Hellish Venus is a world wrapped in an all-enshrouding atmosphere of carbon dioxide, laced with sulphur dioxide clouds that are whipped along at winds speeds of up to 400 kilometres per hour, and surface temperatures that could melt lead. A land of brimstone and fire,Venus is a planet that has suffered heavily from volcanism, which has helped sculpt its terrain. But are there volcanoes active on Venus today? Keith Cooper explores how two worlds born as twins came to be so drastically different.
Gemma Lavender and Keith Cooper present a feature-length report on the Exoclimes conference from the University of Exeter in September, which saw planetary scientists and exoplanet researchers from all over the world gather to discuss weather on alien planets and the search for Earth-like worlds.
Elsewhere top astrophotographer Nik Szymanek provides a step-by-step guide on how to image that classic later-autumn galaxy, M33; while Jeremy Perez settles down to sketch open cluster NGC 663, also providing some useful advice on how to cope with sketching in those cold winter evenings. In Telescope Talk Nick Howes pits Go-TO against digital setting circles as ways to aid your night sky learning, and Olly Penrice introduces two highly unusual instruments in Gearheads: a water-cooled Newtonian and a tiny telescope with just 15.5mm aperture! In the shops this month features top of the range Officina Stellare Pro RC 320 reviewed by Nik Szymanek, and Altair Astro’s 150mm Rumak Maksutov, which Ian Morison puts through its paces.
Plus, we have news of the first confirmed AstroFest speakers and exhibitors – reserve your tickets now!