April 2006 Astronomy on newsstands February 28

This special Astronomy issue is all about stars and includes a bonus pull-out poster.
By | Published: February 21, 2006 | Last updated on May 18, 2023

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All about stars!
Astronomy magazine’s April 2006 issue is all about stars. In addition to four in-depth feature articles about stars, this jam-packed special issue includes an exclusive foldout poster that explores and illustrates the lives of stars.

“X-treme stars of the cosmos”
Get to know the galaxy’s biggest, hottest, and most distant stars. This article by C. Renée James and Howie Marion details the universe’s most extreme stars. “Extreme stars are laboratories where astronomers can test what they think they know under the weirdest, most outrageous circumstances. If astronomers ever decide to compile a Cosmic Book of Stellar Records, these stars will be in it.”

Cartoon-like sidebars list statistics of the stellar record holders for: most massive star known, farthest observed supernova, nearest observed supernova, most chemically enriched star, least chemically enriched star, coolest white dwarf known, and hottest white dwarf known.

“Live fast, die young”
Astronomers don’t understand massive stars – rare beasts with short lives but lasting impact. The 10 questions examined in this story rank among the most baffling. These questions, as compiled by Yaël Nazé, include: How far away are massive stars? How do massive stars form? What role did massive stars play after the Big Bang? How do massive stars die? David Letterman would be proud.

“Meet the neighbors”
The nearest stars hide secrets that could help astronomers learn more about our Sun’s place in the galaxy. By noted author and star expert James Kaler, this article explains how our own stellar neighborhood “stands out as among the more intriguing places in the universe.”

“All about the North Star”
What more can be said? Polaris, navigators’ guiding light, is evolving right before astronomers’ eyes. The North Star is now more than 15-percent brighter than it was 100 years ago – and more than twice as bright as it was 2,000 years ago. Ken Croswell tells the story of the most well-known star – besides our Sun, of course – and why professional astronomers can’t get enough of it.

Other stories include:
“Explore the Virgo Cluster” – Challenge yourself and your equipment by targeting some faint but fascinating galaxies.

“High Moon” – In April, the Moon climbs farther north than at any time since 1987 and offers observers great views.

“Eye on the southern sky” – From film to digital imaging, Chilean amateur astronomer Daniel Verschatse does it all.

“Two scopes in one” – Starmaster’s new go-anywhere scope is a quick-change artists with two mounting options.

The April 2006 Astronomy special stars issue also includes Ask Astro, Astro news, Beautiful universe, Bob Berman’s strange universe, Glenn Chaple’s observing basics, Phil Harrington’s binocular universe, The sky this month, and Reader gallery.