Despite their distance, deep sky objects such as galaxies, nebulae, open and globular clusters have worked their way to the forefront of amateur astronomy. This issue we focus on these deep sky delights, or faint fuzzies as they have been nicknamed, beginning with Grant Privett's overview of wonderfully named deep sky catalogues, before Martin Mobberley highlights Arp's Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. Owen Brazell then picks out a range of deep sky challenges in the spring sky, and Neil English takes a closer look at the curious breed of nebula: bi-polar planetary nebula.
In other features, Emily Baldwin unveils the hidden Universe with articles on the Planck and Herschel missions, the former to study the CMB radiation and the latter the largest space telescope every launched, and Kulvinder Singh Chadha investigates how Galaxy Zoo 2 is taking online users deeper into the world of galaxies. We also take a look at The Royal Observatory Greenwich’s novel blog and review the IYA event 100 Hours of Astronomy, and in a special photo diary we reflect upon another wonderful AstroFest.
In the news we get the lowdown on a new mission to Jupiter, while Carole Stott uncovers the origin of the Solar System in Starting from Scratch, and to coincide with the first of the Society for Popular Astronomy’s Moonwatch weeks we offer a month’s worth of lunar viewing! And new this month we present Drawn to the Universe, where Jeremy Perez reveals the secrets behind astronomical sketches, starting with M51.