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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Starmus Day 1 highlights

Posted yesterday by David Eicher
Starmus IV, our fourth incarnation of the Starmus Festival, is history. The event took place June 18–23, 2017, in Trondheim, Norway. We had record crowds with 2,500 in attendance and thousands more seeing Starmus related exhibits and events throughout the city of Trondheim. I know that an average of 18,000 people watched the livestream. I think it’s fair to say it was the most amazing science festival put on thus far, and I’ll be summarizing events that occurred during the we...
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Eicher GALAXIES book to be published by Clarkson Potter

Posted yesterday by David Eicher
STAR GAZER LANDS AT CLARKSON POTTER BOOK DEALS / PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, JUNE 26, 2017 The editor-in-chief of Astronomy magazine, David Eicher, sold world rights to a nonfiction book called Galaxies. Jenni Zellner at Clarkson Potter won the book at auction from Laura Biagi at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. Biagi said the book was pitched as “Atlas Obscura for galaxies” and reveals their “inner workings and the most fascinating facts and newest discoveries about them.”...
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The recipients of the Stephen Hawking Medal

Posted 20 days ago by David Eicher
The Stephen Hawking Medal is awarded to Neil degrasse Tyson, Jean-Michel Jarre, and the producers of the CBS Hit Show “The Big Bang Theory”  For the first time, the medal is awarded to a US scientist, heralding a new wave of science enthusiasm in the US   Today, Starmus founder Professor Garik Israelian announced the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication to three deserving winners: Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jean-Michel Jarre and the CBS/Warner Bros. Televisi...
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David Eicher Starmus 2017 Schedule

Posted 21 days ago by David Eicher
Starmus IV is about to begin! With each iteration, the Festival becomes larger. This year’s event will no doubt be the largest and most spectacular yet.  I will be involved in so many things this year that I have a schedule to keep them straight: On Sunday, June 18, I will be hosting the first day of the Festival. I will introduce a stellar array of speakers, including Harrison Schmitt, Stefan Hell, Michel Mayor, Sandra Magnus, Sara Seager, Lynn Rothschild, David Zambuka, and Stev...
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David Eicher joins Lowell Observatory Board

Posted 22 days ago by David Eicher
Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, is one of the oldest and most distinguished observatories in the United States, and is world famous for its unique blend of history and modern research.  Following his attendance at the Lowell Observatory annual meeting this past week, it can now be announced that David Eicher, Editor of Astronomy, has joined Lowell Observatory’s Board of Advisors.  The Board is chaired by Trustee Lowell Putnam, Percival Lowell’s great-grandneph...
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Omega and the Starmus Festival announce a new partnership

Posted 29 days ago by David Eicher
Revealing a new Speedmaster watch for the winners of the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication 19th May 2017: At a special press conference at the Royal Society in London on Friday, the Starmus Festival announced its new partnership with the prestigious Swiss watchmaker OMEGA. The Starmus Festival is a combination of science, art and music, and its goal is to help the general public understand and appreciate science. Since 2011, it has included performances and presentations from a...
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Astronomy Festival on the National Mall June 2

Posted 29 days ago by David Eicher
Starry-Eyed on the National Mall, June 2 In Washington, DC, on Friday, June 2, 2017 , from 6-11 p.m. visitors to the nation’s capital will be able to look to the skies with professional telescopes as part of the free Eighth Annual  Astronomy Festival on the National Mall  (AFNM) , N. of the Washington Monument; 15th Street NW and Constitution Ave,  across from the National Museum of African American History and Culture.   Rain ...
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Starmus: The Most Affordable Major Science Festival in the World

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
I recently heard someone say they thought the Starmus Festival, one of the world’s greatest science gatherings, was an expensive and elite event. “Huh?,” I thought. Several major science festivals cost several thousands of dollars or euros to attend. Such is not the case with Starmus: in fact, the whole idea with Starmus is to minimize the costs and allow, as easily as possible, mingling and chatting with some of the great minds of our time. The Starmus Festival will take pl...
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Thanks to Jean Creighton and UWM

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
A special thanks to Jean Creighton, my son Chris Eicher, and everyone else who was involved with last week’s talk in Milwaukee.  Senior Editor Michael Bakich joined me for a special presentation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Manfred Olson Planetarium, thanks to its director, Jean.  Michael spoke at length about the upcoming August 21 total solar eclipse. I gave a shorter presentation about recent tremendous discoveries in astrophysics. We had a really nice crowd, a...
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National Geographic's Mars, and HiRISE's Mars

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
The past couple of months have brought a fantastic arrival of cool books and an amazing Blu-ray that will keep Mars fans going for months.  Many of you may have seen and marveled at Mars on the National Geographic Channel. This 6-part miniseries premiered late in 2016 and over 283 minutes delivered a story of how humans may travel to and live on Mars in the future. The series drew on several fictional time periods, beginning in 2033, when humans travel to Mars to stay. Produced by Ron Ho...
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Starmus IV: The music announcement

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
PRESS RELEASE STARMUS IV: THE MUSIC ANNOUNCEMENT GRAMMY AWARD WINNING GUITARIST STEVE VAI WILL TAKE THE STAGE AS STARMUS’ HEADLINE ROCK ACT, PERFORMING WITH SPECIAL GUESTS At the previous three festivals Brian May rocked the Starmus stage and although he is unable to be at the festival this year because he is touring with Queen, he remains committed to Starmus as a member of the advisory board. For this fourth festival Brian has invited Steve Vai to head up the music component and he wi...
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Starmus IV Full Programme Announcement

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
PRESS RELEASE STARMUS IV FULL PROGRAMME ANNOUNCMENT THE IMPRESSIVE LINEUP INCLUDES STEPHEN HAWKING AS KEYNOTE SPEAKER, 10 NOBEL LAUREATES, BUZZ ALDRIN, LARRY KING, OLIVER STONE AND BRIAN COX June 18th - 23rd 2017 The Starmus board consists of Stephen Hawking, Brian May, Peter Gabriel, Richard Dawkins, Alexei Leonov, Jill Tarter, Robert Williams, David Eicher, Jack Szostak and the festival’s founder, Garik Israelian – these great minds have devised an incredible programme, recruit...
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Astronomy Festival on the National Mall brings the universe down to Earth

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
Friday, June 2, 2017; 6 – 11 pm; N of the Washington Monument; 15th Street NW and Constitution Ave.   across from the National Museum of African American History and Culture  See the Sun, Moon, Saturn, and Jupiter at the Largest Astronomy Event on the National Mall In Washington, DC, on Friday June 2th from 6 to 11 pm, visitors will be a given a free guided tour of the sky at the 8th Annual Astronomy Festival on the National Mall. Rain location: School Without Walls H...
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Astronomy Editors to speak in Milwaukee May 10

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
If you’re in the Milwaukee area, please join Michael Bakich and I this Wednesday, May 10, as we deliver a couple of astronomy-related talks at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.  Starting at 7 p.m. at the UWM Planetarium, I’ll talk about new developments in the field of astronomy in “The New Cosmos: Astronomy’s Big Discoveries.” Michael will then follow, delivering a full presentation on the upcoming August total solar eclipse, in “The Dark Sid...
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Great success with New Mexico Star Party

Posted one month ago by David Eicher
On Saturday, April 29, 2017, Dark Sky New Mexico held its first star party, America’s Darkest Sky Star Party, near Animas, New Mexico. Several dozen people attended and had spectacular views of the night sky. We had a young Moon for a time before it slipped away, accompanied by the stars of Orion, and we viewed many springtime constellations and objects hanging overhead. The facility we used is in the hands of new owners, Larry Rosenberg, Steven Blum, and Michael Hensley, and about a doz...
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Come to the New Mexico Star Party this weekend!

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
On Saturday, April 29 — this weekend!!! — I’ll be joining Senior Editor Michael Bakich for a star party and series of talks in southwestern New Mexico. At America’s Darkest Sky Star Party, we’ll celebrate the best sky you can observe from in the Continental United States.  You can find out about the event and register here: http://darkskynewmexico.com/blog/index.php/2017/02/23/dark-sky-hosts-star-party/ Michael and I will each give two talks, on subjects f...
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Join us in 2 weeks for the New Mexico Star Party!

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
It’s just 2 weeks now to America’s Darkest Sky Star Party, where you can have the time of your life! It takes place in Lordsburg and Animas, New Mexico, Saturday, April 29, and is open to everyone who loves the night sky.  You can read a complete schedule and register right here: http://darkskynewmexico.com/blog/index.php/2017/02/23/dark-sky-hosts-star-party/ Astronomy Senior Editor Michael Bakich and I will be giving multiple talks at our facility in Lordsburg, in south...
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Visions of the Northeast Astronomy Forum 2017

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
I had a wonderful time last weekend meeting and talking with many of you through the Northeast Astronomy Forum 2017, at Rockland Community College, in Suffern, New York. The Rockland club and especially the driving force of Al Nagler and Tele Vue Optics should be commended again for pushing forward the nation’s best telescope show, now older than 25 years.  I was handicapped a bit this year by being hit with a cold the day before, and so as some of you saw, simply stood in a daze c...
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Dave Eicher on WVIZ-PBS ideastream: TRAPPIST-1, black holes, and more

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
Recently I had the privilege of addressing a crowd of science teachers in Cleveland at WVIZ-PBS ideastream’s Science + Mathematics Think-in event. While I was there, the team filmed me talking about a few subjects, and you can watch that here: http://www.ideastream.org/programs/newsdepth/spot-on-science-david-eicher On the station’s “Spot on Science” show. The interview covered the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system, observing the sky, black holes, the dangers of space, and ...
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Starmus IV Programme Announcement

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
Press Release: #Starmus IV FULL PROGRAMME ANNOUNCMENT: THE IMPRESSIVE LINEUP INCLUDES STEPHEN HAWKING AS KEYNOTE SPEAKER, 10 NOBEL LAUREATES, BUZZ ALDRIN, LARRY KING, OLIVER STONE AND BRIAN COX  Read the full programme @ www.starmus.com/programme2017/ Full Press Release below The #Starmus board consists of Stephen Hawking, Brian May, Peter Gabriel, Richard Dawkins, Alexei Leonov, Jill Tarter, Robert Williams, David Eicher, Jack Szostak and the festival’s founder, Gar...
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10 Reasons to Come to America's Darkest Sky Star Party

Posted 2 months ago by David Eicher
On Saturday, April 29, 2017, Dave Eicher and Michael Bakich will speak at a star party like no other.  America’s Darkest Sky Star Party will offer unbelievable views of numerous objects in the universe rom one of the greatest skies on the planet.  You can check out the details for the star party here: http://darkskynewmexico.com/blog/index.php/2017/02/23/dark-sky-hosts-star-party/ I want to share with you Michael Bakich’s blog, “10 Reasons to Come to America&rsq...
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Watch Dave Eicher, Amy Mainzer, Craig Bartlett Cleveland lectures

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
On March 9, WVIZ-PBS ideastream in Cleveland, Ohio, held a workshop for 220 Ohio teachers called the Science + Mathematics Think-in. Lots of fun activities took place that day, and several talks entertained the crowd. I was privileged to speak about “Does the Universe Really Care About Itself? Teaching Science in the 21st Century.” You can now watch this and other talks from that day online. My talk is available here: http://www.ideastream.org/education/keynote-presentation-does-t...
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In Cleveland with Ready Jet Go!

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
What a wonderful time I had in Cleveland a week ago at the WVIZ-PBS ideastream Science and Mathematics Think-in. Not only was I asked to give a talk, which was filmed for television (will let you know about watching it), but I was able to make two new friends who are very cool. Craig Bartlett is the creator and producer of Ready Jet Go!, the PBS kids’s program that teaches young children all about science. He is also the creator and producer of the Nickelodeon show Hey Arnold!, worked o...
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Starmus IV New Speaker's Announcement

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
PRESS RELEASE STARMUS IV NEW SPEAKER'S ANNOUNCMENT THE NEW LINEUP INCLUDES STEPHEN HAWKING WITH 10 NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS, BUZZ ALDRIN AND OLIVER STONE Starmus IV, hosted by NTNU, runs from 18th June to 23rd June in Trondheim, Norway, tickets available from www.starmus.com “Starmus is an important and very unique interdisciplinary festival of people working in different fields — astronomers, astronauts, cosmologists, physicists, philosophers, musicians, artists, biologists etc., who...
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David Eicher, Michael Bakich to speak at America's Darkest Sky Star Party

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
Science enthusiasts, amateur astronomers, and those who love a dark night sky should set aside Saturday, April 29, 2017, and target Lordsburg and Animas, New Mexico. There, under one of the darkest night skies in North America, a unique star party will take place.  Astronomy Magazine Editor David Eicher and Senior Editor Michael Bakich will each present two talks, covering the latest discoveries about the universe, bizarre galaxies and nebulae, the coming total solar eclipse later this y...
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Check out "Night Sky with the Naked Eye" by Bob King

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
Rarely has a book appeared that offers a lot of entertaining, instructive material for novice skygazers who want to learn the sky with their eyes alone. The current book, however, Night Sky with the Naked Eye: How to Find Planets, Constellations, Satellites and Other Night Sky Wonders Without a Telescope, is just such a book. The work is by Bob King, who goes by “Astro Bob,” and was recently published by Page Street Press (Salem, Massachusetts, 2016; 255 pp., paper, $22, ISBN 978&n...
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The strange life of Robert Burnham, Jr.

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
Many of you who are experienced amateur astronomers know intimately Burnham’s Celestial Handbook, the observing guide originally written in the 1960s by the curious astronomer Robert Burnham, Jr. (Not to be confused with Robert Burnham, the longtime editor at Astronomy magazine.)  The Handbook is still a mainstay of the libraries of many observers, a hodgepodge of observing data, tales and stories, photographs, poetry, and ephemera that introduced a whole generation to many deep-sk...
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Join Me in Cleveland for Science, Math, and More!

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
I’m delighted to say I’ll be speaking at the Science+Mathematics Think-in this week in Cleveland, Ohio. Hosted by WVIZ/PBS ideastream, the event will take place at the Idea Center at Playhouse Square, and will feature a keynote address by me at 9 a.m. I’ll speak on “Does the Universe Really Care About Itself? Teaching Astronomy in the 21st Century.” My presentation will be followed by NASA’s Amy Mainzer and Craig Bartlett, who will speak on “Around the...
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Astronomy Magazine unveils new online interactive Star Dome

Posted 3 months ago by David Eicher
ASTRONOMY MAGAZINE RELAUNCHES INTERACTIVE STAR DOME SKY MAP ON ASTRONOMY.COM Waukesha, Wisconsin, Feb. 8, 2017: The editors of Astronomy magazine, the world’s largest publication on the subject, have re-launched a wildly popular online feature, the interactive Star Dome sky map. The program allows users to look at the sky at any time and from any location on Earth, seeing what stars and planets are visible during any time of the night. The scale, orientation, and many other parameters ...
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New "5 Questions" Podcast with Alex Filippenko!

Posted 4 months ago by David Eicher
I’m proud to say that Astronomy Magazine has just commenced a new podcast — “5 Questions with David J. Eicher.” Every couple of weeks, I’ll be posing 5 Big Questions to a prominent astronomer, planetary scientist, or cosmologist, and the discussions will lead to some very interesting places.  I invite you to check out the first one, which is live now, and features the well-known UC-Berkeley astrophysicist Alex Filippenko. Alex describes his dark energy resea...

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