BBC Sky at Night

BBC Sky at Night October 2017

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.
this month’s contributors include...

Pippa Goldschmidt Astronomy writer Pippa reviews Universes: Exploring the Astronomical World – a reminder of how humans have been inspired by the night sky. Page 102 Pete Lawrence Sky at Night presenter Pete kickstarts our new multi-part series on taking scientifically useful images with a close-up look at the Sun. Page 73 Steve Richards Equipment expert Steve reveals how you can make an autofocuser for a DSLR to take the pain out of wide-field astro imaging. Page 81 Melanie Windridge Plasma scientist Melanie explains your options when it comes to hunting the aurora – whether you want to go by road, sea or air. Page 44…

2 min.

We open this month’s issue with a rather special Eye on the Sky, featuring the winners of the 2017 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. They represent some of the most beautiful and innovative astro images that I and the other judges have seen this year. See them for yourself on page 6, and find the runner-up images online in the Bonus Content section – turn to page 5 for the code. The aurora category was particularly strong this year, and the winning image is one of my favourites from the competition. If you’re inspired to see the awe and magnificence of the Northern Lights yourself, Melanie Windridge outlines the myriad ways you can travel and stay in the auroral zone on page 44. Some are not for the faint-hearted! As…

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

TELEVISION Find out what The Sky at Night team will be exploring in this month’s episode on page 19 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 discuss the latest astro news in our podcast iPad/iPhone Get each month’s issue on your iPad or iPhone, now with bonus video and images TWITTER Follow @skyatnightmag to keep up with the latest space stories and tell us what you think…

2 min.
inside astronomy photographer of the year

Every year, the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition sees top astrophotographers submit incredible images in a range of categories, from the Sun and Moon, planets of the Solar System and aurorae, to deep-sky nebulae and galaxies. The 2017 competition received entries from photographers in more than 90 countries across the world. This year’s winning images are now on display in a free exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. If you find yourself inspired and would like to enter next year’s competition, visitwww.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory/insight-astronomy-photographer-yearfor more information. YOUR BONUS CONTENT View a gallery of the winners, runners up and the highly commended images from this year’s competition Overall winner/ Stars & Nebulae The Rho Ophiuchi Clouds ARTEM MIRONOV (RUSSIA) Hakos Farm, Windhoek, Namibia, 6 August 2016 Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mk II DSLR camera, Sky-Watcher 200P reflector, Sky-Watcher…

1 min.
best ever image taken of a stellar surface

New observations of the surface a dying star have been used to create the best ever map of a stellar surface other than the Sun. The images, taken using the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), will help uncover what happens during the final stages of a star’s life. The star is Antares, the red supergiant in the constellation of Scorpius known as the ‘Rival of Mars’, which is nearing the end of its life. The VLTI was used to measure the velocity of gas across the star’s surface, which was then reconstructed into a full image of the stellar atmosphere. “How stars like Antares lose mass so quickly in the final phase of their evolution has been a problem for over half a century,” says Keiichi Ohnaka from the Universidad Católica del…

1 min.

The scientific excitement over these observations of Antares centres on the careful mapping of the velocity of the gas, but science aside, I can’t stop looking at the reconstructed image itself. The image shows a familiar star – something I’ve seen again and again in the night sky – revealed for the first time as more than just a speck of light. Something about the fact that we’ve reached the point of technological development that allows us to do this really speaks to me. I felt the same when the Hubble image of Betelgeuse was released years ago, and I’ve never looked at Orion without thinking of it since. Great moments in astronomy often come when something familiar is revealed in new detail; think of New Horizon’s breathtaking images of Pluto, until…