The highlight of the issue is Michele's article "The Fermi paradox – many solutions, no certainty." This discussion extends his lengthy streak of articles on the topics of exobiology, technosignatures, SETI focus, and simple statistics by including a recent reading list of books published on the topics from which we might all glean insights into what the current state of the fields are as of the early 2020's (historians, or those aliens themselves, can someday revisit our thoughts on the topic and wonder how we managed to be so prescient/way-the-frack-off at this moment in time).
The lowlight of the issue concerns the state of light pollution and the "we can't seem to get there from here" state of our transition to LEDs. "Stars are disappearing faster and faster" is not only technically true due to the observed acceleration of the expansion of the universe, but also true down here on Earth with the continued proliferation of nighttime illumination (I assume this is correct, as we don't get out much at night given the ages of the kids in the house). Not enough of us are fortunate to have a John McMahon in our midst promoting proper lighting and pushing for lighting ordinances. I lament the apparent demise of selene-ny.org (now defunct, but the group and site left its mark as a source of information online – wikipedia, slideshare, sky&tel, The Astronomical League) and can only hope you consider visiting the International Dark-Sky Association website and giving the astronomically-more-friendly lighting fixtures list a once-over before renovating.
Above: Jezero Crater as Seen by ESA's Mars Express Orbiter: This image shows the remains of an ancient delta in Mars' Jezero Crater, which NASA's Perseverance Mars rover will explore for signs of fossilized microbial life. See NASA's Mars 2020 site for more information.
My contribution this month (with my NASA SSA hat on) is a chemistry-heavy dive into the dry lake bed that is Jezero Crater after the 15 September 2022 announcement from NASA entitled NASA’s Perseverance Rover Investigates Geologically Rich Mars Terrain (and, for more background, see the March-April 2021 issue). The request from our fearless leader Michele Ferrara was to consider this report in the context of a lot of the "(possible) signs of life" articles written in the days after this announcement, for which there were many related articles. I am very pleased to report, that, generally, all of the articles I found in my research were appropriately conservative in their analyses (after the headlines in some cases, of course). But I wrote an article anyway.
Some of the text might have benefited from some bio-specific figures in the article, but there's a wealth of catch phrases ripe for web searching and much more information, leaving the article itself (still at 10 pages) to something that returns the reader back to the overarching issue of the difference between the detection of simple organics on Mars and anything else one might want to extract and extrapolate from that detection.
I'm excited to report that this year will also mark the availability of the magazine in Arabic, thanks in astronomical part to the efforts of members of the Jeddah Astronomy Society (twitter, facebook). It is a beautiful script and all parties (not I) involved deserve plenty of credit for handling the conversion and formatting.