In the October 2012 issue we celebrate 50 years of the European Southern Observatory:
A dream given form - The birth of the European Southern Observatory ushered in a new era of large telescopes and astronomical discovery for Europe’s astronomers.
ESO’s top five discoveries - Everything from massive stars to tiny exoplanets, black holes and galaxies, the exploits of the European Southern Observatory have transformed our knowledge of the Universe.
The challenges of being massive - What are the considerations behind building giant telescopes on mountaintops?
Also this month:
Action stations on the red planet - NASA’s Curiosity rover is now mobile, heading off on an adventure across the Martian dust towards its ultimate goal of Mount Sharp.
Seeking life on super-earths - The James Webb Space Telescope, which launches later this decade, could detect biosignatures in the atmospheres of super-earth planets orbiting cool red dwarfs.
A Dawn view of Vesta - In September NASA’s Dawn spacecraft left the asteroid Vesta to head for its next destination, Ceres. We explore what it found on this diminutive protoplanet during its year in orbit.
First man: Neil Armstrong, 1932–2012 - In a 1993 article in the Daily Telegraph, J G Ballard described Neil Armstrong as the one human alive today that would be remembered 50,000 years from now. Here Reginald Turnill, who was the BBC space correspondent during the heady days of Apollo, looks back at how Armstrong, who died in August, became the first man on the Moon.
The Sun sets on Sir Bernard Lovell, 1913–2012 - Radio astronomy pioneer Sir Bernard Lovell, who founded the Jodrell Bank radio observatory and ushered through the construction of the world-famous Mark I telescope, also passed away in August just days shy of his 99th birthday. Jodrell’s Ian Morison reminisces about the man who transformed radio astronomy.
Running away from the spider’s lair - What are stars fleeing from deep within the Tarantula Nebula?