The dark and the light

Lucianne Walkowicz talking at a TED conference in Nov. 2011.

I’ve always had a thing for stars.  Unlike the speaker, I grew up in the Midwest where I experienced what I thought was a sky filled with stars.  Silly me.

When I went to grad school in rural Idaho I finally experienced what a night truly was meant to be.  Holy crap.  Night was black!  I don’t mean dark like you can still see your hand in the ambient light from the mall kind of dark.  I mean BLACK–as in your brightest headlights make no more impact than a single candle in an auditorium.  You cannot see your hands in front of your face; you can’t see the thing that’s about to eat you either.

The one beautiful thing about such a darkness is that stars wheel in thick smears across the whole sky.

***

I love the idea of these citizen science programs!  I always thought if I could have a d0-over I might choose astrophysics as a career.  [Don’t look at me like that!  I can be a super genius if I want.]  But these programs could allow me to be an armchair-scientist (kind of like an armchair traveler, but with science).

Imagine as a writer what you could learn…

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