I grew up in the bright red blobby area in the light pollution map below. Deep in the red is a tiny state called New Jersey sandwiched between New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore. There's some stretches of quiet, open places- but mostly its become a giant suburb of those 3 big cities. And so, as a 10 yr old in the family backyard looking up at the stars, if I saw the Big Dipper, Orion and about 20 other stars in the sky- that was a big starry night! Saying it now, I cringe, but that was my normal...

Hey :) My name is Ben, and very simply, I love being out under the stars. I'm still working out why that is, when did it start, and where is it going. If we were sitting at a coffee shop having this conversation one on one- I'd be smiling, and probably leaning forward on my elbows, fingers interlocking and waving through the air, excited to communicate this deep passion. And, interestingly, if we were having this conversation out under the stars, I'd be calm, slower speaking, with many thoughts drifting off into unfinished… thoughts… Crater Lake, Oregon Vincent van Gogh...

Art and Science Last year, on a sweltering summer day in Montreal, about a dozen scientists and engineers from the International Space University (ISU) spilled into my gallery for a studio visit. Every summer the ISU organizes a three-month long Space Studies Program (SSP) which is hosted in major cities all around the world. Last year the ISU SSP was hosted by the HEC and UQAM right here in Montreal. One of the organizers had heard of my work, and she had made arrangements to bring SSP participants to my studio. I had chosen to present a survey of my...

Moon Missions It was near midnight and my friend Dawn and I were heading out for a hike, despite the cold wind and horizontal drizzle. It was midsummer night, and we had made a pact to walk to the small black-sand beach just outside of town. I grabbed my camera and a bottle of Scotch (to celebrate) and we set off at a brisk pace. Soon the wind stopped and the rain faded away. We were just making our way along the narrow path to the beach when I happened to turn around and spot it: a vivid double rainbow,...

The Naked Eye You know you have the astronomy bug if you keep checking if the sky is clear when the sun begins to set. During observing season, which in Montreal is anytime when there's no snow on the ground, heading for the driveway and craning your neck in the direction of the ecliptic becomes second nature. Even in a downtown setting there's always something to see if you get a reasonably clear sky: the Moon, planets, the Orion Nebula, and various star clusters are great targets for the urban stargazer. I now live in an apartment, and even there...

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Astronomers Without Borders' AstroCrafts web blog presented by Kathleen Horner will share a unique variety of creative, educational and fun astronomy-related crafts inspired by the cosmos in which we live. The AstroCrafts page projects will be presented periodically throughout the year for the whole family that involves hands on arts and crafts that will teach us about the wonders of our universe.  The projects are especially a great resource for schools and other organizations, too.  The AstroCrafts projects is another way we can discover our own inner artist and find personal expression of what we see and feel in the cosmic life that is all around us.