Above: Domaine du Météore ("Meteor Domain" Winery) in the department (a term used here to define a governmental region) of Hérault in the south of France, the bucolic post-aftermath of what is believed to be one of a number of impact craters in the region. Photo by Frank Brenker, Goethe University Frankfurt.
This issue features a tale of astronomical history (and maybe resolution with recent scientific work) that you can experience for yourself beyond simply taking the photons in (a rarity in astronomy). Discussing what is quite arguably an impact crater put to excellent, excellent use in France, one take-away from this cover story about Le Clot Crater is the reminder of how weather and plate tectonics work to slowly but surely reshape Earth's surface (check out the moon in binoculars for the alternative). This discovery of a more recent impact and its current use are both nice catches (both by the Earth and by the scientists who recognized the oddity of the topography and geology of the area).
Besides the usual excellent original work by our leader Michele Ferrara, this issue is a clear indicator (at least, to the tastes of Michele in selecting content to feature and present) of the way in which the James Webb Space Telescope has made a massive impression (no pun intended) on the work other organizations are writing up and highlighting for public consumption. Much, much more featuring to follow (how does one keep track of all this stuff?!).
The highlight of the issue is Michele's article "The Fermi paradox – many solutions, no certainty." This discussion extends his lengthy streak of articles on the topics of exobiology, technosignatures, SETI focus, and simple statistics by including a recent reading list of books published on the topics from which we might all glean insights into what the current state of the fields are as of the early 2020's (historians, or those aliens themselves, can someday revisit our thoughts on the topic and wonder how we managed to be so prescient/way-the-frack-off at this moment in time).
The lowlight of the issue concerns the state of light pollution and the "we can't seem to get there from here" state of our transition to LEDs. "Stars are disappearing faster and faster" is not only technically true due to the observed acceleration of the expansion of the universe, but also true down here on Earth with the continued proliferation of nighttime illumination (I assume this is correct, as we don't get out much at night given the ages of the kids in the house). Not enough of us are fortunate to have a John McMahon in our midst promoting proper lighting and pushing for lighting ordinances. I lament the apparent demise of selene-ny.org (now defunct, but the group and site left its mark as a source of information online – wikipedia, slideshare, sky&tel, The Astronomical League) and can only hope you consider visiting the International Dark-Sky Association website and giving the astronomically-more-friendly lighting fixtures list a once-over before renovating.