Sky & Telescope November 2015From the Sun to Pluto: A Closer Look at Our Solar System

Our November issue takes us on a tour across the solar system. First stop: the Sun, where we see flares that pack as much energy as they do mystery. But could our Sun ever produce the so-called superlares seen on other Sun-like stars? The answer, explains solar physicist Monica Bobra, is a tantalizing maybe. Then, from the hottest denizen of our solar family to one of its coldest: Pluto and its odd-couple moon, Charon. We've all seen the images beamed back from New Horizons, now dive deeper to learn what those stunning panoramas are telling us about these strange little worlds. Then on to Jupiter, which is beginning to dominate the early dawn hours. Dive deep into the historical drawings by William Dawes', which revealed the king of planets before the age of photography — and can serve as inspiration for your own sketches. And that's hardly the last stop: the November issue also includes a call for observers to join the uneven double-star project led by Sissy Haas and an S&T Test Report on the Paramount MyT imaging rig.

Feature Articles

Pluto-Charon in color on July 8, 2015
New Horizons captured Pluto (above) and Charon together on July 8th.

Pluto & Charon: The Odd Couple
After a 91/2-year journey, NASA's New Horizons zipped past a pair of small worlds that couldn't be more different.
By J. Kelly Beatty

Astronomers have discovered many Sun-like stars that unleash titanic flares. Could our Sun produce such a flare? Has it already?
By Monica Bobra

The Uneven Double Stars Project
Contribute your data to this ongoing observing endeavor.
By Sissy Haas

Tips for Terrific Time-Lapses
Use these techniques to create stunning movies of the sky turning above scenic landscapes.
By Alan Dyer


Beyond the Printed Page

X-class solar flare, December 2014
The Sun emitted an X1.8-class solar flare on December 19, 2014.
Credit: NASA / SDO / Duberstein

What's a Solar Flare?
by Camille Carlisle
Find out what solar flares look like, how they work, and how powerful they can become.

Time-Lapse Techniques (VIDEO)
by Alan Dyer
Watch a selection of videos demonstrating time-lapse shooting and processing.

Observing Pluto
by Kelly Beatty
Astronomers overcame deep snow, high winds, and equipment glitches to glimpse Pluto's cover-up of a bright star.

Lunar Librations
Librations and other lunar data for November 2015.



Andromeda family portrait
In 7x50 binoculars under a dark sky, Andromeda's core-disk duality and two of its satellite galaxies, M 32 and M110, are visible.
Bob King

Binocular Highlights: Column #200
To mark the occasion, Gary will answer the oft-asked question: What is his favorite binocular highlight?
By Gary Seronik

The Morning Show
Early risers will enjoy the best views of November's solar system happenings.
By Fred Schaaf

William Dawes' Jupiter
A celebrated 19th-century astronomer made remarkable observations of Jupiter and its moons.
By Richard Jakiel

Table of Contents
See what else November's issue has to offer.


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