Free Astronomy Magazine – January-February 2021 Issue Available For Reading And Download

Above: The OSIRIS-REx TAGSAM on touch-down at the Nightingale sampling site on Bennu. [NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona]

The most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (January-February 2021) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at

This issue marks a bit of a change in format under the direction of our fearless leader Michele Ferrara. PDF or not, there are only so many hours and pages one can commit to all that goes into writing, editing, and formatting. This is contrast to the seemingly unlimited (+/-) number of studies getting published and discussed that an editor would really like others to see. Add in the desire to include some additional context to bridge the gap between what a reader is reading and what else you (as the writer) think is worth stressing about the broader scope of the study, and you see how daunting a task it is for a few (5?) people (total) to try to sample everything bimonthly to everyone's satisfaction.

"I’m sorry I wrote you such a long letter. I didn’t have time to write you a short one." – Blaise Pascal (d. 1662. And, for those now asking in their noggin, “History never repeats itself, but it rhymes.” – Mark Twain, b. 1835)

After several years of feature articles surpassing the +10 page mark, the recent change now features more shorter articles covering a bit more variety but, with a 6-ish page limit, a less broad analysis and discussion for each.

This month's contribution from here (with my NASA Solar System Ambassador helmet on) is about the successful sample collection and return prep by OSIRIS-REx at Bennu. Astronomical mythology nut, I opted to wrap in a bit of the olde stories for both Osiris and Bennu before digging into the much older aspects of accretion theory and the upcoming issues of planetary defense.

Browser-readable version:

Jump to the PDF download (14.7 MB): January-February 2021

Out With Upstate, In With More Of The Rest Of The Planet: Free Astronomy Magazine – May/June 2018 Issue For Reading And Download

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 site. | Direct PDF