March-April 2017

Popular Astronomy
Popular Astronomy March-April 2017

Features

17  Enigmatic exoplanet orbits  David Brown
21  Diamonds from Space  Jim Rowe
22  Asteroseismology, variable stars, and a very lucky trip to New Zealand  Thomas Shutt         
29   The Brecon Beacons Observatory  Martin Griffiths
Regulars
4      Editorial    Amanda Doyle
4      AstroNews  Amy Tyndall
“Monsters under our bed” NuSTAR satellite finds supermassive black holes in our own back yard     Thomas Shutt
Hubble helps map a path for the Voyager spacecraft  Osnat Katz
Peanuts help astronomers determine how galaxies evolve  Amy Tyndall
NASA’s Solar System exploration continues with two new missions  Amy Tyndall
Well-known star could potentially be a planet-eater  Fergus Simpson
9  Q&A with Sandra Magnus
10  Telescope Topics  Ian Morison
Practical aspects of observing and astroimaging
12  Amateur Scene   Peter Wade
Tim Peake – Welsh leg of Peake’s progress / Asgardia – All aboard for Space Nation / Out and about / RAS reaches out / Aurora – Warm welcome on northern nights / Shropshire’s winning astro-imagers
14  Citizen Science  Alice Sheppard
Stardust, Satellites and Brains: Making Connections
24  Young Stargazers
 AstroCrafts: Making white light with colours  Alice Sheppard
 From the Chief Stargazer  Lucie Green
 Make it snappy!  Robin Scagell
31  Space Exploration  Helen Walker
 Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) / Water plumes from Europa / Dust and water on the Moon / Mars’ satellites and rovers keep on rolling / Mars analogue activities
34   Book Reviews
Black Holes: A Very Short Introduction   Mandy Bailey
Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction   Andy May
Dreams of Other Worlds: the Amazing Story of Unmanned Space Exploration    Ray Ward
Spaceman  Megan Argo
36  Section Reports
Hello from our new Lunar Section Director Graham Sparrow
A quiet time for the Sun  Geoff Elston
Ice Giants and Jupiter dominate Autumn observations Alan Clitherow
R Scuti broke the rules  Tracie Heywood
Lots of autumn DSOs   David Finnigan
43  The Society Pages
Member survey
SPA meetings
44    Sky Diary
Moon data  Mandy Bailey
Lunar occultations / Planets    Mell Jeffery /Alan Clitherow
 Meteor notes / Variable Star notes  Tracie Heywood
46 SPA contacts
47 Showcase