Astronomy April 2011

Astronomy April 2011

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Hunting for earthlike planets
By Ray Villard
First astronomers have to find a nearby planet in its star's habitable zone, and then they’ll need to characterize its atmosphere to determine if life might exist there.
pg. 28

Messages from Mercury
By Richard Talcott
The MESSENGER spacecraft enters orbit around the innermost planet in March to explore its geological history, thin atmosphere, dense core, and the strange stuff at its poles.
pg. 34

Star-struck in Iceland
By Stephen James O'Meara
The tiny North Atlantic island nation boasts a large amateur astronomical society, inspires the world’s space artists, and features some of the most dazzling auroral displays anywhere.
pg. 48

Explore the Centaurus A galaxy cluster
By Richard Jakiel
Point your telescope toward the south this spring, and target this group of little-observed objects.
pg. 54

Target galaxies with a big gun
By David J. Eicher
These eight spring showpieces reveal exquisite detail through large scopes.
pg. 58

10 top spring binocular treats
By Phil Harrington
All you need to enjoy these gems is a dark sky and two eyes.
pg. 62

Zhumell’s 25x100 binoculars capture lots of light
By Phil Harrington
These impressive binoculars provide brilliant, high-power views of celestial objects.
pg. 64



Astronomy, 2011, April


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