This month we're heading back to the Moon, scouring its surface with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter that is providing the highest resolution images of our nearest neighbour yet, with valuable insight from lunar expert and AstroFest speaker Noah Petro. We also review the formation processes that have been considered to explain the presence of our Moon, from a long-dismissed theory that the Moon was spun off from our fast-spinning young Earth to the more widely accepted view that it was born from a cataclysmic collision between a Mars-sized object and the still-growing Earth. Finally, we discover what the geology was like at each of the six landing sites of the Apollo missions of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and find that we have barely scratched the surface of even the most visited object in the Solar System.
Elsewhere in the magazine we're ready to help if you've just become hooked on astronomy following the successful BBC Stargazing Live series, with suggestions on how you can pursue your newfound interest. Sit back and enjoy four pages of beautiful images from interstellar and interplanetary space courtesy of some of the world's biggest telescopes, and find out how black holes are being spoon fed their dinners in Keith Cooper's feature article. Martin Mobberley proves that observing from indoors is possible and recounts how some of our greatest amateurs made their discoveries from doing just that, and Peter Grego is on hand to help you choose and use planetary filters in this month's Telescope Talk.
Ian Morison reviews Celestron's self-aligning Sky Prodigy 130, Alan Longstaff answers more of your questions, and with a tour of the constellation Gemini as part of our 15-page night sky guide, plus an eight-page AstroFest pull-out and more, the February 2012 issue is another must-have guide to the Universe!