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Your Guide to the Universe
Current Issue: July/August 2021
In the July/August issue, we recall the accomplishments and discuss the legacy of the giant Arecibo radio telescope, which collapsed late last year. We’ll also tell you how scientists are helping prepare for future long-duration space missions.
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Astronaut
A Giant Legacy
Merlin offers his views on contacting extraterrestrial civilizations, discusses lightspeed, and explains the Sun’s orbit around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Pose your own questions for future issues.
Summer’s signature star pattern, the Summer Triangle, stands well up in the east on July evenings, and even higher in August. At the same time, the curving body of Scorpius and the teapot of Sagittarius scuttle low across the south, anchoring the summer Milky Way. The planets Jupiter and Saturn, the giants of the solar system, are at their best in August, while Venus highlights the western sky shortly after sunset as the dazzling Evening Star.
Looking for dark matter in odd lightning bolts; the wobbly planet Venus; recent volcanic activity on Mars; remaking the Amazon; the right places for Tatooine-like planets; settling in on Mars.
There’s a link between the recent winter storms in Texas and storms on the Sun a century ago: electricity.
McDonald Observatory is helping fight a scourge of the night sky: light pollution. Watch videos and learn more.
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In the Next Issue
James Webb Space Telescope, the most highly anticipated space science mission in decades, is just about ready for launch, and we’ll profile the telescope, discuss some of its science priorities, and tell you how much astronomers are counting on it. We also will tell you how our changing climate is affecting astronomical observations.
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