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The December 2013 issue of Astronomy Now is on sale at newsagents or available direct by from our online store.

Also available for the iPad and iPhone. Download the Astronomy Now app from the Apple iTunes store.

Astronomy Now December 2013 Cover

Focus: Comets


A European mission to a comet is just the next step in our quest to get ever closer to one of these icy bodies.


'Hairy stars', the ancient Greeks called them. Where do comets come from and what causes them to grow a tail?


There is a breed of comet that likes it hot - skirting the solar corona, they swoop in from the frozen depths to be incinerated. Now Comet ISON is set to join these Sun-grazers, but will it survive?



With the Sun at its most active in eleven years, now is the perfect time to visit northern Europe to see the Northern Lights. Aurora photographer Fredrik Broms describes these shimmering lights, where to see them and how to view them.


It is a bumper Night Sky section this issue, with D-day for Comet ISON, Venus a magnificent evening star, a double length beginners' sky tour and the Crab Nebula as our object of the month.


Orion is overflowing with multiple stars as John Nanson hones in on two separate pockets of delectable doubles.


As the Kepler mission comes to an end, astronomers are already turning their attention towards what comes next. Keith Cooper reports on a mission to measure the atmospheres of exoplanets.



In the news this month: Kepler serves up another helping of exoplanets, Evaporating lakes on Titan, The asteroid with six tails and Did a comet once explode over Egypt?

Regular 2

This month's night sky section features a plethora of planets including Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter, plus an in-depth look at the Pleiades star cluster.

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There is no better introduction to observational astronomy for budding astronomers than to delve into the delights of the spectacular winter sky.


The efficiency with which light is transported down your telescope tube is almost as important as the quality of your optics.

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Astronomy Now September 2013

The November 2013 issue of Astronomy Now, along with all other back issues, is available to buy from our online store. See inside this issue.

See for yourself

Download a free PDF version of the January 2011 issue of Astronomy Now. (20 MB file)