EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Science
Astronomy

Astronomy April 2020

The world's best-selling astronomy magazine offers you the most exciting, visually stunning, and timely coverage of the heavens above. Each monthly issue includes expert science reporting, vivid color photography, complete sky coverage, spot-on observing tips, informative telescope reviews, and much more! All this in a user-friendly style that's perfect for astronomers at any level.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
carl sagan and finding our way home

In my youth, I had the pleasure of starting and publishing a small magazine about observing galaxies and nebulae. Called Deep Sky Monthly, it was initially produced on my dad’s chemistry office mimeograph machine, and spread in popularity due to the growth of larger scopes and amateur astronomers’ knowledge of targets they could see from their backyards. This enterprise led me to contact many people in the astronomy field, and among them was Cornell University professor Carl Sagan. This was before Cosmos, when Carl was a feature on the Johnny Carson show, but hadn’t yet broken through to superstardom. Carl sent me letters of advice on my career, and much to my delight, when Cosmos premiered, dispatched an inscribed copy of the Cosmos book, to “Dave Eicher, Friend of the Cosmos.” Now…

2 min.
astro letters

We welcome your comments at Astronomy Letters, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187; or email to letters@astronomy.com. Please include your name, city, state, and country. Letters may be edited for space and clarity. Constellation hunting I love reading your articles on different space-related topics, particularly Quantum Gravity and the Star Dome maps. This summer I spent some nights using those maps to identify new constellations and it was a lot of fun! Thank you for researching, writing, and putting so much effort into your work! I look forward to coming issues. —Caroline Tuccinardi, Toronto, Ontario The lunar landing live I remember clearly the Apollo 11 Moon landing. My wife and I were a young couple, recently married, and didn’t have a TV. Our first child was on the way. On that beautiful July evening, we…

1 min.
a galactic collision

Each time astronomers image merging galaxies, they’re capturing a single moment in a process that can last hundreds of millions to billions of years. NGC 5394 and NGC 5395, featured in this new photo from the Gemini Observatory’s telescope in Hawaii, have already collided at least once. The pair is located about 160 million light-years away and is also known collectively as Arp 84 or the Heron Galaxy. (The larger galaxy forms the bird’s body, while the smaller galaxy is its head and beak.) Because the galaxies’ stars are so far apart, smash-ups between individual suns are unlikely. Instead, turbulence caused by the initial pass has triggered gas in the two galaxies to collapse, resulting in numerous regions of star formation, visible here as pinkish-red clumps. Over time, gravity will twist…

2 min.
more galaxies found to be missing dark matter

Astronomers have uncovered 19 small galaxies that appear to be deficient in dark matter. The new finding, published November 26 in Nature Astronomy, bolsters a recent, controversial discovery of two other galaxies apparently devoid of the mysterious substance. Dark matter, which accounts for some 85 percent of the matter in the universe, is thought to be the primary component of all galaxies — as well as the main driver of galaxy formation in the first place. So, finding so many galaxies apparently lacking the exotic matter indicates that astronomers might be missing something major about how some galaxies form and evolve. “This result is very hard to explain using the standard galaxy formation model,” said lead author Qi Guo of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in a press release, “and thus encourages…

2 min.
how enceladus earned its stripes

Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus sports a series of parallel, evenly spaced stripes at its south pole, which researchers have dubbed “tiger stripes.” Scientists believe these stripes are long fissures in the icy shell that covers the moon’s subsurface liquid-water ocean. But astronomers still aren’t sure how these fissures formed, why they’re so evenly spaced, or why other icy worlds don’t have them. Now, a team of researchers has proposed an explanation that could answer all the major questions about Enceladus’ stripes. In the past, scientists proposed that a single long fissure could have formed as more ice built up on the moon’s shell, putting the liquid ocean below under more pressure, which forced the shell to crack. The ice shell of Enceladus is thinnest at its poles, which makes them a reasonable…

1 min.
quick takes

SUPER-PUFFS University of Colorado Boulder-led researchers found that at least some of the mysterious exoplanets referred to as “super-puffs,” which have densities far lower than the solar system’s gas giants, might actually be exoplanets with expansive ring systems. LEAKING GUT New research suggests microgravity can prevent the cells lining the insides of human intestines from forming strong barriers against foodborne diseases, which could make astronauts more susceptible to harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses. BIGGEST BLACK HOLE Astronomers have found the most massive black hole ever measured — weighing in at some 40 billion solar masses — lurking in the center of the galaxy cluster Abell 85. CIMON SAYS An AI robot named CIMON-2, designed to help astronauts work more efficiently in space, recently launched to the ISS. The robot improves and replaces the original CIMON, which in…