🔭Free Astronomy Magazine May-June 2018🔭
4 Lunar and martian skylights, back to the caves
Illustrators and designers have almost always represented future human settlements on the Moon and
Mars in the form of modular structures easily visible from above. It is instead very likely that the first
extraterrestrial bases will be hidden underground, within geological formations capable of defending...
14 MUSE data points to isolated neutron star beyond our galaxy
Spectacular new pictures, created from images from both ground- and space-based telescopes, tell the
story of the hunt for an elusive missing object hidden amid a complex tangle of gaseous filaments in the
Small Magellanic Cloud, about 200,000 light-years from Earth. New data from the MUSE instrument on...
18 Astronomers discover S0-2 star is single and ready for Einstein test
Astronomers have the “all-clear” for an exciting test of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, thanks to a
new discovery about S0-2’s star status. Up until now, it was thought that S0-2 may be a binary, a system
where two stars circle around each other. Having such a partner would have complicated the upcoming...
22 An extra luxury hotel in Earth orbit
“Making space accessible to everyone” − this is the most often used slogan by private aerospace companies that, more and more
numerous, propose themselves as tour operators able to offer vacations in Earth
orbit. While all of the projects proposed so far have yet to succeed, the latest arrival, known as Aurora...
30 WASP-39b: a lot of water in its atmosphere
Much like detectives study fingerprints to identify the culprit, scientists used NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer
space telescopes to identify the “fingerprints” of water in the atmosphere of a hot, bloated, Saturn-mass
exoplanet some 700 light-years away. And, they found a lot of water. In fact, the planet, known as...
32 MATISSE sees first light on ESO’s VLT interferometer
MATISSE (Multi AperTure mid-Infrared SpectroScopic Experiment) observes infrared light — light between
the visible and microwave wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, covering wavelengths from 3–
13 micrometres (µm). It is a second-generation spectro-interferometer instrument for ESO’s Very Large...
36 Powerful flare from Proxima Centauri detected with ALMA
Using data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a team of astronomers discovered that a powerful
stellar flare erupted from Proxima Centauri last March. This finding, published in
The Astrophysical Journal Letters, raises questions about the habitability of our solar system’s nearest...
38 The Silurian Hypothesis − Something to think about
We know so little about life on Earth before the appearance of hominids that there may have even exis
ted industrial civilizations prior to ours without us being aware of them. Now, two scientists propose
how to look for the traces of those hypothetical civilizations. If those ancient Terrans respected the...
48 Kepler solves the mystery of fast and furious explosions
The universe is full of mysterious exploding phenomena that go boom in the dark. One particular type
of ephemeral event, called a Fast-Evolving Luminous Transient (FELT), has bewildered astronomers for
a decade because of its very brief duration. Now, NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope — designed to go...
52 First galaxy in the local Universe without dark matter
Galaxies and dark matter go together like peanut butter and jelly. You typically don’t find one without the
other. Therefore, researchers were surprised when they uncovered a galaxy that is missing most, if not all,
of its dark matter. An invisible substance, dark matter is the underlying scaffolding upon which galaxies...