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All About Space No. 120

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

Have you ever wanted to know everything about the universe? This month, All About Space has the full guide to our cosmos, from its birth in the Big Bang and the objects within it to how we suspect it’s going to end – turn to page 14 for our complete guide. The evenings might be lighter, but if you wait long enough until it gets dark, now is the perfect time to explore our very own galaxy – the Milky Way – with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. There are plenty of targets within its dusty path across the night sky, so we’ve provided guides beyond the summer and into autumn and winter to offer you the very best advice on capturing the most stunning gems of the galaxy.…

3 min
launch pad

6 JULY 2021 Opening night for CONCERTO This stunning portrait of NGC 6334, also known as the Cat’s Paw Nebula, is one of the first images taken by the CONCERTO instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX). The white and pink tones have been combined with an image of the same region taken by the ESO’s Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) in near-infrared light. CONCERTO is designed to study cosmic bodies that formed between 600 million and 1.2 billion years after the Big Bang to aid our understanding of the first generation of stars. 9 JULY 2021 Galactic giants This impressive image, taken with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, has captured two enormous galaxies nestled within the huge Perseus Cluster approximately 350 million light years away. On the…

2 min
astronomers spot first activity on giant mega comet beyond saturn

Spotting the first signs of activity on a comet of gargantuan size came down to a time-zone advantage. Astronomers in New Zealand were the first to spot a coma spreading around the mega comet C/2014 UN271, also known as Bernardinelli-Bernstein, which may be 1,000 times more massive than a typical comet. It could even be the most massive comet ever found in all of recorded history. The team that monitors images captured by the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) is spread around the world, and images from one of LCO’s one-metre telescopes hosted at the South African Astronomical Observatory were available on 23 June at 05:00 BST. That happens to be afternoon in New Zealand. “The other folks were asleep,” recalled LCO team member Michele Bannister, of New Zealand’s University of Canterbury.…

1 min
curiosity rover discovers that evidence of past life on mars may have been erased

Curiosity made a surprising discovery while investigating clay-rich sedimentary rocks around Gale crater, a former lake that was made when an asteroid struck the Red Planet roughly 3.6 billion years ago. Clay is a good signpost towards evidence of life because it’s usually created when rocky minerals weather away and rot after contact with water – a key ingredient for life. It’s also an excellent material for storing microbial fossils. But when Curiosity took two samples of ancient mudstone, a sedimentary rock containing clay, from patches of the dried-out lake bed – dated to 3.5 billion years ago and just 400 metres (1,312 feet) apart – researchers found one patch contained only half the expected amount of clay minerals. Instead that patch held a greater quantity of iron oxides, the compounds…

1 min
astronomers discover a quartet of teenage alien planets far, far away

Astronomers have discovered a quartet of teenage exoplanets in data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). The planets in question lie a little over 130 light years away from Earth. They orbit a pair of little orange dwarf stars, each smaller than the Sun, named TOI 2076 and TOI 1808 – TOI is short for TESS Object of Interest. Even though the two stars are not close – they’re actually a whole 30 light years apart – they’re moving in the same direction, and both stars are around the same age, suggesting that they formed in the same place. “The planets in both systems are in a transitional – or teenage – phase of their life cycle,” said Christina Hedges, an astronomer at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute and…

1 min
rare ‘teardrop’ star and its invisible partner are doomed to explode in a massive supernova

Astronomers have discovered a rare, teardropshaped star swirling through the cosmos some 1,500 light years from the Sun. Why does the star have this unusual shape? Because it’s in a toxic relationship with a partner, which is ripping the life from its body. In stellar relationships like these, there is no amicable uncoupling; the romance only ends when both stars explode in a violent, thermonuclear explosion that’s visible across the galaxy. But astronomers are fired up about this twisted stellar relationship. The system, HD265435, is one of only three known binary star systems in the universe – and the closest one to Earth – that is clearly destined to end in a Type Ia supernova. These types of stellar explosions occur when a white dwarf shares an orbit with a larger,…