/ Science

SKY & TELESCOPE August 2019

Since the first issue was published in 1941, Sky & Telescope has become the go-to resource for all things star and space. This magazine is considered the complete resource for the astronomy enthusiast. Offering everything from product reviews, buyer's recommendations, and current events news to tips, how-to articles, and computer software, fascinated readers will find a wealth of information and suggestions on how to hone their hobby. Devoted amateurs, professionals, and academics would all find a subscription to Sky & Telescope magazine of interest.

United States
F+W Media, Inc. - Magazines
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2 min.
a feast for the eyes

FORTUNATELY FOR ASTRONOMY, light comes in many flavors. If we could observe celestial objects and events only in the visible light our eyes can perceive, we’d miss so much of what is on offer out there. It would be like tasting only sweet foods but not salty, bitter, sour, or savory. How limited our palate would be! But what our eyes can’t picture, our instruments can. They can capture and focus low-energy radio, microwave, and infrared photons as well as high-energy ones such as ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays. Through our ingenuity, light from the entire electromagnetic spectrum has become viewable to us. X-ray astronomy, for one, has come leaps and bounds since its start in the early 1960s, as News Editor Monica Young details in our cover story on page…

2 min.
sky & telescope

The Essential Guide to Astronomy Founded in 1941 by Charles A. Federer, Jr. and Helen Spence Federer EDITORIAL Editor in Chief Peter Tyson Senior Editors J. Kelly Beatty, Alan M. MacRobert Science Editor Camille M. Carlisle News Editor Monica Young Associate Editors S. N. Johnson-Roehr, Sean Walker Observing Editor Diana Hannikainen Project Coordinator Bud Sadler Senior Contributing Editors Robert Naeye, Roger W. Sinnott Contributing Editors Howard Banich, Jim Bell, Trudy Bell, John E. Bortle, Greg Bryant, Thomas A. Dobbins, Alan Dyer, Tom Field, Tony Flanders, Ted Forte, Sue French, Steve Gottlieb, David Grinspoon, Shannon Hall, Ken Hewitt-White, Johnny Horne, Bob King, Emily Lakdawalla, Rod Mollise, James Mullaney, Donald W. Olson, Jerry Oltion, Joe Rao, Dean Regas, Fred Schaaf, Govert Schilling, William Sheehan, Mike Simmons, Mathew Wedel, Alan Whitman, Charles A. Wood Contributing Photographers P. K. Chen, Akira Fujii, Robert Gendler, Babak Tafreshi ART & DESIGN Art Director…

6 min.
last look from yerkes?

As a mutual 65th birthday present, my childhood astronomy buddy Al Bellg arranged for the two of us to tour and view at the 40-inch refractor at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. It turned out to be the very last clear night for public observation before the observatory ceased public operations. We brought our own 40-mm and 50-mm eyepieces to view Saturn and the Saturn Nebula, and we used the focuser ourselves. While driving home, we remarked on how simple that giant scope was to operate: It uses setting circles, and the process of finding objects is totally manual. We were tickled to watch our host, a graduate student in astronomy at the University of Chicago, grasp the wooden handlebars and swing around the monstrous but finely counterbalanced tube to…

2 min.
75, 50 & 25 years ago

◂ August 1944 Moon Rockets? “There are many experts who believe…that the day may not be far distant when we shall be exploring outer space in person — possibly 500 years from now, possibly in 1,000 years. Some think it may come even sooner than that, after the war perhaps, when men’s minds will turn once more to the peacetime utility of rockets and rocket ships. Perhaps, they say, before some now alive have died, rocket-liner trips to the moon may be a common daily performance. This is wild supposition, not scientific statement. But there are those who believe it.” Marian Lockwood was an early columnist for Sky & Telescope and its predecessor, The Sky. ◂ August 1969 Gravitational Waves “If the results of a delicate experiment by Joseph Weber of the University of…

2 min.
ligo and virgo find possible black hole–neutron star crash

ONLY TWO MONTHS INTO a new observing run, gravitational-wave observatories have announced 13 new candidate signals — one of which could turn out to be a black hole swallowing a neutron star. Major improvements to both the Laser Interferometer Gravitationalwave Observatory (LIGO) in the U.S. and the Virgo instrument near Pisa, Italy, have made all three detectors far more sensitive to ripples in spacetime. And beginning with the third observing run, which goes from April 2019 to April 2020, LIGO and Virgo are announcing gravitational-wave signals as they happen — that is, before the sources themselves are fully vetted and confirmed as real. Finding electromagnetic radiation from these candidate events is crucial to understanding them, and immediate announcements allow astronomers to observe the sky near candidate sources at once. Of the 13…

2 min.
apollo-era data reveal the moon’s tectonic activity

A NEW LOOK AT OLD SEISMIC DATA gathered during the Apollo missions reveals that young active faults might be the source of shallow moonquakes. When the Apollo astronauts deployed seismometers on the lunar surface, they revealed 28 shallow, but sometimes surprisingly powerful, quakes between 1969 and 1977. A new study appearing May 13th in the journal Nature Geoscience links these quakes to current tectonic activity on the Moon. As the Moon loses heat from its interior, it shrinks and its surface wrinkles. Thrust faults form where the brittle crust breaks: One side of the break slips downward while the other side goes upward, a process that creates steep slopes, or scarps, typically tens of meters high. Even though these faults cover most of the lunar surface, they had largely gone undetected until 2010,…