Astronomy January 2014

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
12 Edições

nesta edição

2 minutos
from the editor

Comet ISON has been much on the minds of astronomy-lovers, and Senior Editor Rich Talcott brings you up to date with his article on page 56. With the comet at its peak about the time you see this issue, I thought I’d offer some information about the behavior and origins of comets. The beginning of a modern division of cometary orbits originated with Irish astronomer and science writer Dionysius Lardner (1793–1859), compiler of the 133-volume Cabinet Cylopedia, who wrote in 1853: “We are in possession of the elements of the motions of 207 comets. ... It appears that 40 move in ellipses, 7 in hyperbolas, and 160 in parabolas.” Lardner’s analysis suggested three classes with elliptical orbits — Jupiter-family comets, Halley-type comets, and long-period comets. Hyperbolic and parabolic orbits are new long-period…

1 minutos
comets and human beings

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UNIVERSE THIS MONTH . . . HOT BYTES TRENDING TO THE TOP GASTRONOMY Astronomers mapped red clump stars to better constrain the shape of the Milky Way’s inner region: Its central bulge is peanut-shell-shaped. CLOUDY WORLD Exoplanet Kepler-7b has high clouds in the west and clear skies in the east, say scientists after a threeyear campaign to map the world’s atmosphere. DARK DENSITY Advanced computer simulations show that the density of mysterious dark matter is greatest at a galaxy’s center and decreases toward the outskirts. Did the stuff of life arrive on Earth from comets? As early as the fifth century B.C., the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras proposed that perhaps life came floating down to Earth from somewhere in the great sky above. More recently, some scientists have proposed socalled panspermia,…

1 minutos
devious duo in dorado

The Milky Way’s largest satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, lies 160,000 light-years from Earth in the constellations Dorado and Mensa. It produces new stars at a fierce rate, most notably in the naked-eye Tarantula Nebula (NGC 2070). Some 2° north of it lies the pair of smaller emission nebulae — NGC 2014 (right) and NGC 2020 (left) — seen in this image taken through the Very Large Telescope in Chile. The cluster of hot young stars at NGC 2014’s center ionizes the surrounding hydrogen gas, which glows with a characteristic reddish color. The bluish hue of NGC 2020 arises from oxygen atoms ionized by a single hot star at its center. ESO…

4 minutos
rhythms of the sky

Preview the key celestial motions of 2014. Jim Metzner’s Pulse of the Planet is a syndicated radio show that explores nature’s various rhythms. Like beating hearts, fluttering wings, or chirping crickets, the night sky also displays a cadence — many of them actually. Olden observers noted how stars faithfully rise four minutes earlier per night and how the Sun’s midday height — now so low — follows an annual cycle that doesn’t vary by even a single second. Serious sky-observing cultures like the Maya took it further, basing calendars on beloved patterns like the reliable motions of Venus. These days, we mostly notice mundane pulses like the daily recurrences of traffic jams. While such earthly repetitions grab the bulk of our attention, the celestial ones continue with all their ancient glory for everyone…

2 minutos

FROM OUR INBOX The philosophy of science As I was enjoying your August 2013 issue, I was surprised while reading the “40 greatest astronomical discoveries” article. I have always thought of Pierre-Simon Laplace in conjunction with the Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant. Like Laplace did in 1796, Kant advanced the hypothesis that the solar system began as a larger gas cloud that collapsed into a spinning disk. Kant, however, did so in a book printed in 1755 but released much later because of the publisher’s economic woes. I think the independent discovery of this hypothesis should be credited to both great thinkers. Kant’s name would fit well in your magazine, given that he once said that the two things that filled him with awe were “the starry heavens above [him] and the moral…

1 minutos
densest galaxy provides origin clues

A little more than a decade ago, astronomers stumbled upon conglomerations of stars that didn’t quite fit any mold. They were smaller than typical dwarf galaxies but larger than the largest known globular clusters. Scientists gave this new group the name “ultra-compact dwarf galaxies” (UCDs), and the search began to determine whether these star systems were born as jam-packed star clusters or are the remnants of once massive galaxies. Astronomers announced in the September 20 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters the discovery of a UCD that likely is the densest known galaxy and could provide clues to these objects’ origins. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers came across a UCD near the large elliptical galaxy M60 in Virgo. Follow-up observations of the galaxy, formally called M60-UCD1, showed…