Dan Benedict, Astronomy Journalist and Educator
Astronomy journalist and educator Dan Benedict's interest in astronomy began in earnest one August night in 1960 when his father gathered the family in the front yard to watch America’s first successful communications satellite, Echo-1, travel across the sky and disappear into Earth’s shadow. He is an avid practitioner of naked-eye astronomy, observing those celestial objects and phenomena that can be easily seen by the casual stargazer with the unaided eye, such as the appearance of planets, bright stars and their constellations, satellites, meteor showers and eclipses. He notes that "Until 400 years ago, all astronomy was naked-eye astronomy." He is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Selected as a participating journalist for a 1998 total solar eclipse cruise, Dan developed a particular interest in astronomy in the unique environment found aboard cruise ships. He explains that “One of the biggest problems for land-based stargazers is light pollution — unwanted light from buildings, street lights, advertising signs and other sources — that hides the dimmer sights in the night sky. It’s tough to find a dark sky anywhere anymore. Many people have never even noticed the Milky Way. But when you are on a ship, you may be hundreds or even thousands of miles away from the nearest sources of light pollution and air pollution, and you get views of the sky like no place ashore.”
Dan Benedict is scheduled to sail on the following voyage(s) (subject to change):