All About Space

All About Space

No. 108

Every issue All About Space delivers fascinating articles and features on all aspects of space and space travel with mind-blowing photography and full-colour illustrations that bring the amazing universe around us to life.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

If you've ever wanted to get into astronomy – also known as stargazing, as some of our readers like to call it – then this is the issue for you. From selecting the ideal observing site to the best targets to spot whether you're using binoculars, a telescope or the unaided eye, we've got everything you need to ensure you're armed with the right advice when it comes to exploring the heavens. Turn to page 62 for your complete guide. For those who just can't get enough of the longer, darker hours, our observing section continues with our usual full palette of naked-eye and deep-sky objects, Moon tour, planet guide, Northern Hemisphere map and astronomical calendar through September to October 2020. If the weather in your part of the world has taken a…

1 min.
our contributors include…

Colin Stuart Space science writer Was life as we know it delivered to Earth by comets? According to Colin's recent findings, it's looking very likely. Turn to page 44 for the full details. Pavlo Tanasyuk CEO of Spacebit Pavlo is aiming to launch the UK to the Moon with his space start-up company Spacebit. Discover more about his plans to explore lunar lava tubes on page 31. Sean Solomon Planetary scientist What have we learned about Mercury? Sean reveals details from the defunct MESSENGER mission alongside our panel of space and science experts. Lee Cavendish Staff Writer There's a missing link to the universe, and without it the cosmos makes no sense. Lee meets the astrophysicists trying to solve the puzzle.…

2 min.
launch pad

Mars’ double Green Crater The European Space Agency (ESA) and Russia’s Roscosmos jointly operate the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, which is currently circling the Red Planet and snapping images of its terrain with high clarity and resolution. The subject of this picture, taken on 27 April 2020, is a crater inside a larger impact, known as Green Crater. Both of these craters are located in Argyre quadrangle region of the Mars’ southern hemisphere. The ExoMars team are currently studying this image to investigate how seasonal ice – shown here as bright, white patches – relates to the presence of gullies on the surface. Saturn gets a check-up On 4 July 2020 Saturn had its regular check-up with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Images like these are performed to see if the ringed planet…

2 min.
milky way lookalike found 12 billion light years away

Peering into the early universe, astronomers uncovered a surprise: a young galaxy that looks a lot like the Milky Way. The newfound galaxy is called SPT0418-47, and given its great distance from Earth, astronomers see the galaxy as it was when the universe was just 1.4 billion years old – roughly 12 billion years before today. The discovery held a big surprise for the researchers: stars were forming quickly, as expected, since there was abundant gas available when the universe was young. But despite the chaos, SPT0418-47 has a well-defined, rotating disc and galactic ‘bulge’ at the centre. That’s a similar structure to the Milky Way’s today. Analogies between SPT0418-47 and the Milky Way are not perfect, however. The Milky Way sports a distinctive barred-spiral shape, formed by large ‘arms’ of stars…

1 min.
scientist calculates the ‘sad, lonely’ end of the universe

Stars will continue to explode long after the universe is cold and ‘dead’, one scientist determined after diving down the rabbit hole to find the last supernova that will ever happen. The universe’s end is “known as ‘heat death,’ where the universe will be mostly black holes and burned-out stars,” said Matt Caplan, an assistant professor of physics at Illinois State University. “I became a physicist for one reason. I wanted to think about the big questions – why is the universe here, and how will it end?” Caplan looked to the future of stellar explosions. Massive stars explode in supernovae when iron builds up in their cores, accumulating and triggering the star’s collapse. But smaller stars such as white dwarfs – ultradense stellar corpses that form when Sun-like stars exhaust…

1 min.
betelgeuse’s bizarre dimming caused by eruption

In the autumn of 2019, red giant Betelgeuse began dimming significantly, losing about two-thirds of its brightness by February. This dramatic dip spurred speculation that the star’s demise may have been imminent – perhaps just weeks away, from our perspective, anyway. Betelgeuse lies about 500 light years from Earth, so everything we’re seeing with the star today happened centuries ago. But the dramatic sky show didn’t happen: Betelgeuse powered through the dimming episode and returned to its normal brightness by May of this year. The recovery sparked a new round of speculation, this time about the dimming’s cause. Some scientists attributed the doldrums to a light-blocking dust cloud, whereas others said big starspots on Betelgeuse’s surface were likely to blame. The dust hypothesis adds a twist – Betelgeuse itself apparently coughed…