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The May 2014 issue of Astronomy Now is on sale at newsagents or available direct by from our online store.

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Astronomy Now May 2014 Cover

Focus: Projects for citizen scientists

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With a little dedication, patience and skill you could join the ranks of the amateur astronomers who have discovered one of the most explosive events in the Universe: a supernova. The first amateur to discover a supernova in Britain, Mark Armstrong, tells you how.

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You do not need a large telescope and to spend many dark nights under the stars to discover a comet. Instead, writes Keith Cooper, you can do so from the comfort of your own home.

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It is inevitable that, in its celestial wanderings, the Moon will encounter and even pass in front of bright stars. Such events provide a great opportunity for your society or observing group to team up to view what astronomers call an occultation.

Features

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With the discovery of ancient gravitational waves revealing that in its very earliest moments the Universe 'inflated' at rapid speed, Nicola Jenner explores how cosmology's 'missing link' has given our theories about the origin of the Universe a welcome boost.

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An object around a star 25 light years away is puzzling astronomers - is it a planet or not? If it is not, then what is it? Isadora Fontaine looks at the possible answers.

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Meteor observing used to be the purview of the back garden astronomer, camped out for the night on a lazily reclining deck-chair, looking patiently up at the sky waiting for a shooting star. Now, enthusiasts can capture scientifically valuable meteor data using video cameras and computers, writes William Stewart.

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Astronomers have identified a geriatric star whose parents belonged to the first generation of stars to exist in the Universe. Jasmin Fox-Skelly discovers what this aged star can teach us about the early days of the Universe.

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In this multi-part series, David Arditti guides you through the elements of high-resolution imaging and image-processing for the bright planets and the Moon. This month he focuses on a low Saturn, at opposition on 10 May.

Regulars

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In our 18-page Night Sky guide: The ringed planet Saturn comes to opposition in Libra, Mars is still bright, Jupiter is hanging on and the eighth closest comet to Earth ever recorded may spawn a new meteor shower.

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This May it is Saturn's turn in the spotlight as it reaches its best in the sky. Peter Grego reveals what the ringed planet will show to observers this spring.

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Geoffrey Lenox-Smith investigates wide-field imaging using a camera lens in place of a telescope.

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A British-built alt-az mount makes for the perfect accessory on which to stabilise your grab 'n' go telescope, writes Neil English.

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The April 2014 issue of Astronomy Now, along with all other back issues, is available to buy from our online store. See inside this issue.


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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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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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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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