Free Astronomy Magazine – January-February 2023 Issue Available For Reading (And Now In Arabic!) And Download

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.

The most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (January-February 2023) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at (and facebook).

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.

This was one of a few bio-centric images that were damn-close to making it into the article. Image copyright A. Barrington Brown, Gonville & Caius College.

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.

Browser-readable version (and PDF download):

Free Astronomy Magazine – July-August 2018 Issue Available For Reading And Download

Above: Curiosity Rover looks up at Mount Sharp, Gale Crater, frickin' Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

With two posts here and two issues accounted for (both featuring my modest contributions to the English language version), there's now even a populated category link to click on for the whole (still short) history.

The July-August issue of Free Astronomy Magazine has been up for a few weeks now and I hope you were already aware of that from the CNY Observers post about the same.

Varied enough to cover the last 13.55 billion years and even sneak out into speculative engineering efforts in the not-too-distant future, all the while short enough to finish in one educational go. Better still, New Moon Telescopes is now even more internationally recognized, albeit perhaps still in English throughout.

I had to go right to the papers that explain the process of exoatmospheric helium detection by infrared spectroscopy (see the Nature article HERE), then think that "stellar thief" is a great name for a band.

Please download, read, and pass along. Also, check out the many back issues at | Direct PDF