Welcome to One-Minute Astronomer, a website for hands-on and armchair stargazers who wish to cultivate their passion for the stars. My name is Brian Ventrudo, and I’m the writer and publisher of this site.
What do I know about stargazing?
I never know enough, that’s for sure, but I’ve been a stargazer for a long time. I got my first telescope when I was 5 years old, completed my first university course in astronomy at the age of 12, and in time I received a master’s degree in the subject.
After deciding a career as a professional astronomer seemed like a good way to ruin a great hobby, I picked up a “practical” degree– a Ph.D. in applied physics– and worked as a research scientist in the field of lasers and fiber optics for 15 years. I helped build a few of the many bits and pieces that now make up the fiber-optic backbone of the internet. I hold a dozen patents and I’ve published many research papers related to laser technology.
In 2006, after a 20-year break from stargazing, during which I got married, had kids, and generally settled down to tackle the daily concerns of everyday life, I happened across a copy of Seeing in the Dark by Timothy Ferris, arguably the most elegant and literate book about stargazing ever written.
Before I reached the second chapter, I was hooked again.
To help myself “re-learn” astronomy, I started writing the articles that would become One-Minute Astronomer (because writing about a subject is a great way to master it). As you read the articles and guides on this website, you’ll come to understand more about the night sky, you’ll challenge your intellect and imagination, and you might even get a little perspective on your own place in the universe.
I hope this website helps you, as Marcus Aurelius once wrote, “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
You can subscribe to One-Minute Astronomer here to get regular updates and new articles.
If you need a guide to basic stargazing that will help you get started in a hurry, then click here…
If you have questions, look at the FAQ section here.
And if you have more questions, you can always contact me here.