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David John Eicher (born August 1961, Oxford, Ohiomarker) is an amateur astronomer and author. He is editor-in-chief of Astronomy magazine, and author of popular astronomy and American History publications.

Eicher lives near Big Bend, Wisconsin, with his wife, Lynda Ann Tortomasi Eicher and son, Christopher David Eicher.

Early Youth

At age 14, Eicher was attracted to astronomy when he saw Saturn through a small telescope. In high-school, Eicher wrote for their astronomy club's newsletter. In 1977, at age 15, while a high school student, he published Deep Sky Monthly, a journal for amateur astronomers.

Professional career

In 1982, Eicher sold Deep Sky Monthly to AstroMedia Corp., the publisher of Astronomy magazine. Astromedia changed the title to Deep Sky Magazine. Eicher joined the staff of Astronomy as an assistant editor and continued to edit Deep Sky magazine until 1992 when the publisher, decided to discontinue the publication.

Eicher became chief editor of Astronomy magazine in 2002.

Eicher has written seven books on astronomical observing, including The Universe from Your Backyard (Cambridge University Press), Deep-Sky Observing with Small Telescopes (Enslow), and Stars and Galaxies (Kalmbach Books).

Eicher has written or edited hundreds of articles on astronomy. In addition to Astronomy, Eicher has written for USA Today, Civil War Times Illustrated, The Writer, Odyssey, Telescope Making, and Sky & Telescope magazines, and been quoted in TIME and Newsweek.

In 1990, the International Astronomical Union named a minor planet, 3617 Eicher, for Eicher in recognition of his service to astronomy.

Promotion of Astronomy

Eicher has appeared on CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News Channel, WGN radio, National Public Radio, and other media outlets to promote the science and hobby of astronomy.

Civil War History

Eicher has written eight books on the subject, including Dixie Betrayed (Little, Brown), The Longest Night (Simon and Schuster), Civil War High Commands (Stanford Univ. Press), and The Civil War in Books (Univ. of Illinois Press).


  • 50 Greatest Mysteries of the Universe (Kalmbach, 2007)
  • Dixie Betrayed: How the Confederacy Really Lost the Civil War (Little Brown, 2006)
  • Beginner’s Guide to Astronomy (Kalmbach, 2003)
  • Gettysburg Battlefield: The Definitive Photographic History (Chronicle Books, 2003)
  • The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War (Simon and Schuster, 2001)
  • Civil War High Commands (coauthor, with John H. Eicher, Stanford University Press, 2001)
  • Mystic Chords of Memory: Civil War Battlefields and Historic Sites Recaptured (Louisiana State University Press, 1998)
  • Robert E. Lee: A Life Portrait (Taylor, 1997)
  • The Civil War in Books: An Analytical Bibliography (University of Illinois Press, 1997)
  • Civil War Battlefields: A Touring Guide (Taylor, 1995)
  • Beginner’s Guide to Amateur Astronomy (Kalmbach, 1993)
  • The New Cosmos: The Astronomy of Our Galaxy and Beyond (editor, Kalmbach, 1992)
  • Galaxies and the Universe: An Observing Guide from Deep Sky Magazine (editor and coauthor, Kalmbach, 1992)
  • Stars and Galaxies: Astronomy’s Guide to Observing the Cosmos (editor and coauthor, Kalmbach, 1992)
  • Beyond the Solar System: 100 Best Deep-Sky Objects for Amateur Astronomers (Kalmbach, 1992)
  • Civil War Journeys calendar (Tide-mark, 1990–2000)
  • Deep Sky Observing with Small Telescopes (Enslow, 1989)
  • The Universe from Your Backyard (Cambridge University Press, 1988)


  1. May, Hal, ed.: Contemporary Authors, vol. 113, page 141, Gale Research Co., Detroit, Michigan, 1985;
  2. - David J. Eicher, Editor
  3. May, Hal, ed.: Contemporary Authors, vol. 113, page 141, Gale Research Co., Detroit, Michigan, 1985;
  4. CNN Headine News, September 8, 2004, August 31, 2004, June 8, 2004, May 14, 2004, March 15, 2004, January 14, 2004, November 7, 2003, and August 26, 2003; Next@CNN, July 6, 2003; CNN, August 27, 2003; CNN Saturday, August 23, 2003; CNN International, March 4, 2003; Fox News Channel, May 11, 2004; National Public Radio Morning Edition June 8, 2004; WGN Radio Steve and Johnnie Show July 6, 2004; WGN Radio Nick D and Garry Lee Show June 25, 2004; WGN Milt Rosenberg Show September 27, 2002.

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