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Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

The Broadest Horizon

Many people travel to broaden their horizons; there's no broader horizon than the cosmos.

Solar eclipse

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Awe in the Shadow of a Partial Eclipse

A partial eclipse — Eclipse Lite, if you will — can also offer a sense of wonder, albeit on a smaller scale than totality.

The Pleiades

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

My Stellar Love Affair with the Pleiades

When we observe the little wonders of the sky, we can form deep personal connections.

The Orion Nebula

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Let Your Astronomy Nerd Flag Fly!

“Space gear” lets us celebrate the night sky while the sun shining — and connect with others who want to do the same.

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

To the Stars, Through (or Despite) Hardship

Ad astra per aspera — to the stars through hardship. The saying applies universally, but personally, it might hit home in different ways.

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

The Stars Are Waiting

Making room for astronomy in my life has felt like coming home — as if the universe has left a literal light on for me.

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Cosmic Recovery

Maybe deliberate experiences of joy and awe should be standard in any post-op plan.

Photo of Delphinus constellation

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Taking Deep Breaths of Starlight

Amateur astronomy need not be a race through an astronomical task list, but rather a kindling of joy.

Cities at night collage

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Let There Be Dark

Fighting light pollution, one mini star party at a time.

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Galaxy Quest!

When clouds get in your way, you may find consolation in knowing that the universe is still out there, waiting for your to discover it.

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Cosmic Coregulation

Connection to the night sky can ease stress and give us a feeling of security.

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Sucker Holes

When skies are cloudy, sucker holes may offer us a view — albeit often only a brief one — of the universe overhead.

Nova image, not animated

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

On Burnout, the “Green Comet,” and White Dwarf Stars

With care and diligence, amateur astronomy can offer a satisfying reprieve.

Pillars of Creation at infrared wavelengths

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Under Uncooperative Skies

An abundance of astro images can make up (a little) for cloudy skies and other things in life that may keep us from observing.

Milky Way

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Beware the Astronomy Habit

Why do you look up? Maybe there was something that initially drew you out to the stars...and maybe now it's a habit of the best kind.

Milky Way over Agavi palm tree silhouettes

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Stellar Confidence: On Impostor Syndrome in Amateur Astronomy

Self-doubt is powerful, but it's no match for the stars — as long as you keep heading outside after dark and looking up.

Antares in Ophiuchus

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Summer Insomnia

Long, hot days mean sleepless nights for stargazers, but it's worth it for the magic that happens under a dark, cool sky.

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Stargazing’s Lessons for Living

Can stargazing make you a better person?

Full Moon

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

Lunaphiles, Unite!

The Moon is our most obvious and immediate celestial companion. For many stargazers, the Moon was our first astronomical love.

Saturn 1994 white spot HST

Why We Look Up with Jennifer Willis

In Praise of Small-Scope Astronomy

Many an amateur astronomer has desired a bigger telescope, but sometimes it's worth taking a moment to appreciate what we have.