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Astronomy November 2018

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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online favorites

My Science ShopPerfect gifts for your favorite science geeks.NewsThe latest updates from the science and the hobby.Picture of the DayGorgeous photos from our readers.Trips and ToursTravel the world with the staff of Astronomy.Go to for info on the biggest news and observing events, stunning photos, informative videos, and more. ■…

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take a trip with us

As part of the 2019 solar eclipse tour to Chile and Peru, Astronomy’s travelers will visit the famous and ethereal site Machu Picchu, an icon of Inca civilization. (VITMARK/DREAMSTIME)Talk to any astronomer about the job, and they’ll invariably tell you that travel is an exciting part of it. Observatories get built on mountaintops in exotic locations for a reason — the great seeing and transparency — so visiting astronomical sites takes you to some pretty cool places in the world.We take pride in partnering with TravelQuest International, an experienced touring company based in Arizona that handles our trip logistics. On our tours, editors travel with you to provide guidance and astronomical expertise. Why not join us on one of our upcoming journeys?We currently offer several exciting options. In February 2019,…

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astro letters

(GREGG RUPPEL)Faint Mizar BA thank you to Phil Harrington for writing his enjoyable and informative Binocular Universe columns in Astronomy. Unfortunately, there’s an error in the caption of the photo of Alcor and Mizar on p. 68 of the June 2018 issue. That caption says, “Alcor is the fainter star between and just below the brighter twin suns of Mizar A and B.” In fact, Mizar and Alcor are the brighter two of the three stars visible in the image, as those two represent an optical double.— Scott Satko, Lewisville, NCAstronomy respondsYes, the editors apologize for the mislabeled caption.Tributes to Lucy and her discovererI quite enjoyed reading Joel Davis’ “Exploring Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids” article in the June 2018 issue. I serve on the board of the Institute of Human Origins…

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quantum gravity

HOT BYTESTRENDING TO THE TOPBREAKFAST TIMEScientists have determined that a collision between our galaxy and a sausage-shaped dwarf galaxy 8 to 10 billion years ago shaped the modern Milky Way.GRAVEYARD ORBITWhen NASA’s Dawn spacecraft runs out of fuel by October, it will remain non-operational, in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres.SPACE SHARDSearchers have found a fragment of asteroid 2018 LA, which exploded above Botswana June 2 just hours after its discovery. ■…

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supermassive start

South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology’s long-awaited MeerKAT radio telescope is officially operating after a decade of construction. During its inauguration July 13, MeerKAT showcased a sample of its impressive capabilities: a stunning panoramic view of the area surrounding the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*.MeerKAT used its 64 antennas to capture this incredibly detailed radio image, which covers an area of about 1,000 by 500 light-years. Built in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape and operated by scientists at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, the telescope can penetrate the thick clouds of gas and dust that encompass the black hole, picking up radio emission that is invisible to visible-light telescopes.MeerKAT researchers now plan to use the telescope’s unprecedented image quality to dissect the black…

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all objects, even stars, fall the same way

TEST BED.The triple-star system PSR J0337+1715, shown in this artist’s impression, is a unique place to test gravity based on predictions made by Einstein’s theory of relativity. PSR J0337+1715 contains a neutron star (right) orbiting a white dwarf (left); the pair orbits a second, more distant white dwarf (upper left).The equivalence principle states that all objects should fall the same way, regardless of mass. The principle has been tested time and again — and passed with flying colors — on Earth. It’s even been tested on the Moon, when Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott dropped a hammer and a feather from the same height. The two objects reached the lunar surface at the same time.Einstein’s theory of general relativity takes this concept a step further. It assumes the strong equivalence…