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This months contributors

Pete Lawrence

Astronomy expert

“Observing variables is a rich and rewarding activity that teaches us how to read charts,judge magnitudes and how to interpret results.” Pete shares his expert tips for observing variable stars, page 62

Emily Winterburn

Science historian


Copernicus worked out that the Sun – and not Earth – was at the centre of the Universe, he was verycautious about sharing his landmark theory.” Emily explores the life and work of the Polish astronomer, page 68

Amy Arthur

Science writer

“The Columbia disaster was a tragedy for humanity and spaceflight, all the moreso for the glimmer of hope that it could have been repaired.” Amy looks at the tragedy’s causes and possible prevention, page 72

Extra content ONLINE

Visit www.skyatnightmagazine. com/bonus-content/RRX0AL4 to access this months selection of exclusive Bonus Content


Interview: Achieving interstellar travel

NASA propulsion scientist Les Johnson looks to a future in which humans venture beyond our Solar System.

DIY Astronomy: zero-magnification finder

observing materials

Access images and plans to help with this month’s project: making a device that helps you locate targets with a telescope.

Download forms that you can use to sketch and record your planetary observations throughout the year ahead.

The Virtual Planetarium

Pete Lawrence and Paul Abel guide us through the best sights to see in the night sky this month.