Dark Sky

Lexicographer Grant Barrett published a list of words that entered into common usage in 2011 that he thinks will be with us for a while. One of them was this: DARK SKY Designates a place free of nighttime light pollution. For example, the island of Sark in the English Channel is a dark-sky island. This is…

Two Self-Portraits (of planet Earth)

Just before the holidays, I had the opportunity to do a little driveway stargazing with a guest from Syria. His hometown is just outside the city of Homs, actually, and if you read or listen to just a little news you know his people are going through a very, very hard time. Getting shot in…

Astronomy Apps for your Iphone, Ipod or Ipad

In this post I wrote about the sea-change in mobile computing that Apple’s family of i-devices–phones, pods and pads–has thrust upon us, and its potential for changing the way we interact with the night sky in particular. I didn’t want that post to be an app review, but rather an assessment of the wider impact of the…