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Astronomy October 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.

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Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
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online favorites

Go to for info on the biggest news and observing events, stunning photos, informative videos, and more.Dave’s UniverseThe inside scoop from the editor.My Science ShopPerfect gifts for your favorite science geeks.Sky This WeekA daily digest of celestial events.Venus GlobeGet the hottest globe around. ■…

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dark stars and dark matter

Eighty-five years after Fritz Zwicky raised the possibility of the existence of a type of unseen matter in the cosmos, we still don’t know what it is.Following the observational work of Vera Rubin and her colleagues in the 1970s, and the cosmological probes since the 1980s, we know dark matter is out there. The Planck spacecraft’s most recent data suggest some 26 percent of the mass-energy of the cosmos exists in the form of dark matter. But we don’t know what it’s made of.This month, science writer Mara Johnson-Groh gives us an overview of an intriguing line of research that’s shining some light on dark matter. One possibility suggests it could exist in the form of WIMPs — weakly interacting massive particles. Mind you, these are hypothetical creatures. No such…

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astro letters

(NASA/JPL-CALTECH)Lessons from AndromedaThe article “Sizing Up Andromeda” in the June 2018 Astro News section continues the tradition of astronomers, both professional and amateur, using the Andromeda Galaxy to study the formation and evolution of galaxies. We are fortunate to have a not-so-distant example to study, develop, and confirm theories.In 2004, Rodrigo Ibata and others used the Keck telescope to map and measure the speeds of 2,800 red giant stars in the outskirts of Andromeda. Since these stars were not randomly moving but orbiting in the galaxy’s plane, they argued that this movement makes the red giants part of the disk, and this tripled the size of the galaxy. This, of course, greatly affected the calculations of Andromeda’s mass. New research uses the escape velocity of selected stars, along with dark…

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quantum gravity

HOT BYTESTRENDING TO THE TOPDIAMOND DUSTTiny carbon crystals — nanodiamonds — in the gas and dust around newly born stars are responsible for a previously untraced source of microwaves.MAKING HISTORYOn June 20, the American Physical Society designated the LIGO sites in Louisiana and Washington as Historic Physics Sites.NEW APPLICATIONResearchers are using technology developed for mapping terrain on Mars from orbit to safely study unreachable areas of the Himalayas on Earth. ■…

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a space spider

Astronomers at Chile’s Paranal Observatory used the VLT Survey Telescope to peer deep into the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, and captured this new photograph of its most famous resident: the Tarantula Nebula. The colorful image was created by combining four separate shots from the telescope’s wide-field, 256-megapixel camera, OmegaCAM.Seen at the top of the image, the nebula sits about 160,000 light-years from Earth and is the most active star producer in the Local Group of galaxies. The Tarantula’s core hosts NGC 2070, a massive star cluster that births some of the brightest and most massive stars ever discovered.The image also captures NGC 2074, a smaller cluster rich in star formation, seen at bottom; and NGC 2100, a luminous open cluster to the left…

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apollo 7

Apollo 7’s Saturn IVB rocket stage over Sonora, Mexico, on the mission’s second Earth orbit. The white disk is a mock target that allowed the crew to simulate docking the command module with a lunar lander. One of the four adapter panels can be seen temporarily stuck in a partially open position. (ALL IMAGES: NASA)On January 27, 1967, Apollo 1 crew members Roger Chaffee, Ed White, and Gus Grissom were killed in a fire during a test of the spacecraft while on the launchpad. Twenty-one months later, the three men who had originally served as their backup crew — Walter Schirra Jr., Donn Eisele, and Walter Cunningham — flew on Apollo 7, the first manned American spaceflight since the accident. Their mission was a resounding success, speeding the Apollo program…