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The April 2014 issue of Astronomy Now is on sale! Order direct from our store (free 1st class post & to UK addresses). The Astronomy Now iPad/iPhone editions are now available worldwide in the iTunes store.




Book Reviews



Deep Space Propulsion: A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight

The Story of Astronomy

Exoplanets: Finding, Exploring and Understanding Alien Worlds

Space Probes: 50 Years of Exploration from Luna 1 to New Horizons

Deep Sky Wonders: A Tour of the Universe

ARCHIVE

PATRICK MOORE BOOKS



Events


7 & 8 February

European AstroFest 2014

The greatest astronomy show on Earth returns to London.




Shuttle Movies




The most complete source of video from the countdown, launch and mission of space shuttle Discovery is available here! Spaceflight Now's STS-121 archive includes more than 200 movies you can watch online or download to your computer.

Video Collection






Cassini spots possible formation of new moon

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet's known moons.

   FULL STORY
Asteroids Ceres and Vesta are at their best in April
It's not just the red planet Mars which is wowing astronomers this month. The dwarf planet Ceres and the brightest minor planet Vesta lie a mere two degrees apart, just 15 degrees northeast of Mars among the stars of Virgo.
   FULL STORY
Mars finally comes to opposition this week
The planet Mars is at its best on 8 April when it lies opposite the Sun in the sky and is observable for most of the night, shining at magnitude -1.47 among the stars of Virgo, just south of the celestial equator.
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Earth's frightening close call with a solar super storm
On 23 July 2012 the Sun launched a magnetic attack that only narrowly missed Earth by nine days -- a relatively close and terrifying call.
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NASA space assets detect ocean inside Saturn moon
NASA's Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence Saturn's moon Enceladus harbours a large underground ocean of liquid water, furthering scientific interest in the moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes.
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Possible new nova flares up in constellation of Cygnus
A new star, a possible nova, has been discovered by Japanese astronomers in Cygnus the Swan, the summer's signature constellation.
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Rosetta's pioneering Philae comet lander reactivated
Europe's Rosetta spacecraft has returned an image of its distant comet target as ground controllers received the first signals from probe's piggyback Philae lander Friday after hibernating nearly three years in a power-saving sleep mode.
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New discovery may redefine solar system's outer frontier
One of the most distant icy bodies ever seen in the Solar System has been found, but its strange orbit hints at something even more extraordinary: an undiscovered planet larger than Earth even further away from the Sun, corralling objects within the inner Oort Cloud into looping, elongated orbits.
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   PRESS RELEASE
Hubble spots Mars-bound comet sprout multiple jets
The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged a comet that will pass close to Mars later this year, revealing what appear to be two jets of dust coming off the nucleus in opposite directions.
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Scientists find asteroid with remarkable ring system
Observations at many sites in South America, including ESO's La Silla Observatory, have made the surprise discovery that the remote asteroid Chariklo is surrounded by two dense and narrow rings.
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Herschel completes survey of dust in local Universe
The largest census of dust in local galaxies has been completed using data from ESA's Herschel space observatory, providing a huge legacy to the scientific community.
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Leo's brightest star set to disappear for N. America
Look out for the best asteroid occultation ever from North America as the bright naked eye star Regulus winks out this week!
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Gravitational waves provide strong evidence for inflation
The first direct evidence for not only the inflation of the Universe when it was a mere fraction of a second old, but also the presence of gravitational waves rippling through space, has come to light following observations made by the BICEP2 telescope located at the South Pole.
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NASA's WISE survey turns up no sign of Planet X
After searching hundreds of millions of objects across our sky, NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system commonly dubbed "Planet X."
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Economics, water plumes to drive Europa mission study
NASA plans to use funding proposed by the Obama administration to narrow concepts for a billion-dollar mission to Jupiter's icy moon Europa, according to NASA officials eyeing a launch of the long-awaited probe in the mid-2020s.
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Astronomers surprised SOFIA fell under budget axe
NASA's proposed budget for 2015 would slash funding for a U.S.-German airborne infrared observatory unless international partners or other institutions supply money to keep the sophisticated astronomy platform in the sky.
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Cassini mission completes 100th fly of Titan
NASA's Cassini spacecraft, in the final months of its first decade spiraling around Saturn, zipped past the moon Titan on Thursday for the 100th time, continuing an unbroken string of flybys of one of the most Earth-like worlds in the known universe.
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ExoMars rover on track despite funding gap
The lead builder of Europe's ExoMars rover, the British division of Airbus Defence and Space, has started procuring critical components for the Mars mission as the European Space Agency culls the continent to close a funding gap.
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Astronomers spot record-breaking lunar impact
A meteorite with the mass of a small car crashed into the Moon last September, according to Spanish astronomers. The impact, the biggest seen to date, produced a bright flash and would have been easy to spot from the Earth.
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Europe to build planet-hunting observatory
The European Space Agency has selected an observatory for launch in the next decade to stare at up to a million nearby stars for signs of habitable worlds and probe their size, mass and composition.
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Scientists reveal the anatomy of an asteroid
ESO's New Technology Telescope has been used to find the first evidence that asteroids can have a highly varied internal structure. By making exquisitely precise measurements astronomers have found that different parts of the asteroid Itokawa have different densities.
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Mars rover sees Earth as brilliant evening star
Reminiscent of the iconic pale blue dot photograph from the Voyager 1 space probe, the Curiosity Mars rover has sent home another cosmic postcard showing the Earth hanging over the rugged Martian horizon as an evening star.
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Another AstroFest success!
Thousands of astronomers and enthusiasts converged on London for AstroFest 2014! Relive the action on our social media accounts for news and images from exhibitors and speakers.
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Space telescopes help study burned-out galaxies
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, and Europe's Herschel Space Observatory, have pieced together the evolutionary sequence of compact elliptical galaxies that erupted and burned out early in the history of the universe.
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Exoplanet probe leads pack of ESA mission candidates
A space-based observatory to hunt for habitable planets around other stars is the leading candidate to win the financial backing of the European Space Agency later this month.
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ESA says Rosetta in good shape after snooze
A first look at the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft after its reactivation last week shows the probe endured an unprecedented power-saving hibernation with few problems, giving engineers confidence the mission can continue the final leg of its decade-long pursuit of a little-known comet thought to harbor the building blocks of life.
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NASA moon probe captures fleeting view of sister craft
Coupling a fortuitous orbital alignment with meticulous planning, a camera aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter caught a smeared glimpse of another moon probe in an image released Wednesday.
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Bright, young supernova outburst in Messier 82
In what could be one of the observing highlights of 2014, a very young, bright supernova has been discovered in the popular, nearby and well-placed galaxy Messier 82 in Ursa Major.
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Rosetta's comet chase is on
Fresh out of an unprecedented power-saving sleep mode, Europe's comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft awakened and phoned home Monday on the way to an enigmatic ball of rock and ice for a daring close-up inspection later this year.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
European Space Agency's Gaia mission settles in at L2
The star-surveying Gaia observatory completed a tricky manoeuvre Tuesday to park itself nearly a million miles from Earth, arriving at a remote operating post to begin scanning the galaxy to plot the locations and motions of a billion stars.
   FULL STORY
Curiosity rover spotted in imagery from Mars orbiter
A high-resolution camera mounted on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has collected imagery showing the Curiosity rover's trek across Gale Crater toward a three-mile-high mountain.
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A Jovian spectacular!
Jupiter, the king of the planets comes to opposition, opposite the Sun in the sky, on 5 January to present close to the very best possible observing opportunity the gas giant ever can.
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Revered Spirit rover landed on Mars a decade ago
Ten years ago Friday, the Spirit rover made an airbag-cushioned landing on Mars to begin a six-year exploration of Gusev Crater, outlasting even the most enthusiastic of prognostications from the mission's engineering and science teams.
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Quadrantids begin the 2014 meteor shower calendar
The Quadrantids is the first meteor shower of the year and kicks things off in fine fashion on the night of January 3/4, although inclement weather can often disappoint keen observers wrapped up warm in the long January night.
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For more news stories see our News Archive

The Planets
From tiny Mercury to distant Neptune and Pluto, The Planets profiles each of the Solar System's members in depth, featuring the latest imagery from space missions. The tallest mountains, the deepest canyons, the strongest winds, raging atmospheric storms, terrain studded with craters and vast worlds of ice are just some of the sights you'll see on this 100-page tour of the planets.
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 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Hubble Reborn
Hubble Reborn takes the reader on a journey through the Universe with spectacular full-colour pictures of galaxies, nebulae, planets and stars as seen through Hubble's eyes, along the way telling the dramatic story of the space telescope, including interviews with key scientists and astronauts.
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 E.U. STORE
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3D Universe
Witness the most awesome sights of the Universe as they were meant to be seen in this 100-page extravaganza of planets, galaxies and star-scapes, all in 3D!
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 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Infinity Rising
This special publication features the photography of British astro-imager Nik Szymanek and covers a range of photographic methods from basic to advanced. Beautiful pictures of the night sky can be obtained with a simple camera and tripod before tackling more difficult projects, such as guided astrophotography through the telescope and CCD imaging.
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 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Exploring Mars
Astronomy Now is pleased to announce the publication of Exploring Mars. The very best images of Mars taken by orbiting spacecraft and NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers fill up the 98 glossy pages of this special edition!
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