Women in astronomy, the theme of my book The Glass Universe and also the topic of a new Lego set called "Women of NASA," is a subject that has long engaged my friend Andrew Fraknoi, Emeritus Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College in San Francisco. Andy has put together an excellent resource guide that will, I'm sure, prove a great help to students and teachers alike.
My new pal Lia Halloran shares my fascination with the Harvard ladies, and is interpreting their work for an upcoming exhibition, "Your Body is a Space that Sees," scheduled to open next spring in Dover, Delaware. Here we’re standing inside her current installation, “Deep Sky Companion," at CalTech in Pasadena.
On May 9 this year, I viewed the Transit of Mercury from the roof of the Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge. Several telescopes were trained on the Sun for the event, but the best view was undoubtedly the one through the 4-inch Alvan Clark & Sons antique telescope brought in for the occasion by collectors Ken Launie and Sara Schechner. I was also with Ken and Sara at Mount Wilson for the 2012 Transit of Venus, which I wrote about for Aeon. (Photo credit: Richard Koolish, Antique Telescope Society.)
On New Year’s Eve 2016, a so-called leap second will be added to the world’s reckoning of time. For a long while now, the wisdom of such insertions has been debated as a potential danger to aircraft and computer systems. I wrote an article, “The Wait of the World,” about the problematic time interval for Aeon. Photo credit: NASA.