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Astronomy

Astronomy August 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.

País:
United States
Língua:
English
Editora:
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
Periodicidade:
Monthly
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ASSINATURA
US$ 42,99
12 Edições

nesta edição

2 minutos
a close look at the sun

Launched early this year, the European Space Agency probe called Solar Orbiter is on a seven-year mission to study our home star in unprecedented ways. In a huge, elliptical orbit, Solar Orbiter will swing out via gravity assists from Earth and Venus to a wide berth that carries it between 26 million and 85 million miles from the Sun. The mission’s first three and a half years will be spent simply getting to its functional position. Thereafter, it’ll start science operations and, we hope, bring us a new understanding of the Sun. The objective here is to study the Sun’s heliosphere, the bubblelike region of space that surrounds our star. A constant stream of particles and energy flowing from the Sun, the solar wind, controls the heliosphere. How is it created?…

1 minutos
astro letters

Smelling the coffee Thank you, Dave, for pointing out the dilemma that science faces today. Not only has the world gone backwards in its thinking, but in its reasoning as well. We do need more rational, scientific thinkers and I do hope the world is not doomed to continue moving backwards, but instead moves forward. This is not so much for my sake, but for our future generations. Our leaders need to wake up and smell the coffee. — Pete Neiland, Calgary, Alberta An attack on science Thanks to David Eicher for the April editorial about the attack on science, reason, and truth in recent years. The editorial struck a chord with me. Eicher rightly and frighteningly compared that trend to a dark period in the Middle Ages — sometimes called the Dark…

1 minutos
hubble captures cometary breakup

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UNIVERSE THIS MONTH When astronomers first spotted Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) in December 2019, they predicted it might become one of the brightest comets to sweep past Earth in two decades. The comet seemed on track for a brilliant apparition, brightening through mid-March. But then it started dimming again. On April 11, amateur astronomer Jose de Queiroz discovered that ATLAS was falling apart when photographs revealed the comet had broken into three pieces. By the time the Hubble Space Telescope snapped this image on April 20, the comet had further disintegrated into about 30 fragments, some as large as a house. Astronomers believe the comet’s nucleus may have originally been about the size of two football fields before pieces began breaking off. Although this breakup…

1 minutos
hot bytes

#BEANASTRONAUT During March, NASA received more than 12,000 applications from candidates ready to become part of its next astronaut class. It’s the second highest number of applications the space agency has ever received. PERFECT MATCH A German-led team of astronomers has verified that a star orbiting the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole moves in a precessing, rosettelike orbit — just as Einstein’s theory of general relativity predicts. SO LONG A new theory suggests that the strange, elongated shape of interstellar visitor ‘Oumuamua arose through gravitational interactions with its home star before the object’s ejection from its star system.…

5 minutos
earth’s largest telescopes close amid covid-19 outbreak

The alarm sounded at around 3 A.M. on April 3. An electrical malfunction had stalled the behemoth South Pole Telescope as it mapped radiation left over from the Big Bang. Astronomers Allen Foster and Geoffrey Chen crawled out of bed and got dressed to shield themselves from the–70-degree-Fahrenheit (–57 degrees Celsius) temperatures outside. They then trekked the few thousand feet across the ice to restart the telescope. The Sun set on March 22 in Antarctica. Daylight won’t return until six months later. Yet life at the bottom of the planet hasn’t changed much — even as the rest of the world has been turned upside-down. The last flight from the region left on February 15, so there’s no need for social distancing. The 42 “winter-overs” still work together. They still eat…

1 minutos
the search for dangerous asteroids continues

Despite widespread telescope closures due to COVID-19, there’s no need to worry about an incoming asteroid — at least, not any more than usual. Earth’s top asteroid-hunting instruments remain on the prowl for potentially deadly space rocks. NASA funds most major asteroid-hunting efforts. The space agency has a congressional mandate to find some 90 percent of near-Earth objects larger than 460 feet (140 meters) across. These objects consist of comets and asteroids that get a little too close for comfort. The effort’s workhorse instruments are Hawaii’s twin Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) telescopes, as well as the three Catalina Sky Survey telescopes in Arizona. Both of those efforts continue. Likewise, NEOWISE, a NASA space telescope repurposed to hunt for near-Earth objects, is also still operating. “We are an essential service,…