People, Places, and Events

Astronomy’s stars aren’t all blazing balls of gas in space—some of them are people. It’s people who make astronomy more than cold science. Many individuals, from John Dobson to Jean Texereau, have left their mark on the amateur astronomy community, and many more currently contribute.

Here you’ll find the latest on the people who shape astronomy and where, when, and how to meet up with your fellow astronomers. We’ll keep you up to speed on major star parties and expo events, such as the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF), which several of our editors attend every year. You’ll also find here our tributes to the late and great of astronomy, the people who have inspired us and transformed the astronomy world in indelible ways.

Texas Star Party upper field, 2009..Ron Ronhaar and Todd Hargis

It’s Star Party Season!

Whether you're a seasoned observer or a novice, star parties provide the perfect opportunity to kick back and enjoy the night sky with some fellow astronomy enthusiasts.

Milky Way from Arches National Park

It’s International Dark-Sky Week!

In 2002, high-school student Jennifer Barlow had a simple idea: let's take some time to appreciate the beauty of the cosmos and consider ways to reduce the spread of light pollution. Here's how you can join the celebration! Have you ever stepped outside to take in a view of the starry sky overhead —...

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An Asteroid to Rule Them All

Scientists have new insight into the damage caused by a Rhode Island–size asteroid that hit Earth more than 3 billion years ago, making the rock that wiped out the dinosaurs look like a lightweight.

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Satellite Lost and Found in Space

SkyCube, a crowd-funded nanosatellite built to engage the public in space exploration, has been deployed from the International Space Station. Now its creators are anxiously waiting to establish two-way contact.

John Dobson

John Dobson, 1915-2014

Ask any long-time stargazer who has had the greatest impact on amateur astronomy, and the name of this barnstorming, telescope-making revolutionary will surely come up.

Totality above the clouds

November’s Hybrid Eclipse: First Reports

From high over the western Atlantic to the sandstorm-swept plains of northern Kenya, adventurous eclipse-chasers converged along the Moon’s ultra-narrow shadow on November 3rd to get fleeting views of the Sun’s blackened disk.

Path of Ceres in 1800

Why Do We Call Them “Asteroids”?

When astronomers discovered the first objects orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, at first they didn't know what to call them. Today we know them as asteroids, and the creator of that term has finally been identified.