Milky Way over Joshua Tree National Park, California
© Schroptschop/Getty Image
An ocean of stars above the desert. Astronomy Day
Get your telescope and star map app ready, because it's Astronomy Day! Doug Berger created Astronomy Day in 1973 to get more people interested in the wonders of space. He set up telescopes on street corners, malls, and parks to give people a chance to see the stars firsthand.
Early astronomers lacked the means to view celestial objects beyond the human eye, yet they still made major discoveries such as calculating the size and distance of the moon, affirming the sun as the center of our solar system, and predicting the movement of stars relative to the seasons. Today we have sophisticated telescopes, from the orbiting James Webb Space Telescope to portable ones you’ll find in use at International Dark Sky Parks, including Joshua Tree State Park, seen in our photo.