We're in the line of fire of gamma-ray bursts this month as we investigate the origins of the Universe's stellar snipers. Keith Cooper kicks things off with long duration bursts, which are the result of the collapse and ultimate destruction of the most massive stars in the largest explosions in the Universe, while Emily Baldwin explores what happens when two neutron stars collide to create a short-duration burst of gamma rays. Then, Gemma Lavender reports on the legacy of NASA's Swift satellite, our chief GRB-hunter for the past seven years.
October is set to boast a spectacular storm of meteors in the form of the Draconids; John Mason explores what happened during previous storms of the last century, and looks at the likelihood the Draconids will amaze us again. Continuing with an observational theme, this month's night sky section is a bumper 22 pages long, and features Jupiter at opposition, including Damian Peach's guide on how to image the giant planet, and Peter Grego's advice on sketching the Galilean Satellites, the appearance of comet Elenin, double stars for autumn skies, and a sky tour of galaxies.
Elsewhere this month Keith Cooper hunts down water in the Universe, which can be found in every nook and cranny of the Solar System, even where we least expect it, and now it has been found on exoplanets, stars and distant galaxies. In Telescope Talk Martin Mobberley asks, fast or slow? And Nick Howes introduces Arduino boards and some simple applications to astronomy equipment. In Gearheads Ian Morison recounts his experience with a next generation CCD, and In the Shops includes Olly Penrice's review of the latest mount from iOptron.