As the daughter of a physicist and astronomer, I grew up in a house of science fair projects and bottle-rocket building. And since the days of Space Camp (and Space Academy! <–that’s level two, padowans), I never lost interest in looking up. It’s the final frontier, right?
I’m especially interested in star-gazing, and I love discovering new technologies that make astronomy more accessible to the masses. If you don’t already have a night sky app on your phone, download Go Sky Watch.
I also have recently begun aurora monitoring. Seeing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) is a bucket list item of mine, and although they are very hard to predict (or plan a vacation around), they aren’t only reserved for the Icelanders or Alaskans of the world. Sign up for the solar alerts at SpaceWeatherLive.com to get notifications about the sun’s activity (which, in turn, affects the auroral activity on the Earth), to see when there are possibilities of seeing aurora on the upper middle latitudes (NYC area). Technically, a quick trip up the Hudson to gain some elevation and limit your light pollution may allow for auroral viewing if there is enough activity in the atmosphere. I haven’t spotted any yet, but I’m still holding out hope.
If you’re on the hunt for a Space-related read, may I recommend the following texts:
–Packing for Mars by Mary Roach (one of the best science writers and storytellers on the Earth)
–Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journey by Michael Collins (there was a 3rd man on the first mission to the moon, and he may have had the most important job of all)
–Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut by Mike Mullane (I grew up watching these launches, so the shuttle era feels especially familiar to me)
–Pale Blue Dot: A Vision for the Human Future in Space
My favorite planet is Uranus. Yes, for the name. But also for her tilted axis and lovely rings. She’s the only planet that rotates horizontally.