Andrew Fraknoi is Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College and a Senior Educator with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. He was the California Professor of the Year in 2007 and appears regularly on local and national radio explaining astronomical topics in everyday language. He is the lead author of a free electronic college textbook, Astronomy (published by OpenStax), of several books for teachers (including the new Solar Science) and wrote a children’s book for Disney entitled Wonderful World of Space. In the 1980’s he was scientific editor of two collections of science fiction and science published by Bantam: The Planets and The Universe. He serves on the 2017 Eclipse Task Force of the American Astronomical Society; he enjoys working with teachers, librarians and science enthusiasts, encouraging them to act as guides for the public as the August 21, 2017 eclipse approaches.
He has long had an interest in science fiction and keeps a webpage on SF with good astronomy at: http://www.astrosociety.org/scifi. Recently, he has started writing SF and his first story “The Cave in Arsia Mons” has just been published in Building Red: Mission Mars, an anthology edited by Janet Cannon (Walrus Publ.). His second story, “Supernova Rhythm,” appears in Science Fiction by Scientists, edited by Michael Brotherton (Springer).
Fraknoi has won the Faraday Award of the National Science Teachers Association (for the communication of science), the Gemant Prize of the American Institute of Physics (for relating physics and culture,) and the Education Award of the American Astronomical Society. The International Astronomical Union has named Asteroid 4859 Asteroid Fraknoi in recognition of his work on the public understanding of science, but he hastens to reassure everyone that it is a very boring asteroid in the main belt, and of no danger to the Earth.