Some years back, when I first started writing this blog, I went strong for a year, and then felt a need for a rest. I was writing a book, doing science, raising an infant, all things that took time. So I declared that that was the end of Season 1. After a hiatus I was back. As I remember it, Season 2 was written mostly on weekend afternoons during the times that Lilah napped. But naps don’t last forever, and Season 2 ended when those naps did. As my book was just coming out I took a sabbatical from academic work -- thus the start of Season 3 -- and wrote more, travelled around more, gave more talks, and became generally exhausted. I was thrilled when my sabbatical was over and I could return to science. There was a brief foray into Season 4 more than a year ago, but my heart wasn’t in it. And Lilah definitely no longer napped.
But, out of no where, there is a Season 5.
First, while Lilah no longer naps, she is instead likely to be out running around the neighborhood with friends or reading a book or chasing the cats or swimming or drawing or anything else a seven year old does. The naps have returned, though. They just tend to be mine.
But it’s not just a matter of having time, it’s a matter of having something to say. In the long period from the end of the sabbatical until now I have been working hard on the thing that I actually do the best: astronomy. And when that happens, I learn exciting things, and I want to talk about them. So here I am. In this Season – and don’t ask me to predict how long it will last – I will be writing about my new hobby – studying Jupiter’s moon Europa – as well as about dwarf planets, the formation of the solar system, and, likely, pig roasts, bike rides with Lilah, and whatever else comes up. If I had my way we would never have to talk about planetary definitions again, but I fear that topic may even come up again now and then.
As always, stay tuned.