About Me

The day before launch of the Juno mission to Jupiter, Aug. 2011

I’ll begin with the disclaimer that I am not a scientist, nor do I work for NASA. But I have always been fascinated by space and planets and all that exists outside of our little blue world. I’m a graphic designer by trade but have always loved anything about space. I especially enjoy the photographs of exotic locations around our solar system that robotic orbiters, rovers and satellite observatories have been able to provide. They are our modern pioneers, capturing stunning images of alien locations in unprecedented detail, showcasing the amazing variations of scenery found on the little points of light we see in our night sky.

Several years ago (over six, now!) I came across an application called “Riding With Robots”. This was a connection to a site built by Bill Dunford, a photographer and fellow space enthusiast. There he would post daily photos featuring the latest images from the robotic missions around our solar system, along with a brief description and links to further reading, and a comments section for the readers. I really enjoyed his site and looked forward to new posts, as they gave me an outlet for my far-reaching imagination while sitting at my desk and offered a daily perspective on our universe most people rarely get.

When the RwR site suddenly had a post about Bill’s “signing off”, due to personal reasons, I was devastated (but he has since re-opened his site!) It was like a door to the outside was being shut and locked. It wasn’t an hour later that I decided to try to continue the theme myself, on a new site, and after contacting Bill and getting his blessing and some of his resource info, Lights in the Dark was soon up and running.

And the rest, as they say, is history. (Well, astronomy.)

At the new KSC countdown clock prior to Orion's EFT-1 flight, Dec. 2014

At the new KSC countdown clock prior to Orion’s EFT-1 flight, Dec. 2014

If you have any questions or suggestions about anything on this site or ideas as to how I could make it better, contact me at jmajor “at” lightsinthedark dot com and send me a message, and follow me on FacebookTwitter and/or Google+ for even more up-to-date space and science news.

As always, keep looking up!

You can find more of my space news articles on Universe Today and Discovery News.

Got a question? Email me at lightsinthedark “at” me.com.

– Jason

  1. Bill turned me on to your site after I expressed pretty much the same feelings about losing RwR .
    Thanks to you I can return to a near-daily fix.

    Like

  2. Hi Jason,

    I for one (and I’m sure there are lots of others out there…) am extremely grateful that you’ve built this fabulous site.
    Like you, I was very sad when Bill stopped doing RwR after viewing and enjoying it every day. He did a magnificent job.

    But this is a truly worthy successor and I’m more than happy to support you and spread the good word to all of us space junkies out there.

    Thanks again and long may you keep up the good work.

    David Mallet

    Like

    • Thanks for the kind words and support David. And Terry too of course! I’m glad to be able to keep sharing these views of our little family of planets. :)

      Like

  3. can i use the sun pic for my school project ? i half to make a websight

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    • Brian: yes, of course, you just need to include the same image credit note that I put on these photos. All these photos are the result of someone’s talent and hard work and financial funding by lots of people!

      Like

  4. Dear Jason,

    Thanks for sharing my image with Phil Plait and for your generous comments and good press… your blog is really good work.

    all the best,
    Alan

    Like

  5. Absolutely love the pictures and explanations. Moreso, I enjoy your enthusiasm and excitement!

    Keep up the fantastic work!

    Terry

    Like

  6. http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/01/plasma-jets-make-suns-corona-so-much-hotter-than-the-surface.ars

    picture is beautiful and article interesting—wasn’t sure best way to send this to you so am posting it in here.

    Like

  7. I just happened upon your site by accident. I love astronomical photography, and your site is a very nice addition to my internet travels.

    Thanks for putting in the time and the effort to bring this to people like me.

    Like

  8. i followed you over from Earth & Sky to here….you have been commenting on some of my photos, today….what a terrific website! And, i have to laugh because you are just like me. your math and science skills are bad, you are “tragically lazy”, and you love astronomy- you must be my long lost twin!!! LOL!! keep up the awesome work…i will introduce your site to some of my astro societies…..cheers!! lizzy

    Like

  9. Hi!

    Just wanted to say thx for an awesome web site. Will be visiting it often!

    //Phil

    Like

  10. Hi Jason,

    I just added the link to your site to the list of my featured weblogs. Aside from the content, I really love its graphic design and layout.

    Keep it up! :) To the stars.

    Raven

    Like

  11. YOU DO GOOD WORK!!

    Like

  12. Wow, what wonderful things one finds while surfing for “ripples have ridges”.
    Thank you.

    Like

  13. William DeBerg

    What do you say regarding Comet Elenin and how it was aligned with the sun and earth on the days of the New Zealand and Chile earthquakes?

    Like

    • I say there was zero effect from any “alignment”. The gravity of Elenin is miniscule, and at its distance it has virtually no effect on Earth. If the Sun isn’t creating earthquakes (and it’s not) then a <10km-wide loose aggregation of ice and rock certainly isn't either.

      Like

  14. Micheline B Barre

    Am so excited to have found your site. Am 88 years old woman, have no knowledge
    in astronomy but am somewhat emotional at the idea to witness the discovery of all those Stars. What a beautiful and rich life I have.First the Underwater world which was my passion and now the Space. Thank you for the beautiful photos and the sharing of your discoveries. Am with you every day. Micheline

    Like

  15. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your website. I look forward to my daily “news from space” and all the images of the solar system. When I was a kid, my dad bought me a board game called Space Quest, which was a sort of solar system Monopoly, and it started my love affair with space.

    I don’t really remember how I came upon the site, but I am certainly glad that I did. Thank you for the great site!!!

    Like

  16. Absolutely Fabulous Jason. I had enjoyed RwR and now I enjoy this even more. I use it to educate students and kids. Blessings to everyone in our team. Maha

    Like

  17. very very nice work.i like it.

    Like

  18. hi, I really liked your site, and I intend to be Astronomer me I was wondering if you had something very interesting space videos photos and anything you could send me?
    thank you.

    Like

    • Hi, I really like your site, and I intend to be an astronomer and was wondering if you had something very interesting space videos photos and anything you could send me?
      Thank you.

      Like

      • Hi Marcos
        Thanks very much. Your best bet would be to check out NASATelevision on YouTube and follow them on Twitter, along with any other NASA resource. The Goddard Space Flight Center is a good site for videos. Check out the links in my sidebar they will take you to many great astronomy resources too. Good luck!

        Like

  19. thank you

    Like

  20. Hai, nice to meet you.. blogwalking here

    Like

  21. Hey Jason,
    There isn’t more news on “LIghts in the Dark” since 1st june…
    I hope only that all it’s cool and that you’re in holidays and not sick…
    Best Whishes.
    Jeff Barani from Vence (France)

    Like

  22. Hello Jason,

    I’ve just today discovered your website, and what a delight that was! I was already enjoying your articles on Universe Today, which was already my #1 source of information on space matters! Now, I can add your site to my favorites also!

    Thank you so very much for the work that you put, maintaining your wonderful site. For all of us who share the same enthousiasm about the Universe and space exploration, websites like yours are trully A Light in the Dark!

    And I particularly enjoyed your entry on this year’s anniversary of Apollo 11.

    It only saddens me (and angers me so) that millions of people (inside and outside the US) just spit upon this marvelous achievement, riding the conspiracy badwagon. It’s just too painful to watch any single video on the web today concerning the Apollo program, and having to be exposed to the ridiculous flodding of conspiracists comments.

    Like

    • Thank you! Yes, it’s a pet peeve of mine that people don’t honor this achievement as much as they should. It was quite the event, only possible because of a lot of people’s hard work and dedication.

      Like

  23. Tina Ziyin Tang

    Hi Jason,

    This website is terrific!! I will keep following.

    Like

  24. Hi Jason,
    I’m about to turn 50. And I’m uplifted to find a youngster like you looking toward our destiny…it gives me back hope in our future! Scott

    Like

  25. Hey Jason,
    Please could you note my new e-mail address because I cannot send messages with my news e-mail address.
    Here the new address : jean-francois.barani@numericable.fr
    Thanks my Friend ;-)
    Jeff Barani from Vence (France)

    Like

  26. Still me Jason,
    Here my news address e-mail : jean.francois.barani@numericable.fr
    Note it !!
    Jeff Barani from Vence (France)

    Like

  27. Because I don’t can to send message with it.
    Also make that go on… with this address e-mail : jean.francois.barani@numericable.fr
    Still thanks.
    Jeff Barani from Vence (France)

    Like

  28. I love the concept Jason. I’m a beginning blogger and will eventually start blogging about the great Universe as well (and science).

    Like

  29. All my exes live in Vortexes
    That is why I live out in the sea.

    Recently I calculated the gravitational force of the sun on the moon, and the force of the sun on the earth, the force of the earth on the moon and the force of the moon on the earth using the force expression F = Gm2m1/x2.. The force of the sun on the moon, Fsm, divided by the force of the earth on the moon, Fem, or Fsm/ Fem = 2.1.
    The moon orbit around the earth is popularly known as a ‘near circular orbit’. The separation distance of the moon and earth is, 384,403 ±5 km on average. The eccentricity is 0.0549, while the apsides, the major lunar axis, process around the moon’s axis at a slow plugging repetitious rate of one rotation every 8.85 years. With ratio of the two forces being approximately 2.1 a strong solar perturbation is demanded by the Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity*.
    Turning to the force of the sun on the earth, Fse and the force of the moon on the earth , Fme the respective ratio of these forces is, Fse/Fme = 180, approximately.
    In the case of the gravitational forces of the sun and moon on the earth as, Fse/Fme = 180 a truly remarkable result when, as here, the “spring tides” occur on the earth when the sun and moon are aligned with the earth; and further, under ideal conditions, assumed here, the ocean water is assumed as evenly distributed over a spherical earth. The moon’s influence is observed to raise the ocean water levels to 54 cm, while the sun’s influence raises the water level 25 cm.
    There is a conclusion I am leaning toward which is the inapplicability of the law of gravity as demonstrated by the examples discussed above. The principles of the conservation of energy and angular momentum has, from this wretched perspective, made an intuitive leap into a rational model that resolves the inequities discussed when determining that the law of gravity is not demonstrated in the solar- lunar influences on the ocean water high-tide peaks as generated and as discussed. Likewise, lunar-earth orbit requires another law of stellar object perturbation mechanisms.
    With the Fsm/ Fem = 2.1 the physics of Newton’s gravity should result in a consistent perturbed lunar orbit at the instant of lunar orbit capture.

    I prepared a short note linking solar linear motion with orbiting planets and included a physical spring to simulate planetary trajectories. I delivered the note to the “science” master at a local high school. The teacher was so shocked by the note that the local law enforcement officer assigned to maintain school security that then contacted me and asked what I was attempting to accomplish. When I asked the police officer what he thought the planet trajectories would be if orbiting a straight-line motion of the sun. The police officer immediately grasped the correct answer. I never heard from the teacher, my unannounced purpose was to educate the student body and raising the student body’s level of scientific knowledge and for this the ‘science teacher’ dropped a dime on me for my brazen and emotionally shocking scientific information. This is a true story.

    Newton attempted to remove his name aas author of the universal law of gravity. Newton discovered that his force term,
    F = KM1M2/x^2,
    says nothing about energy or force exchanges and he finally concluded that “the simultaneous action at a distance” was far beyond his personal philosophical ability to understand. a look at some of Tom van Flanders papers will expand little on the action at a distance matter. However, when this instantaneous force exchanges stimulates relativity theorists objections the naivety of relativity theory is exposed. Instantaneous is not a word describing objects moving very fast instantaneous means right now as postulated by the late John Bell. See his collection of papers, “Thinkable and unthinkable in quantum mechanics’.

    Michael Hernan
    Fort Mohave, Arizona
    stillegal@live.com
    928 514 4103
    Ciao

    Like

  30. Hey Jason, Like your blog! Nice site, great theme

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Enjoyed your post on the comet…

    Like

  32. That’s very nice to know this website, thanks for leading me to here, i will introduce it for my friends, they are also interested in astro and cosology. If you have time, visit mine for fun trinhmanhdo.com. Thank you much ;)

    Like

  33. Jason, I’ve been tagging with you on twitter forever, but haven’t had a chance to get to your site until now. I love this site of yours! Really glad you do this. Thanks for sharing your passion for astro-images with all of us. What a treat! – Sarah

    Like

  1. Pingback: …things I Loved! Week of July 7th – July 13th 2013 | ...things I LOVE!

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