This Week's Astronomy Video

Eyes on the Sky on hiatus, and adjusting focus

Eyes on the Sky began 7 years ago as a simple article in a local newspaper. It graduated to YouTube videos in late 2010, and became a monthly video highlighting what people could see in the sky, interspersed with "Dark Sky Facts" to educate about light pollution. Later in 2011, Eyes on the Sky went weekly, and remained that way until early 2015. 

It was a Herculean effort, requiring a minimum of 8 to 12 hours per week, with just some donations to help defray some costs, and me largely the only person to do everything: Writing, researching, shooting and editing video, hosting, uploading, attending to social media, etc.. But the goal was always the same: Educate about light pollution by talking about what could be seen in the night sky. 

Over time however, it lost focus. The Dark Sky Facts were getting glossed over, and many subscribers even questioned why they were there. Clearly the intent of Eyes on the Sky - light pollution reduction - was not getting through. On top of all of that, over the last 6 months, my younger daughter has had two back surgeries. I've not had the time to put into this due to her medical needs. 

So for the time being, I hope everyone understands why Eyes on the Sky is on hiatus - health and family have to be first. 

So Eyes on the Sky will be changing going forward. The focus will be more on light pollution reduction. That benefits amateur and professional astronomers alike, but it is also a very long term goal. But the direction of what most viewers may be used to seeing will change, as the light pollution reduction education efforts ramp up over time. I hope you'll continue to support Eyes on the Sky, as very few people actually work on this issue. 

All of the old Eyes on the Sky videos will remain available and viewable, and I am considering doing a "live" video show every so often to talk about what to see when special events come up, and also talking about these new light pollution reduction efforts. Hopefully when my daughter is recovered, I will be able to put the time into making those and rebooting a weekly or even semi-monthly Eyes on the Sky video that doesn't take quite so long to produce.

Thank you for all of the support and views over the years; it is very much appreciated. I hope you understand why this change is occurring and the present hiatus, and that you will continue to support my light pollution reduction efforts. For the light pollution side, I am teaming up with Drew Carhart with the Illinois Coalition for Responsible Outdoor Lighting, and this summer we will be working in earnest on materials to help people make changes in their own localities. 

If you'd like to help financially with Eyes on the Sky taking this step forward, please consider a subscription donation at Patreon.com or a one-time donation by using the Paypal buttons below.

Handheld devices users: To navigate Eyes on the Sky more easily, see the Site Map here.


The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Amateur Astronomy

Are you a beginner to amateur astronomy? Start here.

Are you new to all this amateur astronomy, stargazing, learning the stars and constellations and telescope stuff? Eyes on the Sky's "Ultimate Guide to Telescopes and Amateur Astronomy" can have you up to speed on all the basics of finding your way around the night sky, types of telescopes and accessories and those confusing-looking equatorial mounts in about an hour's worth of time.

Linked in to any social media sites? Eyes on the Sky is there too - please follow, like and most importantly share/retweet Eyes on the Sky videos so we can educate about both the night sky AND light pollution issues:

Eyes on the Sky astronomy videos are now closed captioned, allowing for translation into 58 languages as well as benefiting people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Or, watch at work! (Just don't tell your boss.)


Poorly aimed lighting that provides neither security nor safety"Dark-sky friendly lighting fixtures"

I talk about dark sky friendly lighting fixtures a lot - I mention them in most every video, in fact.  But what are they? Find various types of dark sky friendly lighting fixtures here, or try these lighting manufacturers - and if you still have trouble locating them, contact me.  

NEW AS OF JANUARY 2013: The U.S.-based home improvement store Lowes now carries dark sky friendly lighting with the IDA seal of approval - look for them in your store. Got a neighbor with a light shining in your bedroom or window somewhere in your home?  Here's how to approach neighbors about poorly shielded lighting.  You can also find the silver-crown light bulbs highlighted in previous "Dark Sky Facts" from these online retailers:  

"The astronomy field needs more energetic promoters like David. Congratulations to him, and I urge the rest of you to give him your support." - Dave Eicher, Editor - Astronomy magazine

Donate

Support "Eyes on the Sky" and light pollution reduction

Making "Eyes on the Sky" every week isn't free.  Not only do I spend 10 to 12 hours on each 5-6 minute video by the time I research, write, shoot, create graphics, edit and upload each video, but some graphics, music, costumes and other things I add all cost money.  So I'd ask one of two things from you: Please either change your own outdoor lights and encourage your neighbors to do the same, or donate a bit towards my efforts to spread the word through these videos.  Even as little as $5 helps - yes, really - but what would help more is a monthly subscription of $3 a month.  That's only $0.69 an episode!  And you don't even need a Paypal account; you can donate or subscribe with any major credit card you see in the button graphic.  Thank you - I appreciate your support!

Blog

Cold weather observing: Some tips
Jumpin' Jupiter!
Discerning the demon star's dip in brightness
Animation of the Jupiter triple moon transit
Mercury fading, but not before the Moon meanders by
Find Mercury near Venus this week and into next
Find Comet Lovejoy with binoculars
A lot going on behind the scenes