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Stargazing LiveStargazing Live

Stargazing Live

Stargazing Live

Start your exciting astronomical adventure with Stargazing Live magazine. Join the team on location Down Under, then begin to unravel the mysteries of the Universe with our essential beginner’s guides to exploring the night sky, the equipment you’ll need to get started (surprisingly little) and how to observe the most spectacular celestial sights awaiting you this spring. Plus – subscribers to BBC Sky at Night Magazine receive

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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IN THIS ISSUE

access_time2 min.
introduction

Astronomy is the easiest science to communicate because anybody can do it, and it is immediately beautiful; the recent displays offered by Venus, Mars and the crescent Moon in the evening sky have entranced even through the glow of city lights. As with all the sciences, however, a little knowledge makes nature more beautiful. A sky full of sparkling pinpricks and dimly luminous smudges is one thing, but a sky full of worlds is quite another. Through binoculars or a small telescope, astronomy is transformed into a powerful emotional experience. There is a feeling on seeing Saturn like a child’s sketch, or the Galilean satellites shifting nightly around pastel-banded Jupiter, or the 3D swarm of The Great Cluster that’s hard to describe, but we’ve all experienced it and it never leaves…

access_time4 min.
outback adventure

Australia’s beautiful beaches and stunning natural wonders, like the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock and the Twelve Apostles, are more than enough to tempt curious travellers. Yet for amateur astronomers there is another great appeal – observing the southern sky. With a population of less than 23 million (around a third of the UK’s) and a land mass so large that much RI!:HVWHUQ!(XURSH!FRXOG!HDVLO\!"W!LQVLGH! it, there is little light pollution. Most of the country’s major towns and cities are clustered on the coast, so head inland into the red desert of the outback and there is barely a soul – or a light – to be seen. SOUTHERN DELIGHTS With so little light pollution you don’t even need a telescope to appreciate many of the wonders of the southern hemisphere night sky –…

access_time1 min.
signpost south

,W!V"UHODWLYHO\"HDV\"WR"#QG"REMHFWV"LQ"WKH" southern hemisphere, especially along the EDQG"RI"WKH"0LON\":D\$"7KHUH"DUH"SOHQW\" RI"VWDUV"GRZQ"WR"DURXQG"PDJQLWXGH"%&$'" WR"KHOS"SRLQW"D"WHOHVFRSH$"0RYLQJ"WRZDUGV" WKH"*DODFWLF"3ROH"FDQ"VRPHWLPHV"EHFRPH"D" WHVW"RI"\RXU"VWDU(KRSSLQJ"VNLOOV"EXW"WKLV"LV" WKH"VDPH"LQ"WKH"QRUWKHUQ"KHPLVSKHUH"WRR$ ,I"\RX"QHHG"WR"SRODU"DOLJQ"D"WHOHVFRSH" WKLV"FDQ"EH"D"FKDOOHQJH"LQ"WKH"VRXWKHUQ" hemisphere – there isn’t a Polaris to get \RX"FORVH"WR"WKH"&HOHVWLDO"3ROH$"+RZHYHU)"\RX FDQ"#QG"D"URXJK"SRVLWLRQ"E\"H[WHQGLQJ"WKH D[LV"RI"WKH"&UX["FRQVWHOODWLRQ"IURP"*DPPD WKURXJK"$OSKD"RXW"WR"#YH"WLPHV"LWV"OHQJWK$ )LQGLQJ"\RXU"ZD\"DURXQG"WKH"0DJHOODQLF &ORXGV"FDQ"DOVR"EH"WULFN\$"7KH\"FRQWDLQ"D" IHDVW"RI"IDLQW"QHEXODH"DQG"FOXVWHUV)"ZKLFK DUH"RIWHQ"RQO\"OLVWHG"LQ"REVFXUH"FDWDORJXHV$ Even if you use a Go-To scope that has a JRRG"GDWDEDVH)"\RXU"#HOG"RI"YLHZ"PD\" FRQWDLQ"PDQ\"FDQGLGDWHV"IRU"\RXU"REMHFW$" ,W"WDNHV"RQO\"D"PRGHUDWH"*'(LQFK"WHOHVFRSH" WR"JHW"ORVW"EXW"SHUVHYHUDQFH"ZLOO"SD\"RII$…

access_time6 min.
the big debate

Turn to pa ge $%!WR!# QG!RXW! about gala xie s , n ebul ae an d star clusters NEBULAE NORTH The northern hemisphere has some bright planetary nebulae, such as the glorious Dumbbell Nebula, M27, the Ring Nebula, M57, the Cat’s Eye Nebula and the Blue Snowball. You can have some serious fun hunting for the Blinking Nebula, too – look directly at it and it will seem to disappear, then switch to averted vision (where you don’t look directly at the nebula) and it reappears. It’s like playing hide and seek in the sky! Supernovae remnants give us the Crab Nebula, M1, and the Veil Nebula in Cygnus – a beautiful slash across the EODFNQHVV!RI!VSDFH"!7KH!PDJQL#FHQW! Orion Nebula, one of the most studied objects in the night sky, also provides a wealth of detail…

access_time3 min.
live on location

Some of the most awe-inspiring sights in the night sky are only visible from the southern hemisphere, which is why one of the world’s best known and most productive observatories is situated in the Australian outback. The Siding Spring Observatory is located in the Warrumbungle Mountains in New South Wales, 40km from the town of Coonabarabran, which is itself 500km northwest of Sydney. The site is dominated by the huge 37m-wide dome of the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT), which is slightly larger than the one at St Paul’s Cathedral. A 4m telescope has operated there for well over 30 years. Astronomer and astrophotographer David Malin took many well-known images with this telescope, riding in the prime focus cage at the top of the scope to expose photographic plates. Each of his colour images…

access_time3 min.
the big dish

As it swivels across the night sky, Parkes radio telescope is visible from many kilometres away, sitting as it does in the wide, open plains of the New South Wales outback, 320km west of Sydney. It’s been a huge part of Aussie culture for decades, for many years appearing on the local $50 banknote. But it has also gained global recognition for its many astronomical GLVFRYHULHV!"DQG"IRU"WKH"#OP" The Dish, which was based on the telescope’s role in receiving signals IURP"WKH"#UVW"PDQQHG"0RRQ"ODQGLQJ$" It’s no surprise, then, that every year more than 100,000 visitors make a detour from the nearest highway to see this attraction, despite its relative isolation. An odd sight it is too, appearing like a stubby lighthouse with a huge white bowl stuck on top. For rather than having supports at the sides…

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