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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THREE LEGENDARY MOONWALKERS TO LAND IN NORWAY AND SHARE THEIR STORIES, TOGETHER, FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME AT STARMUS IV

Posted 12 hours 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 a Cambridge book of the year

Posted 14 hours 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 3 days 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 15 days 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 15 days 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 17 days 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 28 days 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 28 days 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 28 days 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 28 days 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 29 days 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 one month 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 one month 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 one month 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 one month 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 one month 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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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Book review: A Global Warming Primer by Jeffrey Bennett

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
The world continues to astonish me at nearly every turn. Not only do many science writers and bloggers immediately push the wrong buttons — “Proxima Centauri b is an earthlike planet!” — “The signal received by the Russians signals a probable alien detection!” — but much of the public is far behind the scientific curve. People, global warming as a real phenomenon that is caused and/or made far worse by human industrialization is a done de...
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Dave Eicher to speak at Lowell Observatory

Posted 3 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 res...
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Astronomy magazine has jobs open!

Posted 4 months ago by David Eicher
Our loss could be your gain. We are losing two valuable employees this week. Our Associate Editor Korey Haynes is moving to the Twin Cities where her husband has accepted a job. And our longtime Editorial Associate Val Penton is retiring. So we are looking for an Associate Editor and for an Editorial Assistant to join our team on the world’s most read magazine about astronomy. Please check out the jobs. We hope to hear from you soon! Follow Dave Eicher on Twitter, and please check out his ...
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A great new eclipse book

Posted 4 months ago by David Eicher
Astronomy magazine Senior Editor Michael Bakich has just authored a book that you will want to have for next year’s big solar eclipse. Your Guide to the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse (395 pp., paper, Springer, New York, 2016, $35; ISBN 978–3–319–27630–4) is a treasure trove of materials you will find highly valuable for next year’s big event. The book contains 25 chapters and voluminous appendices that will leave you saturated with everything you need to know to ge...
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Starmus Sonic Universe Concert blows minds

Posted 4 months ago by David Eicher
Maybe you read some of the first few blogs I wrote about the Starmus Festival last week. Truth be told, after the first three days, things became so incredibly busy I didn’t have any time at all to process photos or write posts. So I will begin to conclude the Starmus story here. On Friday, July 1, we all prepared for the Sonic Universe Concert, which was held at the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín, a beautiful facility practically on the oceanfront in Santa Cruz de Tenerif...
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Third day at Starmus brings historic moments

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
OK, this conference, which started out magnificently, becomes dreamily better each day. Some 1,000 people are here on Tenerife for the third Starmus Festival, the unique gathering that celebrates science, music, and art. The speakers this time are truly mind-blowing. We have numerous astronauts, 10 Nobel Prize winners, rock stars, cosmologists, and planetary scientists sharing the latest words on many subfields of our interests. It is truly a meeting like no other.On Wednesday, June 29, the conf...
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A spectacular second day at Starmus

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
Well, we all were blown away by the explosive and amazing events of the first day at the Starmus Festival. More than 1,000 people are gathered here to celebrate astronomy, science, music, and art, on Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. The third Starmus, this event started off with a bang, with incredible presentations, thanks to the organization of founder and director Garik Israelian. But the second day carried right on with presentations that were simply mind-blowing. This was Tuesday, June 28, ...
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Starmus starts with a bang in Tenerife!

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
The third Starmus Festival, the unique gathering celebrating astronomy, science, music, and art, got underway in Tenerife, Canary Islands, on Monday, June 27, 2016. Under the direction of Garik Israelian, astronomer and founder of the festival, an all-star cast assembled to discuss the state of the universe along with a crowd of 1,000 attendees. It was an absolutely incredible day, setting a new milestone for the Starmus experience. This year the gathering honors Professor Stephen Hawking, who w...
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Starmus set to commence with unprecedented, all-star lineup

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
On Saturday my wife Lynda and I will fly to Chicago, then to London, and then to Tenerife, in preparation for the third Starmus Festival in the Canary Islands. This unique science festival celebrates stars and music (thus, Starmus), and is the brainchild of good friend Garik Israelian, an astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy in Tenerife. This year’s Starmus Festival (June 27–July 2, 2016) will pay tribute to the great Stephen Hawking, who is already on the island. The career tri...
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Watch Starmus LIVE via streaming online!

Posted 5 months ago by David Eicher
Can’t come to Starmus? Watch it LIVE via streaming online!!Join us as history happens in the Canary Islands! You can stream Starmus on your computer or phone from June 27 through July 2, 2016, with an incredible, all-star lineup:• All speaker presentations in real time• Select performances in the Sonic Universe Concert! • The Stephen Hawking Award presentations• The GTC Round Table at the world’s largest telescope• And much more! • All the excitemen...

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