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Mercury Online

The Autumn 2020 issue of Mercury is LIVE

The Autumn 2020 issue (vol. 49 no. 4) of Mercury magazine is now available for our members!

Featured in this issue:

  • Just over five years ago, astrophysicists made the first detection of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time, and changed the field of astronomy. As author C. Renée James writes, perhaps the most exciting aspect of the first five years of gravitational-wave observations — other the fact that we can actually make them at all — has been the unexpected results.
  • The nature of gravitational-wave signals requires pushing technology to its limits if scientists have any hope of extracting any scientific information from them. The next generations of gravitational-wave observatories will do just that, and reveal more of the invisible cosmos than ever.
  • Hanging from the ceiling in a lesser-known gallery in the Louvre’s Egyptian galleries is the circular Zodiac of Dendera. This engraving along with one still in the Temple of Hathor depict planets, known constellations, and a panoply of ancient Egyptian mythological elements.
  • We also have our regular columnists describing astronomy projects that you can perform with your smartphone, expressing how society’s need for instant gratification leads to widespread misunderstanding of the scientific process, introducing the ancient philosophical idea of the Great Year, describing the discovery of a star ripped apart by a black hole, and more.

Download your copy of Mercury today to read all the latest space news and opinion!

Liz Kruesi is the editor of Mercury magazine and Mercury Online. She has shared the stories of astronomy since 2005. Read more articles by Liz.