the people scrambling at the last minute to find eclipse glasses for the Great American Eclipse on August 21, or maybe you were prepared and preordered your glasses.  But now that the eclipse has come and gone, are you wondering what to do with that coveted protective eyewear? An eclipse is coming to South America and Asia in 2019 and now Astronomers Without Borders, along with their corporate partner Explore Scientific, is collecting those used eclipse glasses to ...
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Guest blog: 9 Reasons to Reserve Your Southern Skies Party Spot Today

Posted 17 days ago by Nicole Kiefert
By Leah Froats Do you need something to look forward to in 2018? Or maybe you’re in search of exciting plans for next March? Perhaps you’d be interested in the inviting tropical climate, spectacular natural scenery, and abundant wildlife of Costa Rica? And, of course, the opportunity to attend our 15th annual Southern Skies Party at Astronomy’s private star lodge on the Gulf of Nicoya, just a 2.5-hour flight from Miami, Florida.  If that’s not enough to tempt yo...
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Guest blog: The BLAsT Class and Earth's Space Weather Forecast

Posted 19 days ago by Nicole Kiefert
By Abby Stephens and Keegan Engelking What is the first thing you think of when someone says space weather? Is it raining storms with zero gravity with rain drops going every direction? Or is it flashing interstellar clouds with space lightning? Although it is neat to daydream about space weather being this way, the reality is very different from these depictions. Dr. Patricia Reiff, a professor from Rice University specializing in space plasma and magnetospheric physics, took us on a jour...
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Guest blog: The BLAsT Class Sees Double with Graeme Jenkinson

Posted 19 days ago by Nicole Kiefert
By Zoe Pappas and Jeffrey Berg  We had the honor of hosting Graeme Jenkinson, who was visiting Wyoming all the way from Australia, for a presentation about observing double stars on a tight time budget.  Unlike many of our speakers, Jenkinson is an amateur astronomer that does not have the luxury of observing full-time, or even for more than a few hours a week. He explained that double stars are a great way to do some observing that will provide useful data, parti...
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A dozen reasons you should join us at the Darkest Skies Star Party

Posted 24 days ago by Michael Bakich
On Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14, Dark Sky New Mexico (DSNM) and The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS) will host a star party in southwestern New Mexico. The second America’s Darkest Sky Star Party will occur in 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...
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Guest Blog: The BLAsT Class Learns to "Move it Like Moana"

Posted 24 days ago by Nicole Kiefert
By David Collicott and Gaby Loredo  Astronomy in Moana? That’s what we thought. But Dr. Stephanie Slater gave us a lesson on the movie’s traditional Polynesian water navigation and its relation to the stars. Through the stars rise and set times, their altitude, and their relation to the stars around them, the ancient navigators were able to tell their location with great accuracy and purposely move from tiny island to tiny island in the vast Pacific Ocean. Dr. Slater did an am...
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Guest Blog: The Bucket List Astronomy Class Tour, Planetary Nebulae, and the No-Worries Shelf

Posted 26 days ago by Nicole Kiefert
By Sandy Ackman and Benjamin Blume While we were staying at the Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp in Casper, Wyoming, we heard from Dr. James’ doppelganger, Dr. Stacy Palen who specializes in planetary nebulae. These are the shells ejected from low-mass dying stars, something the Sun will become in about 5 billion years. If there’s one thing you can say about Dr. Palen, it’s that she is passionate about her science. She actually startled one of the classmates when she got...
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Guest Blog: Bucket List Astronomy Class prepares for Astronomy O.W.L. exams

Posted 26 days ago by Nicole Kiefert
By Diane Brewer and Tyler Coleman Disclaimer: If you’re not up on your Harry Potter trivia, some of this may not make sense. If you’re lost, you could try the Marauder’s Map. Otherwise, Google is your friend. He looked panicked as he ran in and out of the room. “Has anyone seen Aurora?! Does anyone know where Professor Sinistra went?!!” These aren’t exactly the words anyone would expect to come out of their presenter’s mouth, but this is precisely ho...
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Guest blog: The BLAsT Class Witnesses a Total Eclipse

Posted one month ago by Nicole Kiefert
By: Maya Fitch and Rayne Horton  Today, August 21, 2017, our class along with millions of other individuals witnessed the Total Solar Eclipse. There are no words to describe how incredible the experience was, but if we had to put the eclipse into words a few would be: amazing, astonishing, unbelievable, out-of-this world (pun intended), and magical. As we said before, there are no true words to define the event we saw. We had clear skies and great binoculars to see this magnificent e...
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Guest blog: Bucket List Astronomy Class: Revisiting Einstein

Posted one month ago by Nicole Kiefert
By Jacob Ackman and Remy Shelton  At our camp, we heard from Dr. Don Bruns, a retired physicist who is taking it upon himself to finish an experiment that has not been successfully reproduced since 1919: Observing the bending of starlight during a total eclipse. Bruns discovered a passion for astronomy at an early age. In high school, he was performing his own research projects, keeping up to date on astronomical topics by reading magazines and networking with others in the field.  ...
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A total eclipse in southern Illinois

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
Like many Americans lucky enough to live in or travel to the path of totality on August 21, I witnessed my very first total solar eclipse. For me, this historic event took place in southern Illinois, nearly 400 miles from Astronomy’s offices in Waukesha, Wisconsin. It was not only a moving experience, but an exciting and fun one as well. My journey began Sunday afternoon; I’d driven down to my father’s house in a south suburb of Chicago the day before. Just before we left, t...
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Guest blog: Bucket List Astronomy Class: A Tale of Two Eclipses

Posted one month ago by Nicole Kiefert
By Cristal Hernandez and Aliyah Mohammed After two weeks in Australia filled with pulsars, radio astronomy, southern constellations, the Dish, black holes, and gravitational waves (AND KANGAROOS!!), the BLAsT class made its way up to Casper, Wyoming. On our first day there, Martin Ratcliffe (Professional Development Director for SkySkan, adjunct faculty member at Wichita State University, and contributing editor for Astronomy magazine), gave us a tale of two eclipses. The two eclipses were bo...
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Images from the Great American Eclipse

Posted one month ago by Michael Bakich
It's the morning after the big event, and images are already coming in. Here are a few of the early birds. If you took an image you're proud of, please send it to ReaderGallery@Astronomy.com. It might appear in a blog or an online gallery, and we might publish it in the magazine. You never know. Now, how long until the next total solar eclipse?  ...
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Amazing interest in the eclipse continues

Posted one month ago by Michael Bakich
St. Joseph, Missouri, is generating lots of buzz related to Monday’s upcoming total solar eclipse, and everyone seems to have been aware of it for some time. My wife and I started chatting with Donna Wilson, an area nurse, about the great event while waiting in line to order breakfast at Brioche, a local French restaurant. When we did order, we discovered that Donna who was part of a group of businesswomen, had paid for our meal (which was delicious, by the way). “This is a way to sa...
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Guest blog: Answers to your Laser SETI questions

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
By Eliot Gillum The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is a humbling process, to be sure. It’s difficult in the extreme to find something when we don’t know where to look for it, or what it will look like when it appears. More on that shortly but, before I get any further, I’d like to thank three groups of people. This article wouldn’t exist without those who asked great questions: Tom Scarnati, Richard Hammer, Bartlomiej Król and daughter, Do...
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St. Joseph, Missouri, has eclipse fever!

Posted one month ago by Michael Bakich
My wife, Holley, and I arrived in St. Joseph, Missouri, around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning. We preserve a day by leaving Milwaukee and driving the eight hours after work. As with most of our trips to St. Joe, this one was relatively easy with little traffic. I’m hosting a huge eclipse viewing party at the airport here, so arriving a few days early was a necessity. Wednesday for me included two radio interviews (St. Louis and Kansas City) and another at a local television station. In between,...
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How you can be a part of Big Science

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
It takes more than a scientist — or even a team of them — to produce valuable results. Every image taken and number recorded is the culmination of not just rigorous mental work, but physical exertion as well. To get to the publishable results reported in our magazine and online news, scientific communities must first build, and then maintain and run, big science facilities. Do you know what it takes to do that, or how this process employs numerous individuals at every level to mak...
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Guest blog: The BLAsT class takes the pulse of the Universe

Posted one month ago by Nicole Kiefert
By Jeffrey Berg and Gilli Rodriguez Just that morning, he had been in Parkes after installing and testing a new ultra-wide-band receiver on the Dish, but by 11 a.m., he was in Marsfield, ready to tell the BLAsT Class all about pulsars. “He” is Dr. George Hobbs, a pulsar researcher and radio astronomer who gave us a lecture on pulsars and how they help us learn more about the universe. He started by explaining how radio astronomers “listen” in on the sky, and he played f...
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Send me your eclipse pictures

Posted one month ago by Michael Bakich
I’ll make this blog short and sweet. We will be dedicating 10 pages in our December issue to the best images of the August 21 total solar eclipse. As photo editor here, I’ll be choosing which ones make the cut. If you’d like me to consider your pix, here are some guidelines. 1. Get them to me as soon as possible after the eclipse. The early bird catches my eye (or something like that). 2. Include all details about the image. (OK, you can leave off the date if you want to.) B...
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Enjoy totality with an electronic-rock twist: Blood Red Boots' livestream from Carbondale, IL

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
There are many ways to enjoy the upcoming total solar eclipse, from Carbondale, IL — the Eclipse Crossroads of America. In addition to events coordinated by NASA, the Science Center of Southern Illinois, and the Adler Planetarium, eclipse watchers in Southern Illinois will have the opportunity to observe the Great American Eclipse with the music of the electronic-rock band Blood Red Boots, who will be performing live during this historic event. And thanks to internet livestreaming, you ...
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This so-called eye expert is DEAD WRONG

Posted one month ago by Michael Bakich
On August 11, Ohio optometrist Michael Schecter went viral on Facebook, and he couldn’t have been more wrong. Despite support of proper viewing by the American Academy of Opthalmology, the American Optometric Association, and American Academy of Optometry, this guy just pushed the nuke button regarding his totally unsupported assertion of the safety of viewing the eclipse with approved solar glasses. Here’s what he wrote: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - “As an Op...
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Guest Blog: Surf's up! Riding gravitational waves

Posted one month ago by Nicole Kiefert
by Abigail Stephens and Keegan Engelking The individual trapped in the screen to the left is Dr. Paul Lasky. Although I stated trapped, he voluntarily gave up his time at in Melbourne to videoconference with our 2017 SHSU BLAsT class at the CSIRO Astronomy and Space Sciences campus in Marsfield, NSW. This Monash University researcher is a member of the Australian Centre for Gravitational Wave Research (OzGrav), the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array. Today we...