This Week in Astronomy Geek

Contact REALLY got me into astronomy back in high school. I never moved past amateur status. But that and a subscription to Sky and Telescope magazine sure did keep me out of a lot of trouble. In fact, astronomy was quite the romantic pop culture hobby in the nineties. Remember Roxeanne? Space Camp? All that star talk in Only You?

Dad helped me find constellations in the night sky. Living in the middle of four Indiana cornfields didn't just mean the sweet smell of hay in the fall and plenty of fireflies in the summer, it also meant fantastic dark skies. Ideal for stargazing.

He took me to a handful of observatories growing up. I'll never forget seeing Saturn's rings through a telescope on the Butler campus. It felt too beautiful and surreal to be true. I might as well have been looking at this...

Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered when I was five. It wasn't just tv in our house. It was a ritual. My brother-in-law gifted me a telescope. I spent countless freezing January nights on our back porch trying to memorize every crater on the moon by its proper name. (Hullo again, Sea of Tranquility.)

When I saw this video today, it immediately took me back to that. All of that. I'm so thankful.