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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Book review: Earth in Human Hands by David Grinspoon

Posted 7 days ago by David Eicher
Rarely is a science book profoundly informative, highly entertaining, and surprisingly filled with interesting tidbits as a memoir. Such is the case, however, from the new book Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet’s Future, by planetary scientist David Grinspoon.  The new work (522 pp., hardcover, Grand Central Publishing, New York, 2016, $28, ISBN 978–1–4555–8912–8) is one of the best recent reads for astronomy and science enthusiasts.  “We ...
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Join Dave Eicher at Cleveland's Science+Mathematics Think-In

Posted 8 days ago by David Eicher
I’m very excited to be a keynote speaker at the Science+Mathematics Think-In, a professional learning day for Pre-K through 12th Grade educators, hosted by WVIZ/PBS ideastream, in Cleveland, Ohio.  The event will take place March 9, 2017, from 9 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. at the Idea Center at Playhouse Square, 1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, and is hosted by not only WVIZ/PBS ideastream but also the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Great Lakes Science Center, and the Corporatio...
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Alison Klesman joins Astronomy Magazine as Associate Editor

Posted 29 days ago by David Eicher
Please join me in welcoming Alison Klesman, a very talented astronomer, as Astronomy’s new associate editor. You will be seeing a great deal of Alison’s work in the coming weeks and months within the magazine, on the website, and in some videos and other media to come. All of us at Astronomy are very proud to have her on board.  Alison earned her bachelor’s degree in physics and master’s degree in earth, atmospheric, and planetary science from MIT. During this tim...
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Lowell Observatory: David Eicher comments on the importance of astronomy in younger generations

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Join Editor Dave Eicher to explore why astronomy is important for younger generations . . . “Astronomy is the only science in which the amateurs, us enthusiasts, have the same laboratory, the same sky, as professional astronomers.” Thanks to Lowell Observatory for producing this video.  ...
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Check out this Emission Spectra of the Elements poster!

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Do you want a new and really unique gift for that lovable science nerd in the family?  Check out this really cool Emission Spectra of the Elements poster. Tom Field, who operates Field Tested Systems, produces spectrometers, filters, and classroom products that allow amateurs and students to study spectroscopy.  The poster is quite cool, showing the emission spectra for all the elements in the periodic table. Thanks, Tom, for sending one. And may you achieve great success spreading...
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Auction of Alan Stern's "second fastest vehicle" will support Lowell Observatory

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
PRESS RELEASE: DECEMBER 13, 2016   ***Contact details appear below*** ***Text and images https://lowell.edu/category/news/***    AUCTION OF ALAN STERN’S “SECOND FASTEST VEHICLE” WILL SUPPORT LOWELL OBSERVATORY Flagstaff, AZ. – The historic Nissan 350Z that Dr. Alan Stern drove while leading the New Horizons mission to Pluto will be auctioned this month. The sale will benefit Lowell Observatory, the place where Pluto was discovered, with proceeds go...
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Book review: Nancy Atkinson’s Incredible Stories from Space

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Lots of astronomical books are rolling out this year just in time for holiday shopping. One of the most pleasant is Nancy Atkinson’s Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos (224 pp., paper, Page Street Press, Salem, Massachusetts, 2016, $20; ISBN 978–1–62414–317–5).  This highly entertaining book presents a sweeping narrative journey through many recent space missions, from New Horizons and Plut...
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Lowell Observatory: Dave Eicher comments on why astronomical research matters

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Editor of Astronomy Magazine, Dave Eicher, explains why astronomy research is important: "We can learn a lot about who we are, and why we're here from looking outward and not just looking inward on our daily lives on the planet.” ...
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United Nations proclaims June 30 International Asteroid Day

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
PRESS RELEASE: UNITED NATIONS PROCLAIMS JUNE 30 AS INTERNATIONAL ASTEROID DAY NEW YORK, NEW YORK (December 07, 2016) -- The founders of Asteroid Day announced today that the United Nations General Assembly has officially recognized the annual event, declaring “30 June International Asteroid Day to observe each year at the international level the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russia, on 30 June 1908 and to raise public awareness about the asteroid impact hazard.&rdquo...
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Astronomy editor Dave Eicher on Wisconsin Public Radio today

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
This afternoon Dave Eicher will be a guest on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Central Time” show to discuss Stephen Hawking’s recent prediction that humanity will have to move on from Earth within 1,000 years. The discussion will treat a range of threats on Earth and from the universe at large to the long-term survival of human civilization.  You can listen, live, to the program here: http://www.wpr.org/programs/central-time The segment will begin today, Tuesday, ...
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Three legendary moonwalkers to land in Norway and share their stories, together, for the first time at Starmus IV

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
PRESS RELEASE: Buzz Aldrin, Charlie Duke & Harrison Schmitt will unite for the first time in front of an audience of thousands in Norway’s scientific capital, Trondheim, as part of Starmus IV festival. They will take part in a thrilling hour-long debate, titled “To The Moon And Beyond.” The three moonwalkers will explore their incredible landings decades later and will share their different views on future missions to Mars. “It has been my privilege to have attend...
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The New Cosmos by David Eicher chosen as a Cambridge book of the year

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Cambridge, England: David Eicher’s book The New Cosmos: Answering Astronomy’s Big Questions has been chosen by Cambridge University Press as one of its “Books of the Year,” an accolade that honors 14 books published by the Press in 2016.  Eicher’s book (279 pp., hardcover, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2016, $30; ISBN 978–1–107–06885–8) has been a popular title this year for readers of science. It covers 16 major topics that h...
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Guest Blog: Introducing the StarDisc

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
This blog was written by Judith Irons, a StarDisc trustee in Central England with a love for art and science. Judith says her wonderful Grandad showed her the beauty of the stars and she has since found she's been happiest underneath the night sky. Through her quest for sharing art and the beauty of the Universe, Judith found StarDisc through a chance meeting with the creator, Aidan Shingler, and knew instantly it was a special place. StarDisc is a 21st century stone circle and celestial amph...
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Starmus IV to celebrate outstanding contributions of women to science

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
PRESS RELEASE: STARMUS IV WILL CELEBRATE OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS FROM WOMEN TO THE WORLD OF SCIENCE Women have not always received the recognition they deserve in the world of science. The balance is being readdressed and we are witnessing an increasing presence of women in science and their important accomplishments are being drawn to light, but there is still a long way to go.  The founder of Starmus, Garik Israelian, is proud to announce an incredibly strong list of influential w...
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David Eicher talk, signing at Lowell Observatory this Saturday

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
In you’ll be in the astronomical mecca of Flagstaff, Arizona, this weekend, please join me for a talk and book signing Saturday night, November 19, 2016, at 7 p.m. I will be speaking about astronomical concepts from my book THE NEW COSMOS and where science popularization is going in the world — plenty of fun stuff to chat about. And there will be copies of the book on hand for signing thereafter. For more information on the event, please see Lowell Observatory’s page at: htt...
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Asteroid Day: Support the AIM Asteroid Mission!

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
SUPPORT THE AIM ASTEROID MISSION! Read on . . . ! The recently completed Rosetta Mission hailed for both its technical and engineering feats as well as scientific discovery,  captured the world’s attention. Not only was Rosetta the first-ever successful attempt to land on a comet, it also returned a powerhouse of scientific knowledge about small bodies in our Solar System. ESA woke up the “Sleeping Beauty” while the world watched and cheered. Now we must go further, wi...
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Book review: Sun Moon Earth by Tyler Nordgren

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
Next year’s total solar eclipse over the United States will probably be the most viewed eclipse in history. Traversing from the Pacific Northwest, diagonally across the country to the South Carolina coast, it will trace a shadow that many millions will enjoy viewing. Whether you’re going to be in Jackson Hole or Casper, Wyoming, near Kansas City, or (please say no) staying home, you might want to be well-read on eclipse history before the event. Stories of eclipses past and all the...
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Book review: Astrophotography by Rhodri Evans

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
The year is 2016. Why produce a book of astrophotographs, when each day the Internet is rife with uncountable astroimages, many of them photoshopped into oblivion?  Because in this case, the author, astronomer Rhodri Evans of Cardiff University, not only presents a spectacular array of astronomical images, but he delivers a terrific narrative placing the imagery into a marvelous context. The result is that readers of this book get something that is unusual — they receive an enterta...
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I will speak at Lowell Observatory on November 19

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
Please join me at historic Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, for a talk and book signing on Saturday, November 19, 2016. My topic will be “The New Cosmos: Answering Astronomy’s Big Questions,” based on the book of the same name published this year by Cambridge University Press. I’ll be delighted to revisit Lowell, which has a special place in my heart. I spent 10 days “working” at Lowell in the 1980s, assisting my friend Brian Skiff with r...
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Did you know Astronomy has the first-ever Pluto globe?

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
Waukesha, Wis. - Kalmbach Publishing Co., publisher of Astronomy magazine and Discover magazine, proudly announces the creation of the first-of-its-kind, custom-produced Pluto globe, using data from the historic New Horizons Pluto mission of 2015. “This is a first in history,” says David J. Eicher, Editor of Astronomy. “Little more than a year ago we had virtually no idea what Pluto’s surface looked like, and now we have a detail...
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Book review: The Madhouse Effect by Michael E. Mann and Tom Toles

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
A few times per year a science book rolls along that should be required reading for every responsible person on the planet. Such is the case with a new book about global warming denial, The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy. The work, by Michael E. Mann and Tom Toles (174 pp., hardcover, Columbia University Press, New York, 2016, $25; ISBN 978–0–231–17786–3), presents a highly entertaining...
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Astronomy Magazine announces first-ever Pluto globe

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
Waukesha, Wis. - Kalmbach Publishing Co., publisher of Astronomy magazine and Discover magazine, proudly announces the creation of the first-of-its-kind, custom-produced Pluto globe, using data from the historic New Horizons Pluto mission of 2015. “This is a first in history,” says David J. Eicher, Editor of Astronomy. “Little more than a year ago we had virtually no idea what Pluto’s surface looked like, and now we have a detailed globe showing 65 labeled fe...
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Book review: Welcome to the Universe by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, and J. Richard Gott

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
This is an important book. Part fascinating story, part reference book, and part astrophysical textbook, the work presents an information-rich summary of the current state of human knowledge of the cosmos. Titled Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour (470 pp., hardcover, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2016, $40; ISBN 978–0–691–15724–5), the work is a collaboration between the star astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and two important colleagues, Michael...
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Book review: Einstein's Greatest Mistake by David Bodanis

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
Targeting Albert Einstein with a modern book is a brave thing. Like so many other extremely well known personalities, the existing literature is vast, and so many little details of these people’s lives have been scrutinized, interpreted, and reinterpreted many times over. It is a quite rare thing to read a work that attacks a well-known subject in a fresh, original, and highly entertaining way. But that is exactly what David Bodanis has achieved with Albert Einstein in a terrific new bi...
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Book review: Facts from Space! by Dean Regas

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
Lemme tell you, cool facts about space are beloved by nearly everyone on the planet. Astronomy magazine published a special issue called the 500 Coolest Things about Space in March 2015, and it was one of our most popular recent editions. Now a good friend, Dean Regas, has produced a beautiful book that all astro fans will cherish. Facts from Space! From Super-Secret Spacecraft to Volcanoes in Outer Space, Extraterrestrial Facts to Blow Your Mind! (237 pp., paper, Adams Media, Avon, Mass., $1...
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Watch Starmus press conference with Garik Israelian, Dave Eicher, and Robert Williams

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
On Monday, October 3, 2016, a group of Starmus board members consisting of Garik Israelian, Dave Eicher, and Robert Williams announced the next Starmus Festival. It will take place June 18–23, 2017, in Trondheim, Norway.  You can watch the video of the announcement press conference, which also features officials from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the mayor of Trondheim, and others, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WduigbtYutk We hope to see you there fo...
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Starmus IV coming to Trondheim, Norway

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
The following is a press release announcing Starmus IV. Read on for more information: STARMUS IV TO LAND IN NORWAY’S SCIENTIFIC CAPITAL, TRONDHEIM, WITH AN EVEN MORE IMPRESSIVE LINEUP INCLUDING STEPHEN HAWKING, A HOST OF NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS, SCIENTISTS AND LEGENDARY MUSICIANS June 18th to 23rd 2017 “A very exciting opportunity.” Stephen Hawking  “After three successful festivals in The Canary Islands, it is an honour to be invited to the scientific capital of N...
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Asteroid Day: Eric Christensen on why more asteroid resources are needed

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
From our friends at Asteroid Day comes a great new video addressing a big topic: Why, exactly, is it that we need more resources — telescopes, equipment, people, etc. — to discover more Near-Earth Asteroids? Eric Christensen, who is director of the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab, lays out the current status of NEO research and why more is needed. You’ll enjoy this short video. See it here: http://asteroidday.org/a...
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Public Service Broadcasting’s Go!

Posted 4 months ago by David Eicher
If you like the intersection of astronomy and music, as many of us do, you might enjoy checking out the London-based band Public Service Broadcasting. This summer at the Starmus Festival my friend Max Alexander showed me a cool video the band produced, tying their music into the space race. The group is a pseudonymous duo comprised of J. Willgoose, Esq., on guitar, banjo, and other instruments, and Wrigglesworth on drums, piano, and electronic instruments. I think you’ll like this. C...
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Guest Blog: Introducing Nicole Kiefert!

Posted 4 months ago by David Eicher
I’m delighted to say that last week at Astronomy magazine, Nicole Kiefert started as our new editorial assistant. Nicole will be very familiar to many of you who contribute to the magazine as you correspond with us in the coming weeks and months. But she will also become known to all readers of the magazine and website as she produces some news, blogs, and other content. We are delighted to welcome Nicole, and want to introduce her to you. So without further ado, here is a guest blog writt...

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