BBC Sky at Night Magazine



Balloon telescope

NASA has plans to build a new scope, ASTHROS, to examine the Universe at submillime­tre wavelength­s. As such light is blocked by Earth’s atmosphere, the 2.5m-wide scope will be floated 40km in the air by a weather balloon. “Balloon missions like ASTHROS are riskier than space missions, but yield high-rewards at modest cost,” says project manager Jose Siles.

Super-Earth, dwarf star

A pair of super-Earths have been discovered around a red dwarf star, Gliese 887, just 11 lightyears away. One of the planets is in the region where liquid water could persist on its surface. Astronomer­s will now attempt to examine the planet’s atmosphere – a task which is much easier for a nearby red dwarf than a more distant or brighter star.

National Astronomy Week 2020

Mark 14–22 November in your diary: it is National Astronomy Week 2020. The aim of this year’s event is to get as many people as possible seeing Mars through a scope, and has been timed for when the Red Planet is highest in the evening sky. Visit astronomyw­

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