🔭Free Astronomy Magazine September-October 2018 🔭
4 A possible subglacial lake on Mars
Mars, the God of War, is losing the fight to hide its mystery. Leading the charge are orbiters and landers
that have revealed an ancient ocean and a thick atmosphere, both lost over the planet’s history. The story
of the Martian surface is far from over − a recent study reports the possible discovery of a subglacial...
12 ESO’s VLT sees `Oumuamua getting a boost
`Oumuamua — the first interstellar object discovered within our Solar System — has been the subject of
intense scrutiny since its discovery in October 2017. `Oumuamua, pronounced “oh-MOO-ah-MOO-ah”,
was first discovered using the Pan-STARRS telescope at the Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii. Its name...
16 Hubble and Gaia team up to fuel cosmic conundrum
Combining observations from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s (ESA)
Gaia space observatory, astronomers further refined the previous value for the Hubble constant, the rate
at which the universe is expanding from the big bang 13.8 billion years ago. But as the measurements...
18 Stellar corpse reveals origin of radioactive molecules
A team of astronomers led by Tomasz Kamiński (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge,
USA), used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the NOrthern Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA) to
detect a source of the radioactive isotope aluminium-26. The source, known as...
20 A solution to the mysteries of Uranus
Planetology has made great strides in the last few decades. Thousands of exoplanets have been discovered and the atmospheres of
distant worlds have been investigated, to the point of our being able to
make meteorological forecasts. And yet, in our own solar system, there is the planet Uranus, for which...
32 First successful test of Einstein’s general relativity near a SMBH
Obscured by thick clouds of absorbing dust, the closest supermassive black hole to the Earth lies 26,000
light-years away at the centre of the Milky Way. This gravitational monster, which has a mass four million times that of the Sun, is
surrounded by a small group of stars orbiting around it at high speed. This...
36 Supersharp images from new VLT adaptive optics
The MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) works with
an adaptive optics unit called GALACSI. This makes use of the Laser Guide Star Facility, 4LGSF, a subsystem
of the Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF). The AOF provides adaptive optics for instruments on the VLTs Unit...
38 Terraforming Mars is still science fiction plan
That the destiny of humanity is to colonize other planets is a near-certainty, but this will happen in a future
so far off that the ways by which we might do so are highly speculative. Surely, if the population increases to unsustainable levels,
we will reach a point at which either a strict global birth control will be...
46 First confirmed image of newborn planet caught with ESO’s VLT
Astronomers led by a group at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany have captured a spectacular
snapshot of planetary formation around the young dwarf star PDS 70. By using the
SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) — one of the most powerful planet-hunting...
50 Astronomers uncover new clues to the star that wouldn’t die
What happens when a star behaves like it exploded, but it’s still there? About 170 years ago, astronomers
witnessed a major outburst by Eta Carinae, one of the brightest known stars in the Milky Way galaxy. The
blast unleashed almost as much energy as a standard supernova explosion. Yet Eta Carinae survived. An...