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All About Space No. 117

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.

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

in this issue

1 min

Issue 117 Did you know that there are some stars in the universe that are missing? In this issue of All About Space, we discover that an international team of astronomers is currently searching for them, but are they gone for good? It turns out that we might have chanced upon a cosmic object that has been unknown up until now – and with quite mindboggling implications: could this be the smoking gun for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)? Turn to page 14 to find out. Also this month, we uncover the scrapped plans that would have seen humanity reaching for the Moon much sooner than the Apollo astronauts; give you tips and tricks on how to spot fake astrophotography images – for those who have ever been caught out on social…

3 min
launch pad

21 APRIL 2021 The Milky Way’s halo A radiant blue-green halo encompasses the Milky Way in this map that spans about 200,000 to 325,000 light years from the heart of our galaxy. The darker indigo glow depicts a low concentration of stars, whereas lighter blues represent increasing stellar density. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) orbits the Milky Way and will eventually merge with our galactic home. It is pictured in the lower right-hand side of the image. A flurry of stellar activity can be seen as a sweeping vivid glow in the lower half of the image, caused by the LMC cruising through the galactic halo. 31 MARCH 2021 X-rays burst from Uranus The hazy blue of Uranus is besmirched by a pink glow: X-ray emissions captured for the first time by NASA’s Chandra X-ray…

2 min
nasa’s perseverance makes oxygen on mars for the first time

YOUR FIRST CONTACT WITH THE UNIVERSE IN COOPERATION WITH SPACE.com NASA’s Perseverance rover just notched another first on Mars, one that may help pave the way for astronauts to explore the Red Planet someday. The rover successfully used its MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment) instrument to generate oxygen from the thin, carbon dioxide-dominated Martian atmosphere for the first time, demonstrating technology that could both help astronauts breathe and help propel the rockets that get them back home to Earth. The MOXIE milestone occurred on 20 April, just one day after Perseverance watched over another epic Martian first: the first Mars flight of NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter, which rode to the Red Planet on the rover’s belly. “This is a critical first step at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen on Mars,” said Jim…

1 min
tiny newfound ‘unicorn’ is closest known black hole to earth

Astronomers have apparently found the closest known black hole to Earth, a weirdly tiny object dubbed ‘the Unicorn’ that lurks just 1,500 light years from us. The nickname has a double meaning: not only does the black hole candidate reside in the constellation Monoceros (the Unicorn), its incredibly low mass – about three times that of the Sun – makes it nearly one of a kind. The Unicorn has a companion – a bloated red giant star that’s nearing the end of its life. That companion has been observed by a variety of instruments over the years, including the All Sky Automated Survey and NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. Scientists analysed the data from these instruments and noticed something interesting. The red giant’s light shifts in intensity periodically, suggesting that another…

1 min
spacex could land astronauts on the moon in 2024, says elon musk

Elon Musk doesn’t think NASA’s 2024 Moon landing goal is out of reach. The space agency is working to get people back to the Moon via its Artemis program, which aims to establish a long-term, sustainable human presence on and around Earth’s nearest neighbour by the end of the 2020s. In 2019, the Trump administration directed NASA to make the first crewed Artemis landing by 2024. Experts have generally viewed that target as overly ambitious, and it’s unclear whether the timeline will hold under President Joe Biden. But Musk, SpaceX’s founder and CEO, thinks it is indeed achievable with the company’s Starship deep-space transportation system, which NASA recently selected as Artemis’ crewed Moon lander. “I think it will happen. I think 2024 seems likely,” said Musk in a news conference “We’re…

1 min
proxima centauri shoots out humongous flare, with big implications for alien life

YOUR FIRST CONTACT WITH THE UNIVERSE Scientists have spotted one of the largest stellar flares ever recorded in our galaxy. The jets of plasma shot outward from the Sun’s nearest neighbour, the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri. The flare, which was around 100 times more powerful than any experienced in our Solar System, could change the way scientists think about stellar radiation and alien life. Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star located approximately 4.25 light years from Earth. Its mass is one-eighth of the Sun’s, and it is orbited by two known exoplanets. One of these planets, Proxima Centauri b, is considered to be Earth-like and lies within the star’s habitable zone – the distance from a star that could support the development of life. Stellar flares are the result of…