Astronomy April 2017

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.

United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
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US$ 42,99
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2 minutos
from the editor

Few stories typify the rise of American astronomy like the tale of Percival Lowell. Born into a wealthy Boston family several years before the Civil War, Lowell was encouraged early on by his parents to study science and mathematics. Armed with an impressive supply of available cash, he became particularly interested in the planet Mars after reading French astronomer Camille Flammarion’s book La planète Mars, published in 1892. By the time he turned fully toward science in the 1890s — he had traveled extensively in the Far East and studied culture there the previous decade — he was obsessed with the Red Planet and the burgeoning idea that perhaps life could exist there. In 1894, Lowell chose a spot to build an observatory dedicated to researching Mars and other celestial wonders. He…

2 minutos

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UNIVERSE THIS MONTH... TRENDING TO THE TOP THE BIG HUNT A new chip built by Australian National University could make directly imaging exoplanets easier by reducing starlight. DOUBLE TROUBLE A double pulsar was discovered with Einstein@ Home, an analysis tool that relies on using computer processors of amateur participants. DUSTY SKIES UCLA studies of galaxy II Zw 40 showed heavy elements are often produced in star clusters. SNAPSHOT Collecting cosmic dust Some of the dust in your living room arrived from outer space. OK, I’m going to tell you something that’s pretty gross. The dust in your house — the soot you wipe off in the never-ending quest to keep things clean — consists of pollen, dead skin cells, human and animal hairs, mineral particles from outdoor soil, animal dander, insect waste, and textile…

2 minutos
astro letters

Creating a non-violent universe Concerning Michael West’s article “When galaxies become cannibals” (p. 20, December issue), am I the only one tired of seeing natural cosmic processes described with the same terms used on the evening news about murder and mayhem? Large galaxies pulling in smaller ones are not “violent.” Violence implies intent, anger, hatred, and racial and ethnic bigotry. What we’re talking about is gravity. The individual stars and planets involved go about their business mostly as if nothing happened. I’m not picking on West individually because this sort of sensationalist vocabulary is present in most popular-level astronomy articles on cosmology. Please, let’s stop projecting humankind’s greatest shortcoming — violence — onto the universe. It barely knows we’re here. “The fault . . . is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”…

4 minutos
strange universe

The Russian space station was a legend . . . and a bit of a death trap. We picture astronauts performing routine orbital experiments. We are also aware of tragedies like Challenger and Columbia. But life beyond Earth is often much stranger than those extremes of normalcy versus terror. Let’s focus on the Russian space station Mir, since this is the 20th anniversary of when U.S. astronauts inhabited it as a prelude to the ISS. Astronauts are more than smart and physically buff; they’re incredibly brave. Their courage goes far beyond dealing with scary mishaps. They sometimes suffer prolonged situations that would make normal people panic. Even in the days of Mercury, how many of us could be OK in a capsule the size of a phone booth? U.S. astronauts each spent four to…

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astro news

GALAXY DISRUPTION. Astronomers have shown that too many supernovae can cause the matter in a galaxy to move outward, creating galaxies as faint as a dwarf galaxy but as large as the Milky Way. Of all the water worlds in the solar system, perhaps the most surprising is Ceres. For years the tiny dwarf planet, located in the asteroid belt, was thought of as a rocky body akin to other asteroids. But NASA’s Dawn orbiter confirmed evidence first suggested by Hubble observations: Ceres is abundant in water. We just weren’t sure in what form. Underneath a dusty coating, Ceres seems to be more like some of Saturn’s small, icy moons. In fact, it’s just a hair smaller than Saturn’s moon Tethys, another small, icy body. Ceres’ ice thus far seems to be…

1 minutos
mercury at dusk

Mercury’s best evening appearance of 2017 comes in early April; it reaches a peak altitude of 9.0° on the 1st. ELUSIVE WORLD. Mercury has a reputation for being hard to see because it hugs the horizon during twilight either after sunset or before sunrise. This chart plots the innermost planet’s positions 45 minutes after sunset for observers at 35° north latitude for the planet’s three evening elongations during 2017. Notice that Mercury’s peak altitude often doesn’t necessarily coincide with its greatest solar elongation (dates highlighted in yellow).…