Astronomy October 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
get ready for total eclipse 2017!

I RECALL how blown away I was by the first total eclipse I saw. The shadow swept over me, transforming nature’s light into ethereal darkness. I got chills! The biggest eclipse event of our lifetime is now rapidly approaching. You don’t wanna be left at home, watching this one on your computer, do you? 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 contiguous 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 spot where it will last the longest…

2 minutos
the meaning of life in the universe

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UNIVERSE THIS MONTH . . . HOT BYTES TRENDING TO THE TOP DARK SKIES The International Dark-Sky Association certified Grand Canyon National Park a provisional International Dark Sky Park. CITIZEN SCIENCE Two volunteer scientists helped identify a previously unknown galaxy cluster by poring over data in Radio Galaxy Zoo. EARLY OXYGEN The ALMA radio observatory spied oxygen in a galaxy 13.1 billion lightyears away, making it the earliest sign of oxygen in the young universe. What is the meaning of life? It’s perhaps the oldest philosophical question. At the end of a hysterical movie, the Monty Python gang told us it’s, “Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people…

4 minutos
carrington trick-or-treat

Many people worry about Earth’s destruction. Let’s limit this by ignoring standard human mischief, such as overpopulation and the new 2-pound hyper-cholesterol Ultra Burger. We’ll focus on that old beloved peril, danger from space — an appropriate topic this Halloween month. Some quarter-century ago when I was still with Discover, we ran a story showing why you’re six times more likely to get killed by an asteroid or meteorite than die in a fiery plane crash. That’s because a big space rock — while rare — can destroy half the planet, while modern airline flying is quite safe once your leg circulation returns. Later, at Slooh.com, I’d always push to offer live telescope views of Jupiter at opposition, but we’d get virtually no media coverage and relatively few visitors. By contrast, when…

2 minutos
from our inbox

A pioneer Thank you for the most interesting article in the June 2016 issue of Astronomy on Vera Rubin and her study of galaxies. She was clearly a pioneer in a field that had long been the province of men. She had to break down a lot of barriers, including the bathroom door at the Palomar Observatory! She appeared to do it with a single-minded desire to be an astronomer, no matter what the consequences. She is admired and deserves recognition for her work on the rotational motion of galaxies. — Chris Mathews, Plano, Texas Vera Rubin I am so pleased about Sarah Scoles’ article about Vera Rubin in the June issue. I am president and founder of the Summit Astronomy Club, which is all about outreach. In the presentations that I give,…

2 minutos
what makes a galaxy green?

BUILDING BLOCKS. A dust cloud near the Milky Way’s center contains a chiral molecule, a complex organic compound the study of which could explain why life on Earth came to use only certain types of such chemicals. Astronomers from Durham University used their EAGLE simulation of the universe to study why we don’t see green galaxies in the sky. Since galaxies are bluer when they contain large numbers of young stars and are actively forming more, and redder after star formation ends and leaves behind older stellar populations, astronomers think green galaxies are a transition state between the two. The scarcity of these galaxies indicates that the transition must be a cosmically quick one. Lead researcher James Trayford says using the EAGLE simulation, “We typically find that smaller green galaxies are being…

1 minutos

EAT UP While X-rays from black holes devouring stars or gas have been detected since the 1970s, astronomers got the chance recently to watch a black hole “feast,” capturing X-ray echoes as the black hole finished consuming a passing star. Prior to the star passing through, the black hole was dormant. Through coordinated effort, the 200-day meal was captured in full, providing new insight into the feeding cycle of a black hole. The research was published in Nature on June 22. SNEAKY BINARY When a black hole consumes an orbiting star, it usually emits X-rays. But according to research published in The Astrophysical Journal on June 27, a strange radio source called VLA J213002.08+120904 may be a black hole devouring its companion so quietly that it’s not letting out any X-rays. The exact…