Stellar Nurseries, Giovanni Cassini, and Biosignatures
In the May 2021 issue of Sky & Telescope, we’re discussing the hunt for cosmic rays and the massive telescope and detector arrays trying to track down their sources. Good thing we’ll only need one telescope to spot incredible stellar nurseries in faraway galaxies — but we may need a couple of eyepieces, so we’re exploring a few recent innovations and how to select the best ones for your observing needs. However, even the best eyepieces won’t help us find life on other planets unless we know what we’re looking for. Astrobiologists are looking for chemical compounds that could signal life if found in the atmospheres of other planets.
Scientists are deploying vast arrays to search for the origin of the most energetic particles in the universe.
By Govert Schilling
Star-forming Regions in Faraway Galaxies
Test your skills by spotting stellar nurseries in distant galaxies.
By Scott Harrington
Building a Better Biosignature
Finding signs of alien life requires more prep work than you might think.
By Arwen Rimmer
Giovanni Domenico Cassini and the Birth of Big Science
Innovations from an under-appreciated 17th-century astronomer still reverberate today.
By Gabriella Bernardi
Some Thoughts About Today’s Eyepieces
Eyepieces are just as important as telescopes when it comes to visual observing, but some of the conventional wisdom about them has changed.
By Dennis di Cicco
Beyond the Printed Page:
Help NASA and the American Association of Variable Star Observers observe planets outside our solar system.
Check out this collection of challenging observing projects.
Learn more about observing and photographing this elusive planet from the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers.
Free Software for Planetary Observers
Use the free WinJUPOS program to identify specific features of the planets in your astrophotos or sketches.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Anatomy of the Amazing Big Dipper
There’s more to this distinctive collection of stars than meets the eye.
By Fred Schaaf
Get ready to watch the Moon pass through Earth’s shadow.
By Bob King
Don’t be fooled by these Jovian moon mirages.
By Thomas Dobbins
Exploring M81 and M82 is double the fun in more ways than one.
By Ken Hewitt-White
Table of Contents
See what else May's issue has to offer.
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