Stargazing – The Last of the Summer Fireballs

For anyone involved in public education, August is a strange month. The weather is still warm, flowers are blooming, and summer’s unrelenting cacophony of lawnmowers, chainsaws, and assorted internal-combustion engines continues unabated. One might not even notice the shortening days or the crickets warming up in the grass. And yet… Continue reading

One Weird Trick to Make You See Through Time

A miracle occurred near dawn on December 25, a miracle that united all the world in a spirit of hope, peace, and cooperation. That event was the successful launch of the James Webb Space Telescope from French Guiana at 7:20 AM and the beginning of its long journey toward a… Continue reading

Strange Lights Seen in Sky Over Millbrook

If you Google the word “aurora” to find out whether the Northern Lights—the Aurora Borealis—might be visible in the Millbrook area on a particular night, make sure not to type in “aura” accidentally, as I did a few nights ago. Instead of gaining some insight into an awe-inspiring spectacle of… Continue reading

Goldilocks and the Bowl of Just-Right Stars

Imagine this scenario:  You’re walking down a random street and suddenly feel tired, hungry, and thirsty. So, since you live in a safe and friendly neighbourhood where everyone trusts each other, you turn up the first driveway you see, open the front door without knocking, and stroll in. To your… Continue reading

There’s a Certain Slant of Photons

A quiet, green astronomer lives in my garden. She’s about 7 feet tall, thin as a pencil, and says almost nothing that I can understand. One message, however, is clear enough: she (or he, for all I know) points one leafy finger precisely south all summer long. This remarkable scholar… Continue reading