Astronomy July 2016

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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2 minutos
join us for the 2017 eclipse!

The biggest observational event in astronomy in a very long time is fast approaching. On August 21, 2017, the Moon will slide across the Sun’s disk, and a total solar eclipse will pass diagonally across the United States. This will be the first total eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years, and the first to cross both coasts since the closing days of World War I. The path of totality will stretch from just south of Portland, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina, and the point of longest eclipse, 2 minutes 42 seconds, will lie near Carbondale, Illinois. One major city, Nashville, stands in the path of totality. There’s no doubt: This eclipse will be the most observed ever. I invite you to join Astronomy magazine and our travel partner, TravelQuest International,…

2 minutos
when galaxies collide

HOT BYTES TRENDING TO THE TOP JUNO ARRIVES The Juno mission arrives July 4 at Jupiter, where it will peer deep into the planet’s cloudy depths and decipher its powerful magnetic field. EXTREME PLANET Exoplanet HD 80606 b has a nearly cometlike orbit, spending 20 hours roasting close to its star and then 110 days traveling a cold loop far away. BLACK HOLE SPIN Astronomers measured a distant, 18-billion-solarmass black hole’s rotation rate to be one-third the maximum spin general relativity allows. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UNIVERSE THIS MONTH . . . Ever since the 1920s, we’ve known that the universe is expanding — at large scales, everything is moving away from everything else. But at smaller scales, gravity can be the dominant force. This leads to some of the most interesting aspects of galaxies as…

4 minutos
feel the force

Do you love fireworks shows that let you get very close? At such pyrotechnics displays, the delay between each flash and the earsplitting boom can be just a halfsecond, meaning you’re only two blocks from the detonations. My hometown display is like that, with glowing debris virtually raining down on the crowd, which must strangely not include any attorneys. These annual boom-fests bring up the topic of power. Where is the universe’s most awesome energy? And can we grab some of it? Right now, when days are longest, our impulse might flow in sync with the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, who’d say it’s the Sun. It’s a good first guess. We’re talking nuclear fusion. In 1920, when Arthur Eddington explained how the Sun shines, it seemed astonishing. At high enough temperatures, four…

3 minutos
from our inbox

Young viewers needed It was with great interest that I read David J. Eicher’s “Whither the astronomy hobby?” — p. 6, April 2016. I agree totally that avid enthusiasts are aging. I’m 65 now, but I can remember the awe and excitement that I felt on first seeing Saturn through my 2.4-inch refractor. It took my breath away, and I hardly slept that night — I was just 12 years old. I maintain that all this generation needs is one look through a telescope, and it will transform them in ways that will be life-changing. To those of us who have telescopes, PLEASE share a view with a kid! They will remember it forever. — Richard Dodge, New Prague, Minnesota We welcome your comments at Astronomy Letters, P. O. Box 1612, Waukesha,…

2 minutos
lava planet surprises astronomers

SOLAR TWIN. Star Kappa Ceti has a stellar wind 50 times stronger than our Sun’s and may experience “superflares.” Otherwise it’s a close match for our Sun and, at only 400 million to 600 million years old, may provide insights about the early solar system. Recently, astronomers using NASA’s infrared Spitzer Space Telescope created the first temperature map of a “super-Earth.” The planet, dubbed 55 Cancri e, lies about 40 light-years away and has a diameter twice that of Earth and a mass roughly eight times larger. The planet orbits its star every 18 hours and is “locked” to it in the same way our Moon is tidally locked to Earth. So, 55 Cancri e always keeps the same face toward its star. “Spitzer observed the phases of 55 Cancri e. . .…

1 minutos

SEEKING ALIENS THAT CAN SEE US Just as the Kepler Space Telescope spots planets by detecting a dip in light as they pass in front of their stars, there’s a sizable region of our cosmic neighborhood where alien astronomers could similarly detect Earth thanks to this edge-on view. A group of astronomers from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research compiled a list, published in the April issue of Astrobiology, of 82 nearby Sun-like stars that might already know about us. The team reasons that such aliens might already be trying to make contact, making the search for E.T. that much easier. EARTH’S CLOAKING DEVICE Humanity has some hope of hiding from potentially hostile aliens, according to a paper published online March 30 in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.…