Meeting With ‘Oumuamua

Observations from ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and other observatories around the world show that this unique object was traveling through space for millions of years before its chance encounter with our star system. It appears to be a dark, reddish, highly-elongated rocky or high-metal-content object. – European Southern Observatory, Nov. 20, 2017  Science […]

Make Like A Tree and Get Outta Here

A small raptor alighted for a few minutes yesterday on the top of a tree in my yard. The bird perched up in the crown, on branches that have been bare for a few weeks. The tree is a pin oak, whose health was questionable when we moved to this house in the spring, yet […]

Guest Post: Warm Feelings About the Void (A Rebuttal)

Last week Cassandra Willyard wrote that space bores her, and argued that astronomy writers need to highlight the human drama to hook her and other spacephobes. This is my response. This essay being one exception that probes the rule, I am a writer who does not get assignments from editors. At best, they ask me […]

Guest Post: The Weight of the Eclipse

2017 was the year of the Great American Eclipse, and I live in its path. I also write about the Earth, moon, and sun for a living. So I was determined to not only cover the eclipse, but own it. Like many creative people, I am happiest when I am doing work for myself, and […]

What We Talk About When We Talk About Intelligent Life

Two weeks ago, while sitting on the floor building a puzzle with my toddler, I heard a window-rattling thud. I figured it was the neighbor’s soccer ball hitting the glass door again, so I got up feeling somewhat ticked. When I looked out the window, the first thing I saw was an absolutely apoplectic male […]