2016 opens with Stargaz­ing LIVE and a his­toric ISS mis­sion

Sky at Night Magazine - - LETTER FROM THE EDITOR -

A New Year beck­ons, and it’s go­ing to be one packed with fan­tas­tic stargaz­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. Turn to page 67 for our pick of the very best ob­serv­ing and photo op­por­tu­ni­ties that 2016 will bring, as well as an in­sight into what some of the top am­a­teur as­tronomers are look­ing for­ward to train­ing their tele­scopes on.

Stargaz­ing LIVE is high on the must-see list, and on 12-14 Jan­uary mil­lions will be tun­ing in to BBC Two to watch – clear skies or not! For this se­ries, Brian Cox and Dara O’Bri­ain will link up live with the ISS to wel­come the UK’s first govern­ment-spon­sored as­tro­naut Tim Peake to the show to talk about what life is like in the or­bit­ing space sta­tion. Be­fore his planned launch blasted off from Kaza­khstan on 15 De­cem­ber we spoke ex­clu­sively to Tim, and you can read Nick Spall’s in­ter­view on page 34.

The pro­gramme is cer­tainly reach­ing new heights in its sixth se­ries, and on page 32 we re­veal what else the team will be tak­ing a look at, as well as re­call­ing some of the best mo­ments of pre­vi­ous years like last year’s amaz­ing cov­er­age of the to­tal so­lar eclipse.

We also ex­am­ine the colos­sal size of the cos­mos on page 62, high­light­ing some of the

big­gest ob­jects in ex­is­tence. Spend some time pon­der­ing th­ese vast bod­ies – the star that’s 1.2 bil­lion km in di­am­e­ter for in­stance – you’ll re­alise just how amaz­ing our Uni­verse re­ally is. To help you pic­ture this, take a look at our six sim­ple ex­per­i­ments on page 41. The size of the So­lar Sys­tem will re­ally come home to you.

En­joy the is­sue.

Chris Bram­ley Editor

PS Next is­sue goes on sale 21 Jan­uary

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