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All About Space No. 110

Every issue All About Space delivers fascinating articles and features on all aspects of space and space travel with mind-blowing photography and full-colour illustrations that bring the amazing universe around us to life.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
R 57,76
R 477,54
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min

It’s a groundbreaking finding that suggests there could be life elsewhere in the Solar System: the discovery of phosphine on Venus. One of the most hostile worlds in our solar neighbourhood isn’t the first place that springs to mind in our search. But what’s so important about phosphine, and why has it made us so excited? Colourless, flammable and incredibly toxic, phosphine was found in the clouds of the Venusian atmosphere. It’s in a place where it shouldn’t be, and while it could be explained by processes so far unheard of, the research team, led by Jane Greaves at Cardiff University, suspect that it could relate to life. “I thought, well, just before we throw this away, I’ll have a final go at [analysing the data],” Greaves said. “There was…

1 min
5 issue highlights

Giant galaxies Some of the biggest objects in the universe are also the most mysterious 36 Wormholes These portals through space and time might be real after all, but how would we go about detecting one? 44 The universe’s dark side Why phantom energy could cause significant changes to some cherished theories 52 Project Mercury The Right Stuffs technical consultant on the greatest turning points in spaceflight 24 Win a stargazing experience! We’re giving away a telescope, binoculars and a trip to Kielder Observatory 13 34 SUBSCRIBE TO ALL ABOUT SPACE TODAY AND YOU’LL RECEIVE Great savings off the cover price Every issue delivered straight to your door, before it arrives in the shops Exclusive subscriber edition covers A free gift! KEEP IN TOUCH /AllAboutSpaceMagazine @spaceanswers space@spaceanswers.com…

2 min
launch pad

Jupiter and its moon Europa On 25 August 2020, NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope conducted its annual check-up on Jupiter leading astronomers to try and understand how the planet’s turbulent atmosphere shifts and changes. In the same image is the gas giant’s moon Europa but the interesting detail here is the bright- white storm that’s travelling at 560 kilometres (350 miles) per hour at the midnorthern latitudes. Erupting on 18 August 2020, weather systems like this usually only pop up once every six years but this specimen offers the chance to study a young and evolving Jovian storm. Enceladus in infrared Although NASA’s Cassini spacecraft plunged to its death through Saturn’s atmosphere on 15 September 2017, the data it collected is still instrumental in discovering more about the ringed planet and its satellites. Using…

3 min
physicists attempt to break the rules of gravity

A new test of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity has proved the iconic physicist right again-this time by reanalysing the famous first-ever picture of a black hole, which was released in April 2019. That image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of galaxy Messier 87 is the first direct observation of a black hole’s shadow – the imprint of the event horizon, a sphere around the black hole’s singularity from which no light can escape. Einstein’s theory predicts the size of the event horizon based on the mass of the black hole, and in April 2019 it was already clear that the shadow fits general relativity’s prediction well. But now, using a new technique to analyse the image, the researchers who made the picture showed just how well…

1 min
six galaxies found trapped around a supermassive black hole

New data from the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and other observatories gives astronomers a sense of black hole evolution when the universe was less than a billion years old. One mystery of supermassive black holes is how they got so large, some containing billions of times the mass of the Sun. Supermassive black holes are also relatively common: they lurk at the hearts of most, if not all, galaxies, including our own Milky Way. The new observations give fuel to the idea that such black holes grow in gassy environments within large, web-like structures. “This research was mainly driven by the desire to understand some of the most challenging astronomical objects – supermassive black holes in the early universe,” said Marco Mignoli, an astronomer at…

1 min
star is seen being shredded by ‘spaghettification’

Telescopes have captured the rare light flash from a dying star as it was ripped apart by a supermassive black hole. This rarely seen ‘tidal disruption event’ – which creates spaghettification in stars as they stretch and stretch – is the closest such known event to happen at only 215 million light years from Earth. One light year is the distance light travels in a year, equating to about 10 trillion kilometres (6 trillion miles). “The idea of a black hole ‘sucking in’ a nearby star sounds like science fiction. But this is exactly what happens in a tidal disruption event,” said Matt Nicholl, a lecturer and Royal Astronomical Society research fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK. Researchers caught the event in action using numerous telescopes, including the European…