category_outlined / Science

SKY & TELESCOPE September 2019

Since the first issue was published in 1941, Sky & Telescope has become the go-to resource for all things star and space. This magazine is considered the complete resource for the astronomy enthusiast. Offering everything from product reviews, buyer's recommendations, and current events news to tips, how-to articles, and computer software, fascinated readers will find a wealth of information and suggestions on how to hone their hobby. Devoted amateurs, professionals, and academics would all find a subscription to Sky & Telescope magazine of interest.

United States
F+W Media, Inc. - Magazines
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thank our lucky stars

LAST FALL AT A PICNIC for current and former Sky & Telescope staff, I sidled over to Rick Fienberg, S&T’s Editor in Chief from 2001 to 2008. Being a science magazine, S&T had always felt like the odd one out amongst our parent company F+W Media’s stable of craft and hobbyist publications. I asked Rick if he knew of any science-savvy organization that might be interested in exploring a potential purchase of S&T. He said he’d give it some thought. A few days later, I received an email from Rick: “Further to what we discussed at the picnic, I have an idea I’d like to run past you.” He soon did so, and the rest will go down in S&T’s annals as the most important coming together since our founders, Charlie and…

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sky & telescope

The Essential Guide to Astronomy Founded in 1941 by Charles A. Federer, Jr. and Helen Spence Federer EDITORIAL Editor in Chief Peter Tyson Senior Editors J. Kelly Beatty, Alan M. MacRobert Science Editor Camille M. Carlisle News Editor Monica Young Associate Editors S. N. Johnson-Roehr, Sean Walker Observing Editor Diana Hannikainen Project Coordinator Bud Sadler Senior Contributing Editors Robert Naeye, Roger W. Sinnott Contributing Editors Howard Banich, Jim Bell, Trudy Bell, John E. Bortle, Greg Bryant, Thomas A. Dobbins, Alan Dyer, Tom Field, Tony Flanders, Ted Forte, Sue French, Steve Gottlieb, David Grinspoon, Shannon Hall, Ken Hewitt-White, Johnny Horne, Bob King, Emily Lakdawalla, Rod Mollise, James Mullaney, Donald W. Olson, Jerry Oltion, Joe Rao, Dean Regas, Fred Schaaf, Govert Schilling, William Sheehan, Mike Simmons, Mathew Wedel, Alan Whitman, Charles A. Wood Contributing Photographers P. K. Chen, Akira Fujii, Robert Gendler, Babak Tafreshi ART & DESIGN Art…

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post-impressions of jupiter

I just finished reading “JunoCam at Jupiter: Where Science Meets Art” (S&T: May 2019, p. 14), and I’m rather surprised no one mentioned the resemblance between some of the images and Vincent van Gogh’s painting “The Starry Night.” The image on the lower half of page 17 in particular looks like an interpretation of the painting. Is this coincidence, or were some of the image processors trying to imitate the effect? Michael Farmer • Athens, Ohio Way Up North I found your comments about observing Omega Centauri from northern latitudes (S&T: Apr. 2019, p. 22) very interesting, particularly observations from Point Pelee National Park. Our local astronomy club (RASC - Windsor Centre) has been attempting this observation for many years, with local member Dan Taylor credited with being the first to do so…

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75, 50 & 25 years ago

1944 1969 1994 ◖ September 1944 Pleiades Probed “Dr. J. A. Pearce [at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory has studied the spectra] and physical characteristics of the 12 brightest stars in the Pleiades. [He] collected some 214 observations of 10 of these stars made during the past 40 years, and combined these with 111 unpublished [radial] velocities of his own. From these he finds that the Pleiades appear to be receding from us at … five miles per second, a figure in good agreement with that predicted by observations of the apparent motions of these stars across the face of the sky…. “The distance of the cluster, obtained from Dr. Pearce’s work, is found to be about 240 light-years, in close agreement with the results from other methods.” Notoriously hard to measure, the famed cluster’s distance is…

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astronomers stalk the “taurid swarm”

IF THEORISTS ARE RIGHT, observers could spot potentially hazardous asteroids — part of the hypothesized Taurid resonant swarm (TRS) — as they cruise past Earth this summer. In 1984 Victor Clube (then at Oxford University, UK) and Bill Napier (then at Royal Observatory, UK) proposed that Comet 2P/Encke, the Taurid meteors, and a number of near-Earth asteroids with similar orbits are actually fragments of a giant comet that broke apart some 20,000 years ago. If so, it’s possible that huge chunks could still lurk unseen along and near Encke’s orbit. In support of their theory, Clube and Napier pointed out that the Tunguska impact in 1908 involved a roughly 100-meter (300-foot) object with a Tauridlike orbit (S&T: Dec. 1978, p. 497). Later work by dynamicist David J. Asher (then at the Anglo-Australian…

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jupiter’s great red spot unfurls

JUPITER’S SOUTH EQUATORIAL BELT (SEB) has started peeling material from the Great Red Spot (GRS) in an event that has been visible in small telescopes. The GRS currently sports a rich, orange-red color, made more distinct by the white “hollow” that often surrounds it. In May, a dark swirl began adding to the distinction: Large filaments of GRS material, some spanning more than 10,000 km (6,000 miles), started peeling away from the west end of the famous spot roughly once a week and dissipating in a churning bridge connecting the GRS to the SEB. JunoCam (aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft) and amateurs alike observed the phenomenon. The “flakes” appeared to contain a substantial amount of GRS material, as they were seen most prominently at near-infrared wavelengths, especially around 890 nanometers. Methane absorbs light…