Many of us cannot see or experience the beauty and glory of a truly dark, star-filled night sky. The ever-growing urban lights of large cities blind us to the ancient wonder of the heavens. There is a growing interest in astrotourism, people willing to travel to dark-sky preserves to experience and learn more about the heavens.
On this episode of Good Heavens! I talk with the public policy director of the International Dark Sky Association, Dr. John Barentine, about the importance of preserving truly dark-sky environments, and about the importance of community and storytelling in relation to our relationship to the heavens above us.
Dr. John’s Bio from the IDA website!
John Barentine, Ph.D. is an Arizona native and comes to IDA from the “dark side” of science: professional astronomy. He obtained a master’s degree in physics at Colorado State University and master’s and doctoral degrees in astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin. From 2001-06 he was on the staff of Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, serving as both an Observing Specialist on the Astrophysical Research Consortium 3.5-meter telescope and as an Observer for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. John has contributed to science in fields ranging from solar physics to galaxy evolution while helping develop hardware for ground-based and aircraft-borne astronomy. Throughout his career, he has been involved in education and outreach efforts to help increase the public understanding of science. In addition to his work for IDA, John is a member of the steering committee of the University of Utah Consortium for Dark Sky Studies, a member of the American Astronomical Society Committee on Light Pollution, Radio Interference and Space Debris, a member of the International Astronomical Union, and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He is the author of two books on the history of astronomy, The Lost Constellations and Uncharted Constellations. The asteroid (14505) Barentine is named in his honor. His other interests include history, art/architecture, politics, law and current events. Follow John on Twitter @JohnBarentine.
And stay tuned to the end of the broadcast, as there's some bonus material featuring a more in-depth look at stories about the constellations of Hercules and Draco the dragon!
Sarah's Saving Our Stars and you can too!
To follow updates on the on-line Grand Canyon Star Party this year visit their website.