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September 2021

The world's best-selling astronomy magazine offers you the most exciting, visually stunning, and timely coverage of the heavens above. Each monthly issue includes expert science reporting, vivid color photography, complete sky coverage, spot-on observing tips, informative telescope reviews, and much more! All this in a user-friendly style that's perfect for astronomers at any level.

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United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
R 99,78
R 642,19
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
quick takes

SPLISH SPLASH Nearly six months after hitching a ride to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, NASA’s first commercial crew — carried by a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule — safely splashed into the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Panama City, Florida, on May 2. COSMIC HUM Voyager 1, which launched in 1977 and is now near the edge of the solar system, detected a faint but persistent murmur coming from the relatively empty space between stars. According to new research, the hum is from low-level, long-lasting vibrations in interstellar plasma. FLOATING FILM Russia’s Roscosmos space agency recently announced plans to send a director and actress to the ISS to shoot a movie tentatively titled Challenge. The expedition is expected to launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soyuz spacecraft…

1 min
jove, the colorful giant

There’s no shortage of stunning Jupiter shots out there. But this striking set of images showcases just how different the gas giant appears when viewed in different wavelengths of light. Notice that Jupiter’s most recognizable feature — the Great Red Spot — is almost entirely invisible in the infrared shot (right) taken by the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii. Meanwhile, the famous raging storm, along with nearby Oval BA (or Red Spot Jr.), is obvious in the visible (middle) and ultraviolet (left) images, both obtained using the Hubble Space Telescope. All three views were simultaneously captured at 15h41m UT on Jan. 11, 2017. JUPITER IN INFRARED: INTERNATIONAL GEMINI OBSERVATORY/NOIRLAB/NSF/AURA, M.H. WONG (UC BERKELEY) ET AL. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: M. ZAMANI.; JUPITER IN VISIBLE AND ULTRAVIOLET: NASA/ESA/NOIRLAB/NSF/AURA/M.H. WONG AND I. DE PATER (UC BERKELEY)…

2 min
reasonable force?

Physicists aren’t just considering subatomic particles as possible culprits for dark matter. For instance, various versions of MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) attempt to revise our well-tested theory of gravity to account for dark matter’s perceived effects. Perhaps the issue isn’t that scientists misunderstand how gravity works, but rather that there exists an unknown fundamental force. The four known fundamental forces depend on force-carrying particles called bosons. Photons act as the boson for electromagnetism. Gluons are responsible for the strong nuclear force. W and Z bosons serve the weak force. And physicists believe the gravitational force is carried by gravitons, though these particles have yet to be detected. Gravity doesn’t play well with the other known forces, though — at least, not on the tiniest of scales. And some think this could be…

1 min
locating asteroids

SPEEDIER EARTH overtakes the main-belt asteroid 89 Julia, causing it to go retrograde, or appear to move westward, through the constellation Aquarius. You’ll find it straight south of Pegasus’ nose star, magnitude 2.4 Enif (Epsilon [ε] Pegasi). The bright globular cluster M2, visible in a 4-inch scope from the suburbs as an unresolved cotton ball, serves as a jumping-off point to magnitude 9 Julia. Avoid the nights leading up to the Full Moon, when there is extra light in the sky. Hiding in plain sight, Julia’s gradual shift from night to night gives it away. Keep a sketch of the three or four brightest stars in the field where the chart indicates, and you’ll pick out the one that moved. That’s how Édouard Stephan found it in 1866, by meticulously comparing…

2 min
cosmic portraits

1. TANGLED UP IN BLUE Eerie blues and yellows put a new spin on these familiar objects: the Orion Nebula (M42), De Mairan’s Nebula (M43), the Horsehead Nebula, and the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024). The image was processed with an unconventional “OHS” filter palette, mapping OIII to red, Hα to green, and SII to blue — the reverse of the popular SHO combination made famous by Hubble. The photographers reported that Hubble palette and true color versions “did not really make the objects pop as much.” • Antoine and Dalia Grelin 2. CARINA’S GEM NGC 3293 is an open cluster on the fringes of the Carina Nebula, blazing with hot, blue stars as young as 8 million years old. This image comprises 11 hours and 40 minutes of total exposure from a 17”…

4 min
a variable delight

Glenn has been an avid observer since a friend showed him Saturn through a small backyard scope in 1963. I timed this column to coincide with a feature article in this issue about the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), written by the organization’s director, Stella Kafka. If you haven’t already read it, turn to page 54 and do so now. Then come back here, and I’ll give you a basic rundown on how to observe visual variable stars. Let me begin by sharing my own experience with observing variable stars and the AAVSO. I joined the AAVSO back in the summer of 1980, thanks to a chance meeting at Stellafane with then-director Janet Mattei. Her contagious enthusiasm for variable star observing convinced me to become a member. Since then, I’ve…