Dave Eicher, editor of Astronomy magazine and science popularizer, brings you thoughts about astronomy, cosmology, nature, the hobby of astronomy, the sometimes disturbingly pseudoscientific culture we live in, and more.
0

Exciting year ahead for Lowell Observatory

Posted 19 days ago by David Eicher
I’m really pleased to be involved with Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, a cherished institution, as a member of their Advisory Board. Last year’s meeting was my first, and now Jeff Hall, the observatory’s director, has announced that the annual board meeting this year will take place again in June. I expect to take a trip to the observatory and create several exciting projects while there — filming some locations like Lowell, the U.S. Naval Observatory, Meteor ...
0

Join us for an incredible trip to Iceland!

Posted 19 days ago by David Eicher
Save the dates: October 3–13, 2018. On those dates, Astronomy Magazine and our travel partner, TravelQuest International, will host an amazing trip to Iceland to bask in the overhead glow of auroral displays and wander in amazement at Iceland’s unique geology. It’s one of the best places on the planet to see the Northern Lights, and also a place so geologically interesting, with geysers, geothermal pools, waterfalls, and amazing landscapes, that you will have never seen anyth...
0

Dave Eicher to speak at Miami University

Posted 19 days ago by David Eicher
Astronomy Magazine Editor Dave Eicher will deliver the annual invited Miami University Physics Department Lecture on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Oxford, Ohio. Returning to his native town and the university where he studied, Eicher will speak on “The New Cosmos” in the Benson Memorial Lecture, which is named for and honors George C. Benson, a hard-working Miami physics student whose life tragically ended much too soon.  Eicher’s lecture will touch on recent discoveries...
0

Did you know Astronomy Magazine sells a cool Mars globe?

Posted 25 days ago by David Eicher
Did you know that Astronomy Magazine created and sells the coolest Mars globe in the solar system? This amazing new product is extremely handsome — an absolute must for anyone who loves the Red Planet. These things are selling like hotcakes and now you can have your own to adorn your desk, office, study, observatory — wherever you want to plant Mars.  Our globe is a full 12 inches across, affording incredibly good resolution of the numerous labeled surface features. In all, s...
0

Astronomy Magazine Celebrates 45th Anniversary Year

Posted 25 days ago by David Eicher
Get ready for an exciting year upcoming with Astronomy Magazine. On May 27, 1973, Stephen Walther, a Wisconsin astronomy enthusiast, founded the magazine. The first issue, August 1973, was published soon thereafter. Now, 45 years later, Astronomy Magazine is the largest circulation publication on astronomy in the world, a title it has held since 1981. Our 100,000 monthly print circulation, 700,000 monthly website unique visitors, and 1.4 million social media followers make us the largest commu...
0

Palominas Astronomy Club joins Astronomy's Tucson Stargaze

Posted 26 days ago by David Eicher
I’ve told you that Astronomy Magazine is proud to be sponsoring our annual Tucson Public Star Party, which will be held at Pima Community College’s East Campus, February 10, 2018. We’ll have nighttime stargazing, of course, and also daytime solar viewing as well as lots of camaraderie with fellow astronomy enthusiasts. Not only will Pima Community College be the host institution, and they have done a magnificent job of hosting for some years running now, but we are also for...
0

Southern Sky Star Party in Costa Rica, March 2018: still a few spots left!

Posted 26 days ago by David Eicher
“All the good stuff’s in the southern sky,” the great astronomer Bart Bok used to say. And that wasn’t much of an exaggeration . . . ! In March 2018 Astronomy Magazine will partner with TravelQuest International to transport lucky travelers southbound to Costa Rica, to enjoy the scenery and to soak in the magic of the southern skies.  We’ll spend nearly a week at a star lodge with a great position and telescopic equipment peering out into the deep universe ...
0

Join us for the great 2019 eclipse in Chile!

Posted 26 days ago by David Eicher
If you are ready for more eclipse chasing on the back end of this year’s Great American Eclipse, consider going with Astronomy’s editors to see the next big eclipse — in Chile! Along with our travel partner, TravelQuest International, Astronomy Magazine will host a tour to see the July 2, 2019, total solar eclipse. Surrounded by an amazing Chilean landscape, we will bask in 2 minutes 15 seconds of totality! How can you not get motivated for this incredible journey?  The...
0

Astronomy Magazine Tucson Star Party planned for Sat., Feb. 10, 2018

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Join us on Saturday, February 10, 2018, in Tucson, Arizona, for the annual Astronomy Magazine Public Star Party. The event will be held at the East Campus of Pima Community College, 8181 East Irvington Road, Tucson, AZ 85709. Everyone is invited, and the event will crank up by noontime, with solar observing, provided with a few telescopes from a partner organization, the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association, one of the largest and most active clubs in the desert southwest. The real attraction,...
0

America's Darkest Sky Star Party a Smashing Success

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
As I’ve said repeatedly, one of the gravest dangers a love of the universe poses is the lack of a dark sky. Light pollution maps show almost everything east of the Mississippi River, in the United States, as badly light polluted. Some 80 percent of Americans now cannot see the Milky Way from where they live.  One of the greatest skies in the United States looms over southwestern New Mexico. Near Animas, a tiny village, Dark Sky New Mexico put on a star party October 13–14, 20...
0

Silent Sky in Milwaukee recounts tale of Harvard's famous women astronomers

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
If you find yourself in the area of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, over the coming days, I heartily encourage you to see the play Silent Sky at the Next Act Theater.  I was privileged to attend a cast reading from the play at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s planetarium about three weeks ago. I’ll see the play itself next week. I can tell you from what I’ve seen that this is a terrific show and a great performance from the actors.  Many of you undoubtedly know about...
0

Beautiful coffee table book: Universe: Exploring the Astronomical World

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
The English publisher Phaidon is widely known for producing some of the most spectacular visual books in the business. They have produced a real winner in the science category with Universe: Exploring the Astronomical World (351 pp., hardcover, Phaidon, New York, 2017, $60, ISBN 978–0–7148–7461–6). Although many image-rich astronomy books have been published in past years, most have been knocked off rather quickly, lacking either superb production quality, knowledgeable...
0

Great new book: Cataclysms by Michael Rampino

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
Relatively few are the new astronomy books each year that one could call really important. One of them was published late this summer, and it deserves the attention and careful reading of everyone who wants to be up to date with current thinking on astronomy.  Cataclysms: A New Geology for the Twenty-First Century by Michael R. Rampino (211 pp., hardcover, Columbia University Press, New York, 2017, $30, ISBN 978–0–231–17780–1) should be read by everyone with even ...
0

Starmus congratulates Nobel Prize winners

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
Congratulations to Kip Thorne, Barry Barish, and Rainer Weiss on winning the Nobel Prize in Physics for their gravitational wave detection and discovery!  Facts you might not know about Kip S. Thorne: Kip S. Thorne was the one who first told Stephen Hawking about Starmus Festival in 2011, after which Professor Hawking accepted Brian May’s invitation to come to Starmus-2. Kip S. Thorne gave lectures at Starmus-1 and Starmus-3 and offered an amazing performance called “The Wa...
0

David Eicher to deliver Miami University Benson Memorial Lecture

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
Oxford, Ohio: Miami University, founded in 1809 and often called a “Public Ivy” for its terrific academic and student offerings, hosts an annual invited physics lecture, the George C. Benson Memorial Lecture, to honor a young man who was lost to the university community far too soon. In April 2018, David Eicher, Editor-in-Chief of Astronomy Magazine and science popularizer, will deliver the annual lecture in his native town.  Eicher’s father John was a professor of orga...
0

Come to the New Mexico Star Party Oct. 13-14!

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
On October 13–14, 2017, Dark Sky New Mexico will put on a great star party and host talks and a get-together to showcase their phenomenal viewing site. The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS) will be present with telescopes, and we’ll view an incredibly array of galaxies, clusters, and nebulae, as well as soaking in a mind-blowing view of the naked eye Milky Way overhead.  Moreover, Dark Sky New Mexico will describe how they are offering sites for astroimagers under a tru...
0

Watch David Eicher interview on Space Science Summit

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
Last week I took part in a wide-ranging video interview conducted by the happy and very positive Ron Sparkman, an astronomy and sci-fi enthusiast in Colorado Springs. Ron and his friend Bill Hargenrader are together known as The Mars Guys and operate the Space Science and SciFi Summit, featuring interviews with a variety of personalities and other fun stuff at their website. Ron is the founder of UpportunityU.com. This year’s summit also features interviews with Andy Weir, astronaut Lero...
0

Astronomy Magazine Eclipse Trip 2017 Day 11

Posted 4 months ago by David Eicher
On our journey’s last day of sightseeing, August 24, we worked our way into South Dakota and enjoyed not only a splendid hotel stay in Rapid City, but two wonderful monuments.  First came the Crazy Horse Memorial, paying tribute to the Native American warrior who fought in the Battle of the Little Bighorn and died tragically young while he was in captivity. The work has been going on here since 1948, and the progress, slow as it is, keeps people coming back to see how the mountain ...
0

Astronomy Magazine Eclipse Trip 2017 Day 10

Posted 4 months ago by David Eicher
On Day 10 of our eclipse trip, our 89 intrepid travelers focused on the remainder of Yellowstone National Park. We stayed in lodges relatively near the famous Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and carried on by visiting that famous spot first thing in the morning of August 23. While this canyon does not match the sprawling vacancy of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado in Northern Arizona, it too is an impressive hole in the ground.  As we drove through the northern and eastern portions of Y...
0

Astronomy Magazine Eclipse Tour 2017 Day 9

Posted 4 months ago by David Eicher
Well, what happens when you’re traveling with 89 eclipse chasers (and 350 on eclipse day!), you see the eclipse in a perfect sky, activities are happening dawn to dusk, and you return to work to a huge mass of catching-up to do?  The blogging goes by the wayside. But anyway, here I am to close out the story of our great trip to see the eclipse and national parks of the American West.  On the day following the eclipse, August 22, we headed north to Yellowstone National Park. A...
0

Total Eclipse Day Success in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
We had total success!! The 350 people at the Teton Science School outside of Jackson, Wyoming, had a perfect day, and are in total jubilation. Last night eclipse weather expert Jay Anderson and I gave three sets of talks about the eclipse, covering everything from how to view it to photography to safety procedures, and so on. And Jay spoke at length about weather prospects. We had some worries about haze and cirrus type clouds that might move over our eclipse site on the big day. But we determ...
0

Astronomy Magazine Eclipse Tour 2017 Day 5

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
On Astronomy Magazine’s 2017 National Parks of the West Tour, Northbound, 89 of us are working our way toward Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for the total eclipse. We’ve toured several national parks and enjoyed the spectacle of Lowell Observatory’s treasures. On Friday, August 18, we enjoyed some of the historic and cultural treasures of Salt Lake City, Utah.  First came a trip to the Great Salt Lake, an amazing natural wonder, where we saw the salty water (now very low in dro...
0

Astronomy Magazine Eclipse Tour 2017 Day 4

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
Astronomy Magazine is operating multiple tours to see the total solar eclipse coming this Monday. I’m on the Northbound National Parks of the West tour, along with 88 others on three buses, making our way slowly northward to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where we’ll see totality.  If it’s Thursday, this must be Bryce Canyon. We are in a whirlwind tour of parks, and have enjoyed them immensely — after seeing the spectacular sights of “America’s Observatory,&rd...
0

Astronomy Magazine Eclipse Tour 2017 Day 3

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
The third day of our Astronomy Magazine Eclipse Tour 2017 commenced with waking up on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Within the National Park, we had breakfast and watched the Sun rise over the canyon, before walking out along the rim and photographing the splendor we could see everywhere. Our group, one of several touring with the magazine and TravelQuest tours, consisted of 89 people on three buses, moving steadily northward toward eclipse day in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  The Grand C...
0

Astronomy Magazine Eclipse Tour 2017 Day 2

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
Our second day of the Astronomy Magazine Eclipse Tour 2017 commenced on Lake Powell, in northern Arizona, near the Arizona/Utah border. Our trip, northward bound, consists of 89 people on three buses, headed for eclipse day at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Monday the 21st. We are partners with Aram Kaprielian and his TravelQuest International crew, a great team of travel experts. We will meet a southbound group at Jackson Hole and have around 200 people at our eclipse site. The magazine is also pa...
0

Astronomy Magazine Eclipse Tour 2017 Day 1

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
Following an array of flights to Phoenix from all manner of airports, the Astronomy Magazine 2017 Eclipse Tour kicked off, northward bound, headed for numerous national parks and historic astronomical sites en route to viewing the Great American Eclipse in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Monday the 21st. On our first big day of activities, Monday, August 14, we headed north from Scottsdale to Sedona, Arizona, where we saw the beautiful red sandstone rocks that make this town a tourist mecca. We did ...
0

America's Darkest Sky Star Party planned for October 13-14, 2017

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
Dark Sky New Mexico has planned its second star party for observers and astroimagers for October 13–14, 2017, in Animas, New Mexico. As astronomy enthusiasts know, enjoying a world-class dark sky is increasingly hard for the majority of people in the world. In the United States, about 80 percent of the population lives in places where it cannot see the Milky Way. That‘s a sad state of affairs, and so truly dark sky star parties like this one are becoming far more important to those...
0

Astronomy Magazine 2017 Eclipse Plans

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
The big event is nearly here. After years of chatting about the Great American Eclipse, nearly everyone we know is ready to head off on one direction or another to bask under the darkness of totality. If you’ve never seen a total eclipse, the effect is really almost magical. There’s no better way to feel the power of nature, to see the orbits of the moons and planets and stars come together, than to witness this great spectacle.  Astronomy Magazine has quite a few eclipse act...
0

Guest blog: Are we doing more to protect potential aliens on other planets than animals here on Earth?

Posted 6 months ago by David Eicher
This guest blog comes from Paul Shapiro, the vice president of policy engagement at The Humane Society of the United States. You can follow him at https://twitter.com/PaulHShapiro. By Paul Shapiro  Before departing on their 1975 voyage to become the first spacecraft to land on Mars, the Viking 1 and 2 landers had one final task: they had to get baked. No, I’m not referring to a final going-away party for the billion-dollar machines. Rather, they were put in an oven for ne...
0

Lowell Observatory's Amazing Anderson Mesa

Posted 6 months ago by David Eicher
In June I had the great fortune to attend my first meeting of the Board of Advisors at Lowell Observatory. This great institution is unique in the astronomy world, as I’ve written before, and should be treasured by all who adore the stars.  I’ve been here, there, and everywhere since, and finally have my feet back on the ground in Wisconsin for more than a few days. This situation allows me to finally share some photos by a fellow board member, Art Storbo, who sent me these n...