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Tracey Pilch

In Alaska, we’re accustomed to ice in many forms. Ice in brilliant shades of blue and silver. Calving ice, polar ice, glistening ice in the merest crystals of snow. But this month, we’re in for a very rare treat. Comet ISON is blazing through the inner Solar System toward the sun with a trail of dust and gas from an ice of long ago. From the edges of distant space, its exhilarating million-mile journey has been putting on a spectacular show for amateur sky-watchers and scientists alike...

Tracey Pilch

I cannot think which is hotter -- the blazing heat of Hawaii’s Big Island, Pele's temperament running like fire through the molten lava rocks, or the sight of the flaming sun during the Venus transit a week ago .

The entire view was magnificent.

What was once so elusive to astronomers for centuries is gloriously visible today. From here it's easy to weave a tapa of the transit's history. Shoreside at the northwest coast, I could not help but think of Capt. James Cook and his crew's historic 1769 voyage through these waters -- his amazing months-long journey through high seas to mark the event...

Tracey Pilch

I have looked upward my entire life. Longingly. Eagerly. Desirously. Like an explorer, a navigator, like Galileo. Always looking. Seeking deeper connection among the lighted stars. The luminous moon. Meaning in the magical expanse of wonderment and mystery that is our universe.

Alaska's evening gem -- a darkened canopy of glistening twilight -- is ours for the viewing. Here in the northern latitudes, we feel closer to the skies and their magic...

Tracey Pilch