BBC Sky at Night

BBC Sky at Night June 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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Immediate Media Company London Limited
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12 Udgivelser

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1 min
this month’s contributors include...

Gerry Gilmour Cosmologist An official investigator for the Gaia mission, Gerry reveals why he’s so excited by the second data release. Page 21 Sandra Kropa Science journalist Sandra has been getting a unique tour of the Solar System thanks to The Ultimate Interplanetary Travel Guide. Page 102 Pete Lawrence Sky at Night presenter As host of our in-depth Sky Guide, Pete tells you everything you need to know about observing the night sky throughout June. Page 49 Tim Jardine Amateur astronomer Tim’s been checking out Atik’s first CMOS camera, the Atik Horizon, designed for use with smaller telescopes. Page 98…

2 min

This issue our star of the month on page 59 of the Sky Guide is one of the brightest in the sky, Vega. Throughout the summer it’s the first star visible as darkness falls and stays with us until daybreak. Astronomers know that Vega is a decidedly unusual stellar object, its rapid spin rate causing it to bulge heavily, giving it a squashed appearance. It’s just one of many downright bizarre stars that they have uncovered, and one which features in Elizabeth Pearson’s look at some of the most extreme stars in the Universe on page 38. Many more examples of stellar extremes will no doubt be uncovered following the release of the Gaia mission’s second batch of data. Its 3D map of our Galaxy is a watershed moment for all…

1 min
skyatnight 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…

2 min
happy birthday hubble

The Hubble Space Telescope reached a milestone of 28 years in space on 24 April 2018. In the months beforehand, astronomers turned its viewing power onto this dazzling cosmic cloud. The Lagoon Nebula is about 4,000 lightyears away from Earth but is so vast that Hubble can’t fit the entire cloud into its view. It would take a ray of light 55 years to travel the breadth of the entire nebula, yet this image shows a small section just four lightyears across. Like most nebulae, the Lagoon is illuminated by the ultraviolet radiation of large hot stars. This radiation also sculpts the dark wisps of cosmic dust that twist through the nebula, creating dense shadows as the intense light is blotted out. At the centre of this image is Herschel 36, a…

2 min
planet hunter launched into orbit

NASA successfully launched its latest exoplanethunting satellite, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), from Cape Canaveral on 18 April, at 18:51 EDT (22:51 UT). TESS will search for exoplanets across 85 per cent of the sky, a much larger area than previous missions such as Kepler. “TESS will be a game-changer for our understanding of planets and the stars that they orbit,” says Daniel Huber, an astronomer from the University of Hawai’i. “The sheer number of stars for which TESS will provide data – 10 to 100 times more than Kepler – is bound to yield some very exciting surprises.” By the time of publication, TESS should have moved into its final 13.7-day orbit around Earth and be performing its final tests and checks. It will commence its science mission this summer,…

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It’s been a very long while since I’ve been as excited about a mission as I am about TESS. Finding planets around nearby, bright stars is the stuff of science fiction, and now it’s about to become a reality. It’s not just that these planets will be close enough and bright enough to make them much easier to study than Kepler’s distant haul. TESS’s discoveries are likely to be the planets we know most about for centuries to come. If we ever get to the point where the first human voyagers set sail beyond the bounds of our own Solar System, our distant descendants will likely set a course for a planet found by TESS. It’s a very big mission for a relatively small spacecraft. Once an initial checking-out phase has been…