Kodaikanal Solar Observatory, run by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, is located in Tamil Nadu in the hilly terrain of southern India 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Madurai. Kodiakanal is a hill station, or a high-altitude recreation town that is popular to escape to during hot summers. The area has a popular star-shaped lake and many waterfalls. At the solar observatory, visitors can tour the small astronomy museum (check on its limited hours) and enjoy both solar observing by day and planetary observing by night, but be sure to make arrangements in advance.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.