Astronomy May 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.

United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
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60,29 $(TVA Incluse)
12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

2 min.
galaxies, the big bang, and existence

When I talked with my friend Dan Hooper at Fermilab a few months ago, we decided that it was high time to do a “state-of-the-art” story on where we stand with dark matter. When Dan started writing the story, however, he evolved it into a summary of a much bigger dilemma: “Holes” in the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe are increasingly leaving some astronomers unsettled. So his story, “Is the Big Bang in crisis?” describes the problems astronomers must yet overcome. When the universe began to assemble matter, it preferred to lump it into galaxies — huge clouds and wheels of stars, gas, and dust. As I was growing up — when we weren’t even sure that the Big Bang was the correct model of the universe…

2 min.
astro letters

Remembering 2019 Your January issue was spectacular. The “Top 10 space stories of 2019” shows what was accomplished this past year. The overload of information is overwhelming, but the article on black holes took my breath away. In his editor’s note, David Eicher masterfully expresses the death and birth of stars as the grandest recycling program. Little did I know what lurks behind the beautiful “like a diamond in the sky” stars at night. But the most exhilarating story was in Quantum Gravity. It covered the mighty super-Earth exoplanet, K2-18 b, and its signs of habitability. I’m looking forward to another astronomical year! —Shobha Kaicker, Mississauga, Ontario Forever teaching Each month I look forward to receiving Astronomy. I had the wonderful experience of teaching high school astronomy for the final six years of my 35-year…

1 min.
anatomy of a cosmic swan

The Omega Nebula, also called the Swan Nebula, is a massive star-forming region about 5,000 light-years away. Hidden within its opaque, dusty clouds are more than 100 newly formed stars as well as clues to the region’s past, including how the nebula itself formed over time. Using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, astronomers have peered deeper into the region than ever before to discover nine new massive protostars — collapsing sections of gas and dust that will soon ignite into suns. SOFIA’s observations also show that different areas of the nebula have different ages. Rather than forming all at once or sequentially from top to bottom, the central region of the nebula formed first, followed by the northern portion, while the southern part of the nebula is youngest.…

1 min.
hot bytes

NEW NAME The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, under construction on Cerro Pachón, Chile, is now called the National Science Foundation Vera C. Rubin Observatory — the first national U.S. observatory named for a woman. TWIN SUNS On January 6, researchers announced that NASA’s TESS planet-hunting spacecraft had spotted its first planet with two suns. The world, called TOI 1338 b, orbits its binary stars every 93 to 95 days. BIG SOLO In April 2019, LIGO spotted the secondever gravitational wave signal generated by a binary neutron star merger. It is the first confirmed event seen with only one gravitational wave detector, LIGO Livingston. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION/LIGO/SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY/A. SIMONNET…

2 min.
found: crater from 790,000-year-old asteroid strike

The blinding flash of light came first, followed by a shock wave and massive earthquake. Only later did the hailstorm of black, glassy debris begin, a rocky rain that fell on 10 percent of Earth’s surface. That’s the scene that followed a massive asteroid impact 790,000 years ago. The rocky remains it scattered, called tektites, have been found from Asia to Antarctica. For decades, scientists have searched for the elusive resting place of the impactor. And now, they think they’ve found it. ELUSIVE CRATER A report published January 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that the meteorite likely struck in the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos, carving a 10.5-by-8-mile (17 by 13 kilometers) crater that’s now covered by an ancient lava flow. After identifying the potential impact site…

1 min.
the next generation of telescopes

OPTICAL EVOLUTION. Mount Wilson’s famous 100-inch (2.5 meters) Hooker Telescope reigned as the world’s largest from 1917 until Palomar Observatory’s 200-inch (5 m) Hale Telescope was pressed into service in 1949. Although the primary mirrors of both Hooker and Hale were modern marvels during their times, the telescopes of a century ago will look like toys in comparison to the goliath observatories now being built. When the European Extremely Large Telescope sees first light around 2025, its mirror will stretch a truly mindboggling 129 feet (39.3 m) from edge to edge. FAST FACT The three smallest ground-based scopes shown here were the world’s best for nearly a century. ASTRONOMY: RICK JOHNSON, AFTER CMGLEE/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS…