Aboard the World's Only Flying Observatory

Palmdale, California
34.579434300000, -118.116461300000
Journal Entry:

Hi! My name is Lizzie Rosenberger, I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and am a teacher, explorer and conservationist. I was born in Washington, D.C., where just about every Sunday my mom took my siblings and me to the Smithsonian National Zoo. When I was six years old, we moved to Concord, New Hampshire. I had never seen so many beautiful stars so clearly! I spent many nights in my front yard, lying in the grass, gazing up at the sky. In high school, I spent three summers as a research assistant in Baja, Mexico, studying the abundance, foraging habits and migration patterns of the East Pacific Green Turtle. We camped on the beach, and although we were near the water, it was hot at night. We slept with the rainfly off our tents, offering a perfect view of the night sky while lying in my sleeping bag. Between the sea turtles and the sky, I was in heaven!

I moved to Colorado for college. I found myself drawn to the night sky again during many backpacking and skiing trips in the mountains of Colorado and Utah. Being up in mountains made the stars “pop” to me. I began to wonder if this was due to less light pollution or if the elevation made a difference.