Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

Straightening up the cosmos

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitMay 3, 2012 7:00 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Oh, what's an astronomer to do? Faced with a messy sky, stars scattered here and there, faint and bright, how can we ever measure them? Perhaps we should turn to artists. Urs Wehrli has an idea of how to fix this situation. Faced with this picture:


He turned it into this one:


Ha! Awesome. It does make it easier to find the galaxies, doesn't it? Herr Wehrli has a knack for this; if you like that sky cleaning routine, you should see

what he does with alphabet soup, a conifer twig, and a grassy field with sunbathers. He has these pictures, and more, in his books

, including The Art of Tidying Up. I gotta say, I dig this guy's sense of humor.

Pictures credit: Urs Wehrli. Tip o' the dust pail to Lawrence Cuthbert, via Jeannie Jeannie.

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 50%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In