BBC Sky at Night May 2018

Sky at Night magazine is your practical guide to astronomy. Each issue features the world’s biggest and best night sky guide complete with star charts, observing tutorials and in-depth equipment reviews to ensure that amateur astronomers never miss those must-see events.

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this month’s contributors include...

Sanjeev Gupta Planetary geologist The official sedimentary geologist for the Curiosity rover mission reveals what’s exciting him about the Martian rocks. Page 21 Chris Murphy Astrophotographer Practical tips on how to combine separately shot skies and landscapes from the award-winning New Zealander. Page 84 Inka Piegsa Travel writer The Canary Islands aren‘t just about year-round Sun. Inka will convince you that they’re about gloriously dark skies too. Page 72 Laura Nuttall Astrophysicist Laura takes time off from her studies into gravity to browse through Marcus Chown’s fun new book about the Big Bang. Page 102…

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With mighty planet Jupiter at opposition this month, and highest and brightest to see for the year, what better time to bring you up to date with the Juno mission currently in orbit around it? The probe has truly rewritten much of what we thought we knew about this gas giant, providing new views of its poles, peering through its visible cloud layer deep into the interior and measuring its ferocious magnetic environment. Ben Evans takes a look at the Juno mission on page 36, while on page 49 there’s more in the Sky Guide from Pete Lawrence on how best to see the planet and its four main moons. For an even better view of Jupiter, the islands of the Canaries beckon. On page 72, Spanish-based travel writer Inka Piegsa…

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sky at night lots of ways to enjoy the night sky...

TELEVISION Find out what The Sky at Night team will be exploring in this month’s episode on page 19 ONLINE Visit our website for reviews, competitions, astrophotos, observing guides and our forum FACEBOOK All the details of our latest issue, plus news from the magazine and updates to our website PODCAST Listen to the BBC Sky at Night Magazine team and guests discuss the latest astro news iPHONE/iPAD Get each month’s issue on your iPad or iPhone, now with bonus image galleries TWITTER Follow @skyatnightmag to keep up with the latest space stories and tell us what you think…

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creation of the crustacean

CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATORY, HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE, SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE, 14 MARCH 2018 In the year 1054 astronomers from various countries reported the appearance of a ‘new star’ in the night sky; something that must have been quite a shock to those keeping a regular eye on the heavens. This celestial newcomer is now thought to have been the exploding star – or supernova – that created the Crab Nebula. This new image of the nebula was taken in X-ray, optical and infrared to reveal a luminous, wispy object with a defined structure. The Crab Nebula is a ‘supernova remnant’; a region of gas left over from that ancient stellar explosion. It is illuminated by a type of star known as a pulsar, formed when an aging star collapses as it runs out of…

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stephen hawking dies aged 76

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” announced Stephen Hawking’s children Lucy, Robert and Tim in a statement on 14 March. “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said: ‘It would not be much of a Universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.” Hawking’s funeral took place in Cambridge on 31 March and his ashes will be interred in Westminster Abbey – alongside such other great British scientists as Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton – in a ceremony later this year. Hawking gained his PhD from Cambridge in 1966, despite the onset…

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My first encounter with Professor Stephen Hawking’s work goes back to my time at school, long before I interviewed him on The Sky at Night, when I requested a copy of A Brief History of Time from my parents. The bookshop had sold out, so they grabbed a copy of another book by Hawking – a technical series of lectures – which I stared at for hours, hoping to make some sense out of it through sheer force of will. The second sentence – I still remember it now – was, ‘It is obvious that space is time-like.’ It may have been obvious to Hawking and his audience, but it wasn’t obvious to me! I eventually did get hold of Brief History and, like others, struggled with the cacophony of concepts that…