Newchurch Observatory is located on the Isle of Wight in the English Channel, just off the south coast of the UK. The observatory is home to the Vectis Astronomical Society (VAS), a friendly group of 70 or so amateur astronomers. The observatory has dark skies and, with the support of the organization Dark Wight Skies, is trying to gain “Dark Skies Status” for the island. Every Thursday after 8 pm the observatory opens its doors to the public. The VAS says, “You are welcome to visit the observatory. So, if you need some help setting up your telescope, would like some advice or are just interested to see what we do, feel free to pay us a visit. Please contact us beforehand if your group visit contains more than 6 people.”
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.