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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Steve Cullen joins Astronomy Foundation board

Posted 7 days ago by David Eicher
I’m delighted to announce that Steve Cullen, who has served for the last several months as the Astronomy Foundation’s executive director, has joined the foundation’s board of directors. The Astronomy Foundation is the telescope industry outreach group that has recently become a nonprofit entity and will be working to promote the hobby of astronomy. Also on the board are David Eicher (president), Karen Jennings (vice president), Rick Hedrick (secretary), Scott Kardel, Vic Maris,...
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Follow "The Journal of Irreproducible Results!"

Posted 10 days ago by David Eicher
When I was a teenager, I had the great fortune to meet one of the go-getters in the astronomy hobby, Norm Sperling. In the late 1970s, Norm was an assistant editor at Sky & Telescope, and he provided the first national exposure for my handmade journal, Deep Sky Monthly. In the years since, Norm has taught astronomy at various universities in the Bay Area, founded and operated the creative company Everything in the Universe, co-designed the magnificent Astroscan telescope, and edited that dev...
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Steve Cullen announces Hawaiian Starscape Gallery

Posted 14 days ago by David Eicher
A good friend and one of the driving forces behind the Astronomy Foundation is Steve Cullen, a former Silicon Valley executive and founder of LightBuckets. Steve has just announced, along with renowned astroimager Rogelio Bernal Andreo, the creation of Starscape Gallery in Hawaii. The gallery will feature amazing photography of the islands and of deep space and will open in November. Here is the full press release:Starscape Gallery, the world’s premier fine-art photography gallery featurin...
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Visit from an old friend, Norm Sperling

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
This Monday morning, I had a delightful email from an old friend I hadn’t talked to in ages. Norm Sperling, well known astronomy enthusiast, editor, writer, and intellectual, was in the area, and he ended up having lunch with the Astronomy staff today. Back in the day, Norm was an editor at Sky & Telescope magazine in Boston, and he has been a tireless promoter of astronomy to people of all ages. Aside from teaching at the University of California-Berkeley, serving as the editor of the...
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Watch the Asteroid Day London discussion

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
A month ago, June 30, astronomers around the world marked the first Asteroid Day, drawing attention to the need for a better survey of near-Earth asteroids. Now you can watch the panel discussion that took place at the Science Museum in London, involving founder Grig Richters, Brian May, Stuart Clark, Sir Crispin Tickell, Debbie Lewis, Richard Crowther, Alan Fitzsimmons, Lord Martin Rees, and Lewis Dartnell. cs_setInnerHtml('video_560b14e9-21d9-4f9f-9ad9-da75b1037e4c',''); Follow David J. Eiche...
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Astronomy magazine at EAA Airventure Oshkosh

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
On Friday, July 24, 2015, Senior Editor Michael Bakich and I traveled to the world’s greatest airshow, EAA Airventure Oshkosh, to scope out the events being held by NASA and other cool things. Each year, more than 10,000 pilots flock to Oshkosh, some 100 miles north of Astronomy’s headquarters, to show their planes and celebrate flight. And spaceflight is always a part of the fun. On Friday, NASA held a forum discussing increasing opportunities for women in aerospace, with Susan Bagg...
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Making sense of Pluto

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
A week later, the incredible historic moment has passed. The flyby occurred. We have seen some spectacular images of Pluto and Charon. Let's take a breath to make sense of the Pluto we now know.First, congratulations to Alan Stern and the entire New Horizons team. What a spectacular achievement, and the information will keep pouring in. Although this was a flyby, the mission design dictates that data will continue to be returned, processed, and released for another 16 months. So get ready to con...
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Check out Rhodri Evans' "The Cosmic Microwave Background"

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
It’s relatively rare that an astronomy book rolls along that I think astronomy enthusiasts MUST have. Such is the case, however, with The Cosmic Microwave Background, new from Springer. Welsh research fellow astronomer Rhodri Evans of Cardiff University has produced a compelling book, woven together with many stories of his personal interactions with key players, about the central string of cosmology, the microwave background radiation. The book (full title: The Cosmic Microwave Background...
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Yuri Milner, Stephen Hawking, others announce unprecedented new SETI survey

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
A momentous event in searching for life in the universe occurred today during a press conference held in London. Breakthrough Prize chairman Yuri Milner, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, and a host of other scientists announced a $100 million effort to detect extraterrestrial civilizations in a new way. The Breakthrough Initiative is designed to “dramatically accelerate the search for intelligent life in the universe.”Scientists making the announcement included Hawking, Martin ...
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Asteroid Day blog post from Debbie Lewis

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Please read this new Asteroid Day blog post from Debbie Lewis, a risk crisis and disaster management specialist who is an Asteroid Day science advisor. I think you will find it thought provoking . . . Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/deicherstar...
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New Horizons makes history at Pluto

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Congratulations to Alan Stern and the entire New Horizons team for today’s historic flyby success at Pluto!The color image released this morning is magnificent and will be in a sense the opening salvo of 16 months of data scientists receive and analyze for years to come. What a terrific day!Already, it’s clear that the icy terrain is more complex than we might have imagined. The bright “heart” feature contains variegated ices, one area being much smoother than the ot...
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Article on Garik Israelian published in "The Financial Times"

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Check out this great story about my friend Garik Israelian, astrophysicist at the Institute for Astrophysics in Tenerife, and founder and director of the Starmus Festival.What a nice piece!(Note: The Financial Times has a pay wall. You must pay a subscription fee to access the article.)Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/deicherstar...
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Dave Eicher astrophysics book to be published in November

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
The product of my last few months’ writing, The New Cosmos: Answering Astronomy’s Big Questions, will be published this November by Cambridge University Press. It’ll consist of about 100,000 words and 100 color photos on hot developing topics in astrophysics, cosmology, and planetary science of the last 10 to 15 years, including: How the Sun will die; the end of life on Earth; the history of water on Mars; why Venus turned inside-out; how the Moon formed; Pluto’s planetar...
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Dave Eicher to speak at American Museum of Natural History; participate in 20th anniversary StarFest

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
I want to thank my good friends in the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York (AAA) — Marcelo Cabrera, Susan Andreoli, and David Kraft — for inviting me to speak this fall at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. On Friday, October 16, 2015, I’ll deliver a lecture, “The New Cosmos: Answering Astronomy’s Big Questions,” a talk that broadly describes many of the “big science” themes of discovery in my forthcomin...
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New video: "The Wait: New Horizons at Pluto"

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
As we wait for the close approach of New Horizons to Pluto a week from now, I think you’ll want to see this video cs_setInnerHtml('video_fcaaf117-98ee-4016-8df5-08570c1a45ca',''); Thanks to Alan Stern!Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter www.twitter.com/deicherstar...
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On Asteroid Day, the realities of asteroid impact dangers

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
Over the past weeks, as Asteroid Day has approached, I’ve seen lots of talk one way or the other about the realities of danger from near-Earth asteroids.The real reality? On any given day, the danger is extremely low. Eventually, however, small and large asteroids will again strike Earth.Last spring, I wrote a meticulous 4,000-word story about the dangers from asteroids, after consulting with numerous experts in the field.You can read it here.And then join the discussion. But join it in an...
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Join us for today's Asteroid Day activities

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
The day is finally here! Today, on the 107th anniversary of the Tunguska event, an explosion caused by an incoming asteroid or comet that flattened more than 2,000 square kilometers of forest in central Siberia, people around the world are participating in Asteroid Day. Asteroid Day global movement is a  global day of awareness and public education about asteroids. At science centers and schools, homes, and community centers around the world, including in England, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Cana...
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The Chicago astronomer and Astronomy magazine!

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
Joe Guzman, who is out there doing astronomy outreach all over the city of Chicago, well known as the Chicago Astronomer, sent me this last week:“The Chicago Astronomer Astro Club uses Astronomy magazine as part of our class lessons. We will continue to meet over the summer break while school is out.Solid.”Fantastic, Joe!! Keep those kids’ eyes on the sky! Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/deicherstar...
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Registration opens for Starmus, sign up today!

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
You can now register for next year’s Starmus Festival in the Canary Islands, the premier science festival in the world. Next year’s event will honor Stephen Hawking and will be titled “Beyond the Horizon: Tribute to Stephen Hawking.” It will take place in Tenerife and La Palma, Canary Islands, June 27–July 2, 2016. The speakers will include:• Stephen Hawking• 10 Nobel Prize-winning scientists, including Harry Kroto, Robert Wilson, Adam Riess, and Bria...
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Join me in signing the Asteroid Day declaration!

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
The first Asteroid Day is now six days away! Please join me in signing the 100x declaration. Help to expand our inventory of asteroids in the inner solar system by a factor of 100. Help to take care of Earth’s future! You can sign the declaration here. cs_setInnerHtml('video_8e5cd033-94d0-4cae-b498-56aa74aa9970',''); Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/deicherstar...
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Oh Pluto! You must see this video!

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
Kudos to Craig Werth and Christine Lavin for producing this song and great video! Now Pluto has its own song! cs_setInnerHtml('video_3c884478-3732-45ff-a90a-63ece07658b6',''); Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/deicherstar....
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Chris Eicher on Brett Favre, alchemy, and the magic of copper

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
My son, Chris Eicher, is a journalism student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is starting a series of pro-science, anti-pseudoscience blogs, and I hope that you will read them and support him in his interest. We know that the world is awash in misinformation, nonsense, and bad science. It‘s all around you every day, on television and on the Internet, and it needs accountability. His blogs will address a variety of subjects, sticking up for reality and attacking the unrealities...
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10 Nobel Prize winners to participate in Starmus 3

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
PRESS RELEASE•    "Beyond the horizon – Tribute to Stephen Hawking" will be the theme of the third Starmus Festival, which will pay homage to the most famous British astrophysicist of all time and confirm the status of Starmus as the world's most ambitious science festival by bringing outstanding personalities in the field of science education and space exploration together in Tenerife once again•    In the words of Professor Hawking: "With this next...
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Latest "Real Reality Show"

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
The latest Real Reality Show episode is up and deals with the realities of dark matter. Check it out here.Enjoy! Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/deicherstar....
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Rusty Schweickart's audio interview now online

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
I know all of you are familiar with the great Rusty Schweickart, Apollo 9 astronaut, planetary defense champion, and one of the great promoters of science education over the past generation. My audio interview with Rusty for the “Superstars of Astronomy” podcast series is now online. You can listen to it here. And you can read a transcription of the interview here.Enjoy! Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/deicherstar...
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Great photos from the World Science Festival

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
For those of you who did not attend the World Science Festival in New York two weeks ago, you really missed something.I've previously reported on the star party, all the talks and activities, and the great opening dramatic play.Now, courtesy of photographer Greg Kessler of the festival, and thanks to Blake Zidell for sending them along, we have in the Online Reader Gallery a group of great photos.Enjoy! And see you there next year!Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/deicherstar....
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Joe Lupica and Dean Regas join Astronomy Foundation board

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
The Astronomy Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit outreach group started by telescope industry members, has had a busy year. It has gained nonprofit status and now seeks fundraising. It held an annual meeting at the Northeast Astronomy Forum in New York in April. It has a set of objectives that will commence soon to support astronomy outreach with a variety of star-party-related services.And now the group has added two important members to its board of directors. Joe Lupica is the former CEO of ...
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Time for Pluto Time

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
A new tool from NASA allows you to experience Pluto time anytime. This is really cool. Thanks to Alan Stern for letting me know about this. Check it out here.Just how dim is the sunlight on Pluto, some three billion miles away? While sunlight is much weaker than it is here on Earth, it isn’t as dark as you might expect. In fact, for just a moment during dawn and dusk each day, the illumination on Earth matches that of high noon on Pluto.We call this “Pluto Time.” If you go outs...
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Join our friends at Astronomy Festival on the National Mall

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
Each year, astronomy professor Don Lubowich of Hofstra University has led an effort to host a great star party in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall. This year's event will take place on Friday evening, June 19th, with a rain night the following evening.This is one of the great public star party events in the United States and will draw thousands of people. Materials from Astronomy magazine will be on hand as giveaways, as people young and old view the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn — an...
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Shout out to Celestron for the World Science Festival

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
You may have seen the coverage of the many activities that took place at the World Science Festival (WSF) in New York two weeks ago.Here’s a wonderful slice of local news coverage from CBS New York highlighting Celestron’s role in the Sunday street fair at the WSF.You can enjoy it here.Follow David J. Eicher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/deicherstar...

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