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Astronomy April 2, 2010
By: Charles Rector | Newsletter | 12:46pm, April 18, 2010
Astronomy Newsletter
April 2, 2010
I read Astronomy magazine because it keeps me up-to-date with the latest astronomical discoveries. The articles are well written and cover a wide range of interesting topics. They are always beautifully illustrated. This information is vital for my astronomy outreach efforts.

I especially enjoy the "Reader Gallery," and as an astrophotographer find it interesting to see "who's doing what." Also, the equipment reviews are very helpful.

- Jack Newton, Arizona Sky Village
News: This week's astronomy headlines

Maximilien Brice/CERN
Record-breaking collisions mark start of research at the Large Hadron Collider
This collision milestone starts a 2-year campaign that could see scientists make new discoveries about the universe and answer some of the unresolved questions in physics. Read more.


1980s video icon glows on Saturn moon
The highest-resolution temperature map and images of Mimas obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveal surprising patterns on the surface of the small moon. Read more.

NASA/ESA/P. Simon (U. of Bonn)/T. Schrabback (Leiden Observatory)
Hubble confirms cosmic acceleration with weak lensing
Researchers were able to assign distances to 194,000 galaxies with Hubble's observations and redshift data. Read more.

Karen Teramura
Black holes in the universe gain weight and light up during galaxy collisions
As gas clouds in galaxies are sucked into the central black hole, they emit vast amounts of radiation, giving rise to objects that astronomers call quasars. Read more.

X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/ T.Temim et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
The dusty remains of a collapsed sun engulf a nearby family of stars, providing an opportunity for astronomers to study the freshly formed supernova dust before it becomes altered and destroyed by shocks. Read more.

 Sponsored by Sierra la Rana

In 2009, the community of Sierra la Rana located in Alpine, Texas was designated as a Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction through the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), becoming the second community in the US to receive this prestigious award. The Dark Sky mission statement of Sierra la Rana "is to preserve the Dark Skies for the residents of Sierra la Rana, the McDonald Observatory, and the Big Bend Region today and for future generations."

Click here for more information.
 Inside Astronomy's May 2010 issue

The May 2010 Astronomy magazine, on newsstands April 6, probes the likely relationship between massive galaxies and the enormous black holes at their cores, examines astronomers' latest efforts searching for life beyond Earth, reviews Vixen's AX103S refractor telescope, provides a beautiful poster displaying our Milky Way Galaxy in tremendous detail, and more.

Get a sneak peek inside the issue here.

Watch Editor David J. Eicher's video tour of the May 2010 issue.

 New special issue!


Springtime observing for small telescopes

Astronomy magazine Senior Editor Michael E. Bakich highlights the objects you can see this spring using a small telescope. Highlights include the star Mizar, spiral galaxy M101, open cluster M67, and the Sombrero Galaxy (M104). Watch the video.

More videos:
Observe the Moon with a small telescope, with Michael E. Bakich, senior editor

Observe easy-to-find objects in the spring sky, with Rich Talcott, senior editor

Videos with the A+ symbol are only available to Astronomy magazine subscribers. Renew your subscription today to ensure you never miss out on's great subscriber benefits.

Watch more videos from Astronomy magazine.
 Renew your subscription today!

Observing tools: This week's sky, StarDome, podcast

April sky highlights
Astronomy: Roen Kelly
For many in the Northern Hemisphere, early April ushers in the first warm days of spring. This year, the warmer weather heralds excellent views of Mercury and Venus together in the evening twilight. High in the south, Mars commands attention as the brightest object in Cancer the Crab. And as the sky darkens, Saturn climbs in the eastern sky and remains visible all night.

After morning twilight commences, Saturn dips low in the west and Jupiter rises in the east. Toward the end of April, Capricornus rises early enough for a binocular view of Neptune. You won't want to miss it because this year the outer planet returns to the approximate spot where it was discovered in 1846.

Astronomy magazine subscribers have access to the full version of The Sky this Month at Magazine subscribers also have access to advanced features with StarDome PLUS.

To find out when more observable objects will appear in your sky, visit's sky events calendar.

Each week, Astronomy magazine Senior Editor Michael Bakich, a master at explaining how to observe, posts a podcast about three objects or events you can see in the sky.

Targets for April 2-9, 2010
Naked eye: The Eta Carinae Nebula
Small telescope: Spiral galaxy M95
Large telescope: The Gamma Leonis group

Listen to podcast.

This week's podcast is sponsored by Celestron.

The weekly podcast is available to registered members of Registration is FREE, so sign up at to make sure you don't miss an episode!
 Join Astronomy's 2010 meteorite tour

Community: Blogs, reader gallery, forums, polls

Falling stars: NEAF and meteorites
Posted by Mike Reynolds, contributing editor

On April 17 and 18, the North East Astronomy Forum (NEAF) will take place at Rockland College in Suffern, New York. This year, Astronomy magazine will be sponsoring the meeting. This mecca of astronomy goodies - from companies who show everything from eyepieces to telescopes of every type - is one of the year's best-attended shows. The Rockland Astronomy Club (RAC) hosts NEAF and is led by my good friend Alan Traino, who puts his all into NEAF, as does the entire RAC team. This year Alan has asked me to set up a booth that will have a number of meteorite-related activities for kids attending NEAF. Read more.

Read all of the editors' blog posts here.

Craig and Tammy Temple captured this image in January 2010.

Picture of the day:
Albufeira Lagoon star trail
Miguel Claro took this star trail image March 12, 2010, from Portugal.

Bob Franke captured this image February 13- 23, 2010, from Chino Valley, Arizona.

Check out all our galleries:
  • Observing: Solar system objects

  • Astro imaging: Digital cameras

  • Equipment: Telescopes

  • On average, how often do you observe the Sun? Vote here.

    Send us your astronomy questions
    Perplexed by planets? Confused by cosmology? Baffled by black holes? Then send in your questions to or on Views Today: 0 | Total Views: 7,977

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