BBC Sky at Night June 2019

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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12 Udgivelser

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7KH›SUHVV›FRQIHUHQFH›WR›UHOHDVH›WKH›KLVWRULF››UVW›LPDJH›RI›D›EODFN›KROH› in April had us all glued to our screens here at the magazine. We watched as the remarkable achievement – a picture which took two years to process – was unveiled, proof that all the simulations and artists impressions of black holes were correct. With a shiver we had come face to face with an object that even Einstein had doubted the existence of. For the inside story of how this observation was achieved and the planet-wide network of radio telescopes that produced it, turn to page 26. There’s also insight from a UK member of the Event Horizon Telescope team on page 14 and a look at Messier 87, the galaxy in which the black hole lies, on page 6. Something else to have us glued to our screens this…

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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 14 Online Visit our website for competitions, astrophoto galleries, observing guides and more Facebook All the details of our latest issue, plus news from the magazine and updates to our website Podcast 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 eNewsletter The best targets to observe each week, delivered to your inbox. Visit our website to sign up…

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this month’s contributors

Sandra Kropa Astronomy journalist Sandra discovers the challenges astronomers keeping track of the asteroid threat face. See page 70 Will Gater Astrophotographer :LOO›JLYH›WLSV›RQ›XVLQJ› nightscapes to image SODQHWV›ZKHQ›WKH\sUH›ORZ› LQ›WKH›VN\››6HH›SDJH››› Govert Schilling Space writer Imaging a cosmic monster like a black hole is no small IHDW››*RYHUW››QGV›RXW›KRZ› LW›ZDV›GRQH››6HH›SDJH›››› Emily Winterburn Historian of astronomy (PLO\›UHYLHZV›'DQLHO› .HQQH›FNsV›ERRN›WKDW›OLQNV› the 1919 eclipse and (LQVWHLQ››7XUQ›WR›SDJH››››…

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illuminating the invisible

SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE, 25 APRIL 2019 This is galaxy M87, home of the supermassive black hole that became one of the biggest stories of the year when it was imaged by astronomers using the Event Horizon Telescope. One clue that there is a supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s centre can be seen in this image: jets of material shooting outwards from the core. As the jets hit interstellar material they generate a huge shockwave, one of which appears here as D››QJHU›OLNH›REMHFW›HPDQDWLQJ›WR›WKH›ULJKW›RI›WKH› bright centre. A fainter shockwave can also be seen shooting out to the left. This may go against the view of black holes as cosmic vacuum cleaners, but supermassive black holes are surrounded by a disc of spinning matter and, if the black hole consumes this matter rapidly, the material heats up…

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insight lander detects its first marsquake

The InSight ODQGHU›GHWHFWHG›WKH››UVW›HYHU›0DUWLDQ› seismic event, known as a marsquake, on 6 April 2019. s7KLV›LV›ZKDW›ZH›ZHUH›DOO›ZDLWLQJ›IRU››WKH››UVW› quivering of the planet picked up by our sensors,” says Tom Pike from Imperial College London, who led the UK involvement with InSight’s Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), the instrument which made the discovery. SEIS was deployed onto the Martian surface in December 2018 before being covered by a wind and thermal shield to reduce the background noise which masks the subtle vibrations of the planet. “The signals are smaller than anything we would detect on Earth because there is much less background noise on Mars – no oceans, trees or people – and the seismicity of Mars is much lower than on Earth because we do not have plate tectonics on Mars,” says Anna Horleston from…

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I’m delighted for the InSight team now they’ve found their ›UVW›PDUVTXDNHV› – even if I wish they’d done it just slightly earlier so we could have included them in our Sky at Night that featured the mission. I watched the landing in front of a live audience with Anna Horleston. NASA called the decent to the Martian surface ‘seven minutes of terror’, and I felt for the team living out those scary moments. The last few metres of descent seemed to take a lifetime, but once Insight was safely down, relief turned to excitement. It takes efforts, from thousands of people to get a mission like InSight to the point we're at now, where science FDQ›VWDUW›WR››RZ› and Mars’s secrets can be revealed. Chris Lintott co-presents The Sky at Night…