I am filled with anticipation for the future of Night Sky Tourist in 2021. When Night Sky Tourist entered 2020, it was just a couple of months old. My goal was to create a quality website, blog, and newsletter that would inspire people to engage with the night sky. It has been an exciting journey as we have visited so many interesting topics.
Starting a podcast was not on my radar in 2020, but as I thought about a special way to celebrate the website’s first anniversary, a podcast seemed like a good choice. I was nervous because it was new territory for me. But the response from the podcast has been remarkable! I can’t wait to see where it takes me in 2021.
FALL IN LOVE WITH THE DARK
After fourteen months of writing blog articles, connecting with you through newsletters, interacting on social media, speaking to local groups, working in dark sky advocacy, and engaging through the podcast, I have discovered a thread that runs through it all. It’s the idea of falling in love with the dark. This idea is truly at the heart of every effort of Night Sky Tourist.
How can you not fall in love with the dark if you spend more time under the night sky, learn how to find constellations, identify planets, and experience meteor showers? How can you not fall in love with the ancient star stories or be amazed at discovering astronomical sites left behind by ancient cultures?
And in falling in love with the dark, I hope it compels you to feel protective of the dark skies and urges you to treasure our night sky heritage. The world needs more people who value these things and who will advocate for them wherever they live.
NIGHT SKY TOURIST IN 2021
As 2020 continued to jostle us along, many people and organizations realized the deep importance of connecting with nature to improve mental health and a sense of well-being. Stargazing at night is no exception. As the world works to heal from the pandemic in 2021, my hope is that more and more people discover the benefits of stargazing.
The backbone of Night Sky Tourist is its blog articles and podcast episodes, and these will continue strong throughout 2021. I’m excited about the podcast guests I have lined up already. I’m also working on some presentations, both virtually and then in-person later in the year as the world begins to recover from the pandemic.
I am also working on a book project this year, although I’m not sure if publication will happen this year or the next. But rest assured, there are books coming!
I also have some great dark sky locations on my travel list this year that I plan to explore so that I can share them with you. For example, the beautiful Joshua Tree National Park and some special places in Utah, along with some great hidden gems off the beaten path.
As part of my goal to help people fall in love with the dark, I am giving Night Sky Tourist a theme to explore throughout 2021. I’m calling this our Year of the Moon. Over the next twelve months, I’m going to help you become better acquainted with the Moon. Through the blog and podcast, we will learn about its phases, its movements around our planet, its impact on all life on Earth, and its geographical features. By the end of the year, you will know the Moon really well and your stargazing experiences will be greatly enhanced by it.
GET THE KIDS UNDER THE STARS
Another thing I’m passionate about is seeing more kids have the opportunity to stargaze, to learn the night sky, and to fall in love with the dark. Studies repeatedly show how important it is for kids to experience nature and to see themselves as part of nature. I want to inspire parents to get their kids under the stars and to really engage with the night sky.
I want to see more kids learning the major constellations, identifying planets, and hearing the ancient star stories that have been passed down from thousands upon thousands of years ago. I want them to be able to look at the Moon and recognize what phase it is in and to identify major geographical features.
Imagine a child who grows up with this knowledge. That child will love the night, treasure the darkness, and will have a reason to protect it. How can anyone want to preserve and protect something they know so little about?
MY GIFT TO YOU
To kick off our Year of the Moon, I am offering a gift to you…the Night Sky Tourist 2021 Moon Calendar. This calendar shows the phase of the Moon for every night of the entire year in a beautiful and artistic way. From the darkest skies to the most light-polluted, the Moon can still be seen by all.
At the end of this article, you will find information on how to download it. You can print it and follow the Moon’s phases all throughout the year. This is my invitation to you to join us on our journey through this new year as we take more adventures across the night sky and learn more about dark sky locations and more cultural astronomy sites.
Thank you for being part of Night Sky Tourist in our earliest months as I’ve found my footing for this great experience that we are having together.
May 2021 bring you a deeper experience with the night sky and a stronger love for the dark.