Okay so this isn’t a selfie, but I’ve taken my*SELF* to the Adirondacks for the holiday weekend and one of my favorite haunts to stop in is The Birch Store

Normally, I’m looking for cool sweaters, funky jewelry, and the occasional Adriondack knick knack. However, this startorial gal was elated to come across these awesome celestial finds this morning.

In the upper left is Kikkerland’s planetarium paperweight

Middle left is a moon phase t-shirt from Lucky Fish. Sadly it doesn’t seem to be for sale anymore on their website, but they have another moon tee for men

In the center, is "The End of Night" by Paul Bogard. Paul is an assistant professor of English at James Madison University where he teaches creative nonfiction and environmental literature. His previous book "Let there be Night" is a compilation of essays by writers, scientists, poets, and scholars on the dark night sky (or lack thereof). 

Middle right and lower right is a skin care line for men called Ursa Major the display of which was being watched over Ursa Major and Minor in woodblock form. 

Props to The Birch Store for their stellar selection! Be sure to check them out if you’re ever up this way. Everything you see above is available for purchase via email and phone and they ship worldwide!

- Summer

“We have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

You might think this quote is from Carl Sagan, but you’d be wrong.

The words are an epigraph at the beginning of Chapter 8 of Cosmos, Travels in Space and Time and not originally Sagan’s. The attribution is “Tombstone epitaph of two amateur astronomers.” When I read it a few months ago, I filed that anonymous tombstone away on my mind’s list of places to find and visit.

Tonight I finally remembered to google where that tombstone is, and it turns out … I’ve already been there. The tomb belongs to John and Phoebe Brashear and is located under the Keeler Memorial Reflecting Telescope at the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

That’s right, there is a tomb under that telescope, and it’s not the only observatory with a tomb! But why are the Brashears buried there? According to the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh:

Perhaps no single individual ever did more to bring the science and wonder of astronomy to his fellow travelers on “this old, round world” than did John Brashear. His legacy and his charge to make the stars accessible to every man, woman, and child lives on today in the charter of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh.

Weirdly enough, I fell in love with astronomy as an undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh. I worked at the Allegheny Observatory for a summer and took an observing class there one fall semester, teaching myself BASIC programming and doing CLEA labs on cloudy nights and driving the winding curves through the north side of Pittsburgh with a stoned classmate. Fond memories…

The epitaph is adapted from the poem The Old Astronomer by Sarah Williams (1837–1868). jtotheizzoe posted the whole poem here.

I didn’t always know I wanted be an astronomer, and I still don’t know if I will always work as one, but I am now more than ever comforted by these words of Sarah Williams that have passed through so many minds and lips before mine.

"I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."



Constellation and star sign bowls and brooches by CrowWhitePottery

There should be tagged #astronomy, not #astrology! They depict zodiacal constellations, but they’re science as long as you don’t try to use them to predict human personalities and fates.

Zodiac constellations are important in observational astronomy because they lie along the ecliptic, or the path of the Sun through the stars. We can’t see the stars when the Sun is there, but because the orbits of objects in the Solar System are mostly flat (in the same plane in geometry-speak), they also appear as a line on the celestial sphere of the sky.  The ecliptic passes through 13 of the 88 official (to us) constellations, which are familiar as “star signs” associated with horoscopes.

Each ceramic bowl of a Zodiac constellation has a line through it, which is the ecliptic (yay, science!), and the Ursa Major bowl does not:


A gorgeous t-shirt for our planetary science brethren!#Repost from @shadowplaynyc with @repostapp —- Meteorite Section Tee is NOW available for Pre Order! Get FREE shipping in USA Coupon: Shiptee http://ift.tt/UoCU3B ! 💎💎#closeup #meteorite #meteor #mineralogy #asteroid #space #chic #print #rocks #fashion #instafashion #shadowplaynyc #fall #newcollection http://ift.tt/1pEndWA

Today’s T-shirt Tuesday is brought to you by Shirt Woot and is right up astronomer alley. The design comes in two styles and Womens, Mens, and Kids sizes - all for only $15.

Perfect for catching those last fusion rays of the summer. 

- Summer 

After a successful Kickstarter, Starstuff Clothing is ramping up production of their new products and designs! Kickstarter rewards are being printed and shipped as you read this, and owner Rob tells me new designs will be available for order in a month or less.

The shirt above shows part of the Carina Nebula, a star-forming region in the southern celestial hemisphere. I ordered this one so I’m especially excited to see it! The image with the socks shows the heat press equipment Rob bought with the Kickstarter funds.

I should disclose that I was compensated for writing descriptions of the astronomical images on each product for Starstuff Clothing, but my posts on STARtorialist are motivated only by the awesomeness of the product and my eagerness to see the new designs in person.


Spotted #CarlSagan again in #Portland! http://ift.tt/1vgFwnU

Cosmic Converse are also Cosmos Converse! #carlsagan #powells http://ift.tt/1shXT6Z

Cosmic converse in the clouds #mountrainier #washington http://ift.tt/1vukQGe