Astronomy March 2015

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
500 coolest things!

A few months ago, Senior Editor Richard Talcott casually mentioned to me, “You know, March 2015 will be the 500th issue of Astronomy magazine.” Not having thought about it, I was tickled, and Talcott proposed that we do something special for the occasion. Weeks later, our other senior editor, Michael E. Bakich, put together the basic plan for a special package of fun stuff we had discussed. The result, “The 500 coolest things about space,” is what you hold in your hands. What would make your list of 500 things? Perhaps it would be the Hubble Deep Field, the explosion of exoplanets discovered with the Kepler space telescope, or the high probability of inflation theory helping to explain the cosmos. Maybe you’re in the mood for history. Do the achievements of Albert…

2 minutos
let’s cut the ufo crap

HOT BYTES >> TRENDING TO THE TOP BINARY EARTHS? A Caltech undergrad used a weeklong computer simulation to show dual rocky planets could remain stable sci-fi style in a tidally locked orbit CERES APPROACH The Dawn spacecraft shot its best Ceres image yet as NASA calibrated the craft’s camera for a spring asteroid approach and orbital insertion. FIRST GALAXIES A survey of the early universe found seven galaxies from a group scientists believe suddenly appeared 700 million years after the Big Bang. The efforts now underway to search for extraterrestrial civilizations invariably raise the favorite question of many TV shows: Has alien life visited Earth in the form of UFOs? After all, half the American public believes alien beings have visited our planet. The claims of UFO proponents, when actually subjected to the principles of scientific analysis, are…

1 minutos
break through

Blast from the past The supernova remnant Kes 73 in Scutum shows what can happen when a star holding more than 20 solar masses reaches the end of its life. In this case, a cataclysmic explosion ripped the star’s outer layers apart, sending debris racing outward. Meanwhile, the massive sun’s core collapsed into a pulsar (the blue dot at center) that energizes the expanding shell of gas. Kes 73 lies about 28,000 light-years away, and light from the explosion likely reached Earth between 750 and 2,100 years ago. This image combines visible light (grayscale), X-rays (blue), infrared radiation (orange), and radio waves (red). X-RAY: NASA/CXC/UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA/H. KUMAR, ET AL.; VISIBLE: DSS; INFRARED: NASA/JPL-CALTECH; RADIO: NSF/NRAO/VLA…

4 minutos
adventures in terra incognito

Ever been lost? Camped out and couldn’t remember which trail you’d taken? Driven around at night in some bad neighborhood trying to figure out how to get back on the highway? It’s worse if you’re piloting a plane and have no clue where you are. I’ve done it all. Only slightly less perilous is to be lost in space. No human has yet gone astray between worlds. But Buzz Aldrin came close during the final Gemini mission, when the navigation computer went on the fritz. Figuring out how to manually get all the way to the invisible, high-orbit target Agena rocket through calculations alone solidified his “Dr. Rendezvous” nickname and may have earned him that coveted spot on Apollo 11. Some inanimate object was lost, too, back in 1969 during the Apollo…

1 minutos
from our inbox

Be an inspiration I was moved to write by David J. Eicher’s editorial at the front of the October 2014 issue (p. 6). My grandmother introduced me to astronomy. She gave me a 2.5-inch refractor when I was 13, and I was hooked. I used lawn-mowing money to buy science-fiction books, record albums, and my first Astronomy subscription in 1974. So, to Eicher’s very important point, how do we inspire children of today to step outside and explore the real world that is above them? Clearly there needs to be mentorship like I received or maybe even benevolent kidnapping to get them out of doors. For the kids who take the bait and begin to seek information on their own, your magazine consistently delivers. We welcome your comments at Astronomy Letters, P.…

12 minutos
active black holes align

ALIEN MAGNETISM. Russian scientists developed a method to measure the magnetic field of an exoplanet and applied it to the hot Jupiter HD 209458b (Osiris), the first outside our solar system known to have an atmosphere. While studying the active centers of distant galaxies using the Very Large Telescope in Chile, astronomers stumbled upon a surprising pattern: Nineteen of these 93 quasars, which are supermassive black holes surrounded by spinning disks of material that often shoots out in jets along their rotation axes, were lining up across great distances when the universe was one-third of its current age. “The first odd thing we noticed was that some of the quasars’ rotation axes were aligned with each other despite the fact that these quasars are separated by billions of light-years,” says lead author…