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 – September-October 2022 Issue Available For Reading And Download

Above: "My God, it's full of galaxies!" From the image description: "Thousands of galaxies flood this near-infrared image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723. High-resolution imaging from the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope combined with a natural effect known as gravitational lensing made this finely detailed image possible."

The most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (September-October 2022) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at

The Hubble Space Telescope was the defining telescope of two generations, the pinnacle of observational astronomy, well worth the repair missions, and the source of some non-trivial percentage of all desktop backgrounds here on Earth. As of 11 July 2022, Hubble is now officially the "before" in every other space image you're likely to see for the next decade or two to come. If you've not seen yet, please do so and think about how many more Ph.D.'s we need in astronomy and astrophysics.

I sat through both the administration's first-first image roll-out (watching a screen from a screen didn't quite provide the "umph" that the first image release deserved), then the official release of the first five (which was not engineered with NASA-style redundancy), then found myself on travel in a car, listening to podcasts describing those first five images for several hours straight, which was a great way to get several overlapping perspectives on what specific disciplines saw as extract-able content from the image reveals. That first Deep Field Webb image is so full of galaxies I almost lament our evolution within a galaxy seemingly in the outfield of some big universe game.

"… the Hubble Extremely Deep Field took two weeks of exposure; Webb went deeper before breakfast."

Dr. Jane Rigby, Webb First Images Release Event

Our fearless leader Michele continues his out-there and way-out-there coverage of recent events in science and speculation, with an article addressing recent studies searching for Planet 9 in Outer Space and recent subcommittee sessions considering Plan 9 from Outer Space. UAP, UFO, We Don't Know.

Fact-filled and visually stunning as always.

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Jump to the PDF download (21.5 MB): September-October 2022