Night sky within the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve. Taken from

The dramatic growth of the Treasure Valley impacts more than just commute times. The glare from our shining cities also obscures the night sky. And, like other forms of pollution, light pollution respects no municipal boundaries. Treasure Valley’s bright lights and big cities are starting to affect the night skies in the nearby Central Idaho Dark Reserve (CIDSR). Here are some of the details of our local light pollution and ways we can help mitigate its effects.

Much of the information here comes from this report written by the students from the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

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TRAPPIST-1 Discovery

Evidence of Long-term Period Variations in the Exoplanet Transit Database (ETD)

An artist’s concept of the hot-Jupiter exoplanet WASP-12b. Image credit: NASA / ESA / G. Bacon, STScI / C. Haswell, Open University.
Transit timing for WASP-12 b from Hagey et al. (2022).

able 4. Model Comparison for Secondary Analysis—Data Variance for ETD Transit Times

TargetDecay Rate1σ Unc.BIClinearBICdecayΔBIC
 (ms yr−1)(ms yr−1)   
WASP-12 b−34.84.9223.7202.7−21.0
HAT-P-19 b−641780.678.2−2.4
TrES-1 b−16.03.773.368.3−5.0
WASP-4 b−6.72.462.662.70.1
TrES-2 b−22.08.0159.0160.31.3
TrES-5 b−2511118.3120.52.2
HAT-P-32 b−321295.596.71.2
WASP-10 b−10.17.6131.6135.53.9
WASP-43 b3.54.0126.5130.94.4
TrES-3 b0.011.9227.8233.15.3
Model comparison of the results from the reduced data of the top 10 systems after replacing the ETD transit center uncertainties with the standard deviation of the nominal timing residuals. A negative ΔBIC value favors the orbital decay model. From Hagey et al. (2022).

The SLS rocket launches Artemis 1 from Kennedy Space Center’s LC-39B. From

Update (2022 Dec 11) – Orion safely splashed down today about 10:40a Boise time!

I had a great time talking with “Idaho Matters” and Gemma Gaudette at KBSX this morning about the Artemis mission. Check out the questions and answers from the show below, and listen to the interview here.

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The Zodiacal light, a feature that requires unusually dark skies.

(This post previously ran in 2021 May but has been updated.)

Summer is the prime stargazing season. Venture out under the crystal Moon to watch Scorpius chase Orion from the sky. But if you stay within Boise’s city limits, you may find it harder to see some of your favorites. As Boise grows, so too does its footprint in the sky. However, there are many places in Idaho largely unmarred by the glare of municipal growth.

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