Above: This visible light wide-field view shows the rich star clouds in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer) in the direction of the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The entire image is filled with vast numbers of stars — but far more remain hidden behind clouds of dust and are only revealed in infrared images. This view was created from photographs in red and blue light and forming part of the Digitized Sky Survey 2. The field of view is approximately 3.5 degrees x 3.6 degrees. ESO and Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin and S. Guisard
The most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (May-June 2020) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at www.astropublishing.com (click the link to go directly to the issue).
It is my hope that you had opportunity to read the perspectives from several amateur astronomers (myself included) and their organizations in the March-April issue (site announcement). May-June returns to the selected survey of astronomical content of local and cosmological interest from NASA/ESA, ESO, ALMA, as well as our fearless leader/editor Michele Ferrara. His isolation in Italy and my isolation in New York have provided us with a most unexpected exchange of updates during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is fortunate for us both that our shared avocations of writing and astronomy are as compatible with social distancing as they are. For myself, I've been fortunate that we've also had some excellent clear (albeit cold) nighttime skies recently.
For those wanting a quick look at what the issue has to offer, the Table of Contents is reproduced below.
The web browser-readable version: www.astropublishing.com/3FAM2020/
Jump right to the PDF download (18 MB): May-June 2020
Above: This illustration shows what the TRAPPIST-1 system might look like from a vantage point near planet TRAPPIST-1f (at right). Credit: SETI Institute.
Slightly late to the posting game – the January-February issue of Free Astronomy Magazine is available for your reading and downloading pleasure. Highlights from the original content (h/t Michele Ferrara) include an excellent introduction to panspermia and the wonderful ways in which small, dense solar systems (like TRAPPIST-1, one of the only solar systems with its own website – www.trappist.one) might serve as test beds for better understanding if such an explanation is applicable to ourselves and our Earth – either from a local source (Mars?) or from the greater beyond.
Please download, read, and pass along. Also, check out the many back issues at www.astropublishing.com
astropublishing.com/1FAM2019/ | Direct PDF
Click the Table of Contents image below for a full-size view.
Above: Marius Hills and a Hole in the Moon. Image Credit: NASA, Lunar Orbiter 2; Inset: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
I am very pleased to mark my new editing contributions to the English-language version of Free Astronomy Magazine, starting with the current May-June 2018 issue. This new role was made possible by Michele Ferrara, Editor-in-Chief of the free and multi-language astronomy magazine that I have been very happily promoting on the CNYO site for several years now – and that I now get to promote here and on the CNYO site with my NASA Solar System Ambassador hat on. A combination of space agency publications (all the heavy hitters – NASA, ESA, ESO, ALMA, and Keck, among others) and original content, FAM has been a wonderful resource for those wanting to take a step beyond observation and into hard science and the many missions that make cutting-edge astronomy and astrophysics possible. It’s not only convenient to have a number of significant articles combined into a single magazine, but the inclusion of informative images and a great layout makes the download and read a no-brainer.
The process started in early April of figuring out what it meant to be providing a bit of translating and editing skills for both the text and the scientific content – that it, it not only has to be correct, you have to make sure it's right as well (let that sink in!). And the timing could not have been better (although that wasn't known until later in April).
Finally, it's a wonderful thing to be able to combine science outreach (which I very much enjoy) with an established brand that is doing more than its share to make astronomy and space science accessible to a considerable part of the global population (we’re talking bimonthly magazines translated into English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese, with requests for additional translations into other languages scrolling on the main page).
The Table Of Contents for the May-June 2018 issue is reproduced below. Follow links below to the on-screen PDF and downloadable versions. If you enjoy it, please forward along the links and astropublishing.com site.