Above: No doubt saving the hi-def cameras for the bigger chassis. Ingenuity's shadow as captured during its second official flight (taken too late for issue inclusion). [NASA/JPL-Caltech]
Yet another Mars 2020 mission success that cut uncomfortably close to the submission and translation deadline for the magazine, and humbled yet again by its inclusion as the cover story (although the mission probably had something to do with it).
Point of fact, this issue is unique in that both sides of my parents' families also have some level of contribution to featured articles. For Ingenuity, this connection comes from my mother's side, where my Aunts Anglia and Shelly both work for AeroVironment, one of the component manufacturers. As for the two articles about M87, my genius (not used lightly) cousin George Wong, A.B.D. was a contributing researcher to the first study, including the imaging of the supermassive black hole at its center.
The second of the two articles, "How to measure the relativistic jet of M87," is an interesting combination of imaging and straightforward math by authors Aniceto Porcel and Miguel Sánchez to obtain a quality estimate of a feature that any equipped amateur astronomer could manage to capture photons of. The ALPO now has its own exoplanet division – if amateurs can detect and monitor exoplanets from their backyards (one almost giggles at the thought of how fast the community has adopted and adapted to advancements in optics and detectors), something as blindingly bright as the relativistic jets from a number of known candidates should be an easy catch for a future imaging and dimensional estimate award.
Browser-readable version: www.astropublishing.com/3FAM2021/
Jump to the PDF download (12.7 MB): May-June 2021