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Astronomy Now September 2013 Cover

Focus: The Gaia mission


As Gaia - a new European Space Agency mission designed to measure the positions and motions of a billion stars - nears its launch date in November, Keith Cooper looks back at the achievements of its predecessor, Hipparcos, and the controversy over the distance to the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades.


The European Space Agency's Gaia mission, launching later this year, will be the most sensitive astrometry mission ever, mapping the positions, motions and compositions of a billion stars, writes Stephen Clark.


The Gaia spacecraft is going to investigate the histories of over a billion objects, from stars to quasars, writes Amanda Doyle.



For imagers and non-imagers alike, Professor Greg Parker shows how you can produce your own beautiful deep sky mosaics using data captured by the professionals.


Less than two years out from Pluto, and the scientists behind NASA's New Horizons mission to the dwarf planet are already preparing for the first ever fly-by of the former ninth planet.


Ace planetary photographer Damian Peach describes the tricks and technology you will need to take your own images of Uranus as it reaches its annual best in our skies.


An old telescope that once belonged to one of Britain's greatest amateur astronomers fell into the lap of Neil English, who with a little help set about restoring it to former glories.


In August a 'new star' appeared within the borders of the summer constellation Delphinus. A nova peaking at magnitude four, Mark Armstrong and Keith Cooper set about describing what caused it to appear.



It is all go in the Solar System writes Peter Grego as Comet ISON moves closer, Mars and Jupiter show improvement and Uranus reaches its best.

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The most distant object readily visible to the unaided eye is Messier 31, the enormous Andromeda Galaxy that presents a great target whether looking through the telescope, sketching or imaging.

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Ninian Boyle completes his examination of high-tech astronomy with a look at wireless telescope control.


Atik's flagship CCD, the 11000, drinks up large swathes of sky on its giant Kodak chip, writes Olly Penrice.


Skylight Telescopes of London, maker of bespoke classic refractors, have teamed up with TeleVue Optics of New York for their latest four-inch telescope, the AR101-15. Steve Ringwood was lucky enough to try one out.

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Astronomy Now September 2013

The September 2013 issue of Astronomy Now, along with all other back issues, is available to buy from our online store. See inside this issue.

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