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The Sky: Why It Matters and How We Might Lose It

presented by Prof. Andy Lawrence, University of Edinburgh

2:00 PM Tuesday, June 8, 2021


It’s tempting to think of Astronomy as beautiful but useless. It is indeed beautiful - the sky and its mysteries enchant, intrigue and inspire us - but it is far from useless. Study of the sky has played a key role in human culture, economy, technology and science. For good or ill, it is part of the modern industrial-technological-military complex. But today our view of the sky, and our potential to study the universe, is being horribly damaged - by light pollution, by annexation of the sky by streaking satellites, and by rapidly worsening space debris. Prof. Lawrence will try to explain what is going on, and what we can do about it.

Andy Lawrence is the Regius Professor of Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh. He is an expert on Quasars and Active Galactic Nuclei, and has also spent many years working on Survey Astronomy - mapping the Universe at every wavelength from far-infrared to X-rays. He is author of the book, “Losing the Sky.”

Hamptons Observatory extends its appreciation to Prof. Lawrence for generously taking the time to share his expertise and to SoFo for its kind collaboration on this program.

COST: This event is FREE.



Hamptons Observatory (or HO, formerly Montauk Observatory), a 501(c)(3) NYS nonprofit that relies on public support has served the South Fork since 2005. Its mission: to foster interest in science, particularly astronomy, through educational programs. We hold lectures, star parties, portable planetarium shows and other events throughout the South Fork, often in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations that host our events at their facilities. HO has established the first astronomical observatory on the South Fork (on the campus of the Ross School in East Hampton), complete with Long Island's largest research-grade telescope; these facilities will soon be accessible over the internet to students, teachers, researchers and the general public. Hamptons Observatory offers all of its programs free-of-charge to make them as accessible as possible to all.

To make a tax-deductible donation to support our programs, please go to and click on Donations, or use PayPal to send money to Hamptons Observatory. Thanks!

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