BBC Sky at Night

BBC Sky at Night March 2019

Sky at Night magazine is your practical guide to astronomy. Each issue features the world’s biggest and best night sky guide complete with star charts, observing tutorials and in-depth equipment reviews to ensure that amateur astronomers never miss those must-see events.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

It’s hard not to get excited at the prospect of catching a glimpse of the aurora borealis – especially now, as the spring equinox approaches, one of the two points in the year when the chance of seeing the glow reaches its peak. We’ve got plenty of inspiration and tips about the Northern Lights this month. In the Sky Guide, Pete Lawrence has advice on how to maximise your chances of spotting the display from the UK, while Jamie Carter introduces ways to take great photos of the aurora on page 60. Then on page 36, you can read about my recent trip to Swedish Lapland, a magical setting to see the aurora. My smartphone’s camera was invaluable on that journey, helping me capture the evening skies with the help of…

1 min.
sky at night – lots of ways to enjoy the night sky…

Television There’s no episode of The Sky at Night in March, but you can catch up with old episodes online Online Visit our website for reviews,competitions, astrophotos, observing guides and our forum Facebook All the details of our latest issue, plus news from the magazine and updates to our website Podcast The BBC Sky at Night Magazine team and guests discuss the latest astro news iPhone/iPad Get each month’s issue on your iPad or iPhone, now with bonus image galleries eNewsletter The best targets to observe each week, delivered direct to your inbox: bit.ly/sky-enews…

1 min.
this month’s contributors

Shaoni Bhattacharya Science writer Cosmic dust – it’s everywhere! But what does it tell us about the Universe? See page 98 Chris Lintott Sky at Night presenter What does it mean when UHVHDUFKHUV››QG›VDOW› swirling around a protostar? Chris tells us on page 15 Amber Hornsby Astro research student Amber reviews Alan Boss’s new book, Universal Life , on page 95 – and it’s a real page-turner Andrew Pontzen Cosmologist There’s a debate raging about the expansion of the Universe. Andrew talks us through it on page 18…

1 min.
extra content online

Visit www.skyatnightmagazine.com/bonuscontent, select March’s Bonus Content from the list and enter the authorisation code KWP9NTR when prompted March highlights Watch The Sky at Night Catch the special episode when the team visited NASA to witness the moment the New Horizons VSDFHFUDIW››HZ›E\›8OWLPD›7KXOH›RQ›WKH›HGJH›RI›WKH› 6RODU›6\VWHP››3HWH›/DZUHQFH›UHYHDOV›KRZ›WR›REVHUYH› DQRWKHU›.XLSHU›%HOW›REMHFW››WKH›GZDUI›SODQHW›(ULV› Interview: completing the dark energy survey 7HOHVFRSH›VFLHQWLVW›7LP› $EERWW›JLYHV›XV›WKH›ODWHVW› IURP›D›PLVVLRQ›WR››QG›RXW› ZKDWsV›DFFHOHUDWLQJ›WKH› H[SDQVLRQ›RI›WKH›8QLYHUVH› Access excerpts from new astro books 'RZQORDG›3')V›DQG› DXGLR››OHV›IURP›QHZ› titles on the science of WKH›8QLYHUVH›DQG›WKH› LPSDFW›RI›VSDFH›URFNV› +RWVKRWV›JDOOHU\››H[WUD›(402'››OHV›› binocular tour, observing forms, deep-sky tour chart, desktop wallpapers… and much more PLUS: Every month The virtual planetarium 0DUFKsV›QLJKW›VN\› KLJKOLJKWV›ZLWK›3DXO›$EHO› DQG›3HWH›/DZUHQFH…

2 min.
space can be such a drag

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE, SUBARU TELESCOPE, 28 JANUARY 2019 The inky blackness between galaxies and stars in astrophotos might seem like empty space, but this is not always the case. The huge red beam stretching across this image of the Coma Cluster is generated by a process known as ‘ram-pressure stripping’. As galaxies move within a cluster, they are actually pushing through hot gas and dense plasma, which drags on the galaxies like the drag on a boat pushing through water. Galaxy D100, on the far right of the image, is being pulled towards the centre of the cluster by the gravitational tug of other galaxies there. As this happens, the drag causes enormous amounts of gas to be stripped from D100, creating a huge tail in its wake. Once the galaxy…

1 min.
the moon brought elements of life to earth

The elements necessary for life probably arrived on Earth during the explosion which created the Moon, a novel set of experiments has revealed. According to current theory, Earth was extremely hot MXVW›DIWHU›LW››UVW›IRUPHG››+RZHYHU››PDQ\›RI›WKH›HOHPHQWV› in our planet’s crust – including those, like carbon and nitrogen, essential to living organisms – are volatile, meaning they would have boiled away. One theory to explain how they are present suggests that another object crashed into Earth after the planet cooled down, delivering the elements to the crust. “But the timing and mechanism of volatile delivery has been hotly debated,” says Rajdeep Dasgupta from Rice University, who took part in the study. The main issue is that the raw material the planets formed from has the wrong ratio of carbon and nitrogen. This means that whatever object brought…