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.
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A thought from my latest book ...

Posted yesterday by David Eicher
This will be published with about another 100,000 words in The New Cosmos: Answering Astronomy’s Big Questions, to be published by Cambridge University Press this coming October.Enjoy!Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/deicherstar...
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Sir Harold Kroto and David Eicher join Starmus Festival board

Posted 2 days ago by David Eicher
Tenerife, Canary Islands, May 20, 2015: Garik Israelian, director of the Starmus Festival, the international celebration of astronomy, allied sciences, music, and the arts, today announces two additions to the Starmus Festival board of directors. Both Sir Harold Kroto and David Eicher were speakers at the 2014 Starmus Festival in Tenerife, Canary Islands, and have continued to be active with the organization. Kroto is the Nobel Prize-winning, British-born Frances Eppes professor of chemistry at ...
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Get ready for Asteroid Day festivities in London

Posted 3 days ago by David Eicher
The first ever Asteroid Day will raise awareness for near-Earth asteroid research, highlighting the danger space rocks pose to us. The commemoration will take place June 30, 2015, on the 107th anniversary of the Tunguska event, when an asteroid or cometary nucleus obliterated huge areas of forest in Siberia. Significant events are planned for Asteroid Day in London, England, at the Science Museum south of Hyde Park. Guests will be treated to a science panel discussion and then will watch an excl...
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New Eicher book will deliver state of the cosmos message

Posted 11 days ago by David Eicher
Last year, I spent much of my free time cloistered in my room cranking away on a new book about astrophysics, planetary science, and cosmology. You see, more than 30 years ago I was incredibly inspired by Cosmos, the TV series and book, and got to know Carl Sagan, who encouraged me onward. The inspiration led me to write my 21st book, which will be published by Cambridge University Press this coming October. The Foreword is by a friend of many of ours, Alex Filippenko of the University of Califo...
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Discovery Science joins Asteroid Day project

Posted 11 days ago by David Eicher
Great news!Please see the following release . . .DISCOVERY SCIENCE LAUNCHES “COUNTDOWN TO ASTEROID DAY” Do scientists know when an asteroid will strike? How much warning will you get if an asteroid is headed for your city? How frequently do asteroid impacts occur? To answer these questions and more, Discovery Science, the only global network dedicated entirely to the wonders of science, is partnering with Asteroid Day. Asteroid Day is a global awareness movement educating people on ...
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Astronomy Night on the National Mall 2015

Posted 17 days ago by David Eicher
Don Lubowich of Hofstra University writes about his plans for the 2015 rendition of a popular Washington, D.C. event: Astronomy Night on the National Mall. If you are in the Washington area in mid-June, I urge you to join the large group of institutions that will participate in this massive outreach event. Astronomy magazine will support the efforts with magazines and brochures on hand, and Hofstra will host with multiple participating groups, including the American Geophysical Union, the Intern...
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Galileoscope launches IYL 2015 programs

Posted 18 days ago by David Eicher
My good friend Rick Fienberg is a man of many talents. He is press officer and director of communications for the American Astronomical Society. He is former editor-in-chief of Sky & Telescope magazine. He is also involved with the educational outreach effort behind Galileoscopes, which delivers thousands of low-cost telescopes to classrooms around the world. Please check out the following press release just out. By supporting this, you can make a world of difference. Galileoscope Launches 2...
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A Starmus video for your weekend enjoyment

Posted 21 days ago by David Eicher
This week saw the announcement of the 2016 Starmus Festival slated for June of next year in Tenerife. While you ponder travel plans for this incredible event, a tribute to Stephen Hawking, here’s a video of highlights from the 2014 Starmus to whet your appetite. cs_setInnerHtml('video_cb3ca47a-e7f7-4a98-b646-129f4955678c',''); Credit: Starmus Festival...
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Rusty Schweickart's new planetary defense blog posted!

Posted 22 days ago by David Eicher
More progress on the Asteroid Day front: Please check out Rusty Schweickart’s new planetary defense blog posted today. Here is a great story about what you can do to help!...
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URGENT: Thirty Meter Telescope needs your help!

Posted 23 days ago by David Eicher
If you haven't heard, there is an ongoing situation with the building of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea. Protests have now endangered the project and threaten its existence. If you care about science, PLEASE GO TO THIS SURVEY AND LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!This Thursday, April 30, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) will hold a special meeting of the Board of Trustees to discuss Mauna Kea and the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). It is very likely that the board will take a vote that wi...
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Reorganized Astronomy Foundation holds annual meeting

Posted 24 days ago by David Eicher
The Astronomy Foundation, the outreach group formed by telescope executives in 2010, has had a long year of dormancy. Seeking 501(c)3 nonprofit status, the group has received that designation now and recently held its annual board meeting in conjunction with the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) in Suffern, New York. The meeting, held April 18, 2015, consisted of President David Eicher, Vice President Karen Jennings, Secretary Scott Kardel, Treasurer Rick Hedrick, Executive Director Steve Cullen,...
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Starmus Festival announced for summer 2016 in Tenerife

Posted 24 days ago by David Eicher
This morning in London, Garik Israelian, Brian May, Stephen Hawking, and Carlos Alonso announced the next Starmus Festival, which will take place June 27–July 2, 2016, in Tenerife and La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain. The conference will pay tribute to Stephen Hawking, with the theme being “Beyond the Horizon — Tribute to Stephen Hawking.” Among the speakers lined up thus far are Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chris Hadfield, Martin Rees, Adam Riess, Rusty Schweickart, Eric Bet...
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Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference 2015

Posted 24 days ago by David Eicher
So much has happened in the last few days that I am still desperately trying to catch up after my return from New York. One of the great events I had the pleasure to attend was the annual Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference (NEAIC), a specialized pair of days dedicated to capturing the sky with cameras. This event, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Suffern, New York, April 16–17, 2015, showcased a wide variety of expert speakers on astrophotography. First, special thanks to Bob Moore, Mike ...
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Alexei Leonov to speak in London on May 21

Posted 24 days ago by David Eicher
The legendary cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the first human to walk in space, will give a rare public talk in London on May 21, 2015. The venue will be the IMAX Theatre at the great Science Museum in London, just south of Hyde Park. Here is press information from the British Interplanetary Society (BIS): Date:  May 21, 2015Start Time:  7 p.m. (doors open 6:30 p.m.)Finish Time:  8 p.m.; book signing 8–9 p.m.Venue:  IMAX Theatre, The Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South...
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Odyssey of Knowledge set for tomorrow in Athens

Posted 28 days ago by David Eicher
 THE ODYSSEY OF KNOWLEDGE 1st International Conference of Science and ArtsCommemorative Tribute:Hypatia from Alexandria (A.D. 370-415)         SATURDAY, APRIL 25th       AUDITORIUM "ATHINA 9.84" TECHNOPOLIS OF MUNICIPALITY OF ATHENSConference Theme"Humans and their Path to Knowledge at Times to Self-sacrifice" Leading personalities of the global scientific community, such as    the world-class evolutionary...
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Director Grigorij Richters launches 51 Degrees North feature film Kickstarter campaign

Posted 29 days ago by David Eicher
51 Degrees North is a new feature film project supported by the Asteroid Day Foundation and Films United. A 30-day Kickstarter campaign will launch today, Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, to support the film’s official release on June 30, 2015. Brian May, famed lead guitarist for Queen and astrophysicist, is among the first to support the campaign. May composed the central soundtrack of 51 Degrees North. He notes that, “This is a movie to change perspectives, and now th...
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Northeast Astronomy Forum, part two

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
I spent April 9–20 in the New York City area. I spoke at the New York/New Jersey Mineral Show, spent a few days vacationing in the city, and then closed out the trip with covering the annual Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference and Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) in Suffern, about an hour’s journey outside the city. More on all these events to come over the next few days. This serves as a second report on NEAF, the largest of the events, which draws some 2,000 or more people to Rockla...
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Northeast Astronomy Forum, part one

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Wow. I am utterly exhausted after spending April 9–20 in the New York City area. I spoke at the New York/New Jersey Mineral Show, spent a few days vacationing in the city, and then closed out the trip with covering the annual Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference and Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) in Suffern, about an hour’s journey outside the city. More on all these events to come over the next few days. This serves as a first report on NEAF, the largest of the events, which draws s...
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RIP Walter H. Haas, lunar and planetary champion

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Very sad news this morning on the death of Walter H. Haas (1917–2015), founder and director emeritus of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO), at the age of 97. Few astronomy enthusiasts did more over the past decades for amateur astronomy, heartily encouraging the study of the Moon and planets, careful observations and photography, and for years pushing for the now fully functional collaboration between amateur and professional astronomers. Walter was always an exception...
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Speaking next weekend at the New York/New Jersey Mineral, Fossil, Gem & Jewelry Show

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
I have a two-part trip to New York City looming, after a few days of finishing our magazine’s annual budget. Next weekend I’ll be speaking at the New York/New Jersey Mineral Show, having been graciously invited by my friend, mineral expert Justin Zzyzx. I will join a nice lineup of speakers and will be delivering “Minerals on Earth . . . and Beyond,” next Friday, April 10th, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 11th, at 5 p.m. I will talk a little bit about the Moon and Mars...
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Exclusive online story, "Why the asteroid threat should be taken seriously," now live!

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
In the wake of the announcement of Asteroid Day, I found myself seeing all manner of debates online, between astronomy enthusiasts, about the realities of danger from asteroids impacting Earth. The opinions were all over the map. And so I began a several-weeks-long project of writing a detailed story about the realities of asteroid impacts, past and future. I consulted the work of Paul Chodas, Don Yeomans, Mark Boslough, Alan Harris, Rusty Schweickart, Hal Levison, Luke Dones, and other top-flig...
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Join Astronomy, Discover, Celestron, and SciStarter at the World Science Festival

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
There’s an exciting event coming to New York City on May 27–31, 2015: The five-day celebration of science known as the World Science Festival will host hundreds of thousands flocking to the Big Apple. Astronomy magazine, our sister publication Discover magazine, our close friends and partners at Celestron, and the citizen-science group SciStarter will all join together to help make the World Science Festival an unforgettable event. I will be on hand as will Discover’s Editor-in...
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Watch Eric Chaisson's important cosmic evolution interview

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
I’m having a delightful time discussing lots of topics with a stellar array of astronomers for my new Superstars of Astronomy audio podcast series. You can listen to the interviews here.But I want to highlight one existing video interview I stumbled across while chatting with Eric Chaisson at Harvard: Eric’s interview with WGBH is something that every astronomy enthusiast should watch. You can see it here.You will really enjoy it! Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter: www.twitter.c...
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UPDATED: "The Odyssey of Knowledge" set for April 25 in Athens

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
One of the most amazing people I met at last year’s Starmus Festival was Alexandros Hahalis, a Greek composer, musician, and science enthusiast. Along with Rick Wakeman and Katerina Mina, Alexandros put on the special musical program that served as a tribute to Neil Armstrong and Alexei Leonov. Now Alexandros will be producing “The Odyssey of Knowledge,” an international scientific conference to be held Saturday, April 25, 2015, at the Technopolis Auditorium of the Municipality...
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Check out the video for "Rainbow of Light" with Katerina Mina

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Last week I wrote about the new song “Rainbow of Light,” written by English songwriter Linda Lamon and performed magnificently by soprano Katerina Mina. Now I can share the YouTube video of this song, written for the International Year of Light, which features images by our good friend and superb astroimager Damian Peach. Enjoy! cs_setInnerHtml('video_1d182916-e64b-4bec-a52a-4ff5ff851802',''); Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/deicherstar...
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Membership invited to Astronomy Foundation annual board meeting at NEAF

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
The Astronomy Foundation, the first and only telescope industry association, will hold its annual meeting at the Northeast Astronomy Forum in Suffern, New York, on Saturday, April 18, 2015. The Astronomy Foundation general membership is invited to attend and to voice their input on the group’s future activities, mostly centered on promoting astronomy outreach. This past year, the Astronomy Foundation secured its 501(c)3 nonprofit status and is now ready to organize and promote activities. ...
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Linda Lamon's beautiful "Rainbow of Light" song features Katerina Mina!

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Want a good way to celebrate Friday? How about listening to a beautiful new song, “Rainbow of Light,” which was inspired by the Starmus Festival. The song celebrates UNESCO’s International Year of Light 2015. Written by English songwriter and musician Linda Lamon, the beautiful track features the amazing singing talent of soprano Katerina Mina, who wowed the audience at Starmus. You can listen to the song here, on SoundCloud.The press release follows:SONG INSPIRED BY THE S...
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Faroe Islands adventures

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
On Friday, March 20, our group viewed what we could of the total solar eclipse from a site close to Tórshavn, Faroe Islands. The day before, and the two days following, however, we had a variety of adventures in and around Tórshavn, the largest city in the islands, and in Klaksvik, the second largest city.These included wandering around looking at the beautiful and historic buildings of this amazing island chain. Much of the history involves stories of Vikings, but other settlers p...
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Total eclipse day in the Faroes 2015

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
Well, what can I say? Our group of 50 Astronomy magazine readers, led by MWT Associates, went for totality in the Faroe Islands on Friday, March 20, 2015, as did thousands of travelers here. In the end, we did not see the eclipse. The skies simply clouded us out. But we saw the light drop down to virtually nothing, and come up again, along with some weird horizon twilight effects during totality around the edges of the sky, peeking through the cloud deck. We also saw the emergence of the Sun&rsq...
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Eclipse Day!

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
Well, the big day is here!Yesterday, Thursday, March 19, our group of explorers had another unusual day in the Faroe Islands, between Iceland and the edge of the United Kingdom. I started off the day with a lecture to the group, “Does the Universe Really Care about Itself?,” the same talk I delivered at the Starmus Festival last fall.We then ventured out for a 6-mile (10 kilometers) walk across the top of the mountain, and we had light to moderate rain pretty much the whole time. Tha...

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