The Lava Fields of Io, Missions to Mars, and Comet Photography
In July’s issue of Sky & Telescope, we’re watching for comets and heading for Mars. Comet ATLAS may have been a disappointment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t sit back and enjoy stories of the astounding visage of Hale-Bopp while we keep our fingers crossed for Comet SWAN — and hope that stargazers will soon have a new comet to talk about for decades to come. When that day finally comes around, you can be ready to capture it in full detail with our guide to photographing these icy visitors. In the meantime, we can enjoy the collection of magnificent summer objects in Sagittarius, the same constellation in which Hale-Bopp was first spotted. While we watch the skies, the U.S., China, and the United Arab Emirates are launching for them with three new missions to study Mars. With upgraded cameras and Raman spectrometers, NASA’s Perseverance rover hopes to further the search for life, as China sets the foundation for future exploration and UAE’s Hope orbiter answers lingering questions about Mars’s atmosphere. Finally, Mars may be the Red Planet, but Io is red-hot. Join us as we explore the massive lava lakes, fountains, and eruptions of Jupiter’s volcanic moon.
Io, the Volcanic Rosetta Stone
Giant eruptions and vast lava fields cover Jupiter’s tempestuous inner moon.
By Ashley Gerard Davies
Three Missions Head for Mars
The summer of 2020 will see three spacecraft launch toward the Red Planet, each one with distinct objectives.
By Emily Lakdawalla
A quarter of a century after its discovery, this big, bright comet remains vivid in memory.
By Ken Hewitt-White
Catch a Moving Comet
Photographing these icy visitors often requires a special approach.
By Gerald Rhemann
A Tourist’s Guide to the Summer Highlights
Roam the summer skies and revel in this collection of fine objects in and around Sagittarius.
By Jerry Oltion
Beyond the Printed Page:
Learn about the observatory made of shipping crates and golf balls that has survived for almost four decades.
Locate Saturn’s brightest moons with S&T’s observing tool.
Read the Astrophysical Journal paper in which scientists identify this new category of spiral galaxy.
Use these directions to build a small inexpensive telescope.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
This sprawling summer constellation is full of interesting sights.
By Fred Schaaf
Pluto by Way of Jupiter
Two bright planets and one “former planet” reach opposition this month.
By Bob King
A Mystery in Saturn’s C Ring
Have observers witnessed upheavals in the Crepe ring?
By Thomas A. Dobbins
Planetary nebulae sprinkled along the Milky Way beckon observers outside on warm summer evenings.
By Sue French
Table of Contents
See what else July's issue has to offer.