Hard Lessons

I’m only capable of learning through mistakes, and lately I have been learning a lot. To discuss my recent educational opportunities only in the field of amateur astronomy — there were plenty of other areas where my mistakes glared as … Continue reading»


Anyone unfortunate enough to dog-paddle through the ludicrous 1995 Kevin Costner film “Waterworld” is familiar with the notion of a world that is mostly ocean, with a few islands here and there. Nothing that drastic could happen if all the … Continue reading»

Back to the Moon

A rumpled, ice-gray word silently unrolls below the spacecraft — a stately, eerie unfolding of desolation beneath black space — crater rims followed by bright gouge marks, followed by more craters. A blue and white crest peeps over the horizon … Continue reading»

SETI Ramps Up

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence is entering an exciting new phase. The SETI Institute is about to fire up the 42 antennas of the Allen Telescope Array. “We’ll be doing SETI within a couple of months,” said Seth Shostak, the … Continue reading»

Not So Clear

If Tuesday night was clear, I intended to take some photos of the moon’s passing in front of the Pleiades star cluster. I checked the predicted altitude (about 70 degrees, seven fists’ height) and orientation (starting in the southeast, moving … Continue reading»