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Your Guide to the Universe
Current Issue: September/October 2021
In this issue, we profile the James Webb Space Telescope — the most highly anticipated space science mission in decades — discuss some of its science priorities and tell you how much astronomers are counting on it. We also tell you how our changing climate could affect astronomical observations.
Hopes, Dreams, and Beryllium Hexagons
Blurring the View
Merlin explains why the planets look so bright and steady, ponders the search for life in the universe, and discusses Earth’s barely fluctuating weight.
Pose your own questions for future issues.
The stars of autumn begin to push those of summer out of the way as the nights grow longer and cooler. Pegasus is in view in the east as night falls, with several related constellations following the flying horse into the sky over the next few hours. Venus and Jupiter, the brightest objects in the night sky other than the Moon, bookend the early evening sky, while Mercury stages its best morning appearance for the year in October.
* A spacecraft designed to give a small asteroid a whack is scheduled for launch in October
* Astronomers study two black hole-neutron star mergers
* Probing stellar nurseries
* Possible signs of life from a moon of Saturn
* A possible new way for massive stars to die
The world’s largest astronomy museum; helping astronomers identify galaxies; forever sunny.
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In the Next Issue
NASA and other space agencies are getting ready to deploy a wave of robotic probes to the Moon, and we’ll tell you all about them. We’ll also talk about a rarely discussed class of black holes that could be left over from the birth of the universe.
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