From the September 2005 issue

November 2005 resources

Learn more about topics from the November 2005 issue.
By | Published: September 23, 2005
As far as Hubble can see
Astronomy articlesAstronomy rated the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) one of the top 10 space stories in “The year in astronomy” (January 2005). Read more about what HUDF does and doesn’t tell astronomers in “To the cosmic edge” (July 2004) and “Seeking the first galaxies” (April 2005), both by Frank Sietzen, Jr.

Web — Learn more about Sangeeta Malhotra’s work with GRAPES, HUDF, and other projects at View her PowerPoint presentation on GRAPES at

Pan across or zoom into the HUDF with digital video at, or explore it in-depth on your desktop with UDF Skywalker, a JavaScript tool for viewing the entire image, from Your browser must accept pop-ups for this viewer to work.

In 2005, Steven Beckwith, former director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, discussed HUDF and the Hubble Space Telescope’s future in a lengthy interview on titled “Hubble’s champion.”

The biggest hole in the Moon
Print — An excellent layman’s guide to the Moon’s history is Paul Spudis’ Once and Future Moon (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996). More recent is The Big Splat by Dana Mackenzie (John Wiley & Sons, 2003). Both present scientists’ current views of the Moon and its history. Spudis also offers a plan for returning to the Moon that differs somewhat from NASA’s developing plans under the space-exploration initiative of January 2004.

Numerous professional publications cover the Earth/Moon system. Among the best are Origin of the Earth and Moon, edited by Robin Canup and Kevin Righter (University of Arizona Press, 2000), and The Geology of Multi-Ring Impact Basins by Paul Spudis (Cambridge University Press, 1993). The latter details several lunar impact basins and fits them into the context of basins on other planets and moons.

Web — The classic work on the Moon’s geology is also by far the best illustrated. The Geologic History of the Moon by Don Wilhelms (U.S. Geological Survey, 1987) is, sadly, out of print, but libraries are likely to have a copy. The full book is online (as PDF scans) at, but be aware that the chapter files run 5 to 12 megabytes each. An excellent source of lunar maps and images is the site of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. Visit, and check out the links for Exploring the Moon and Lunar Atlases.

Do we live in a cosmic shooting gallery?
Astronomy articles — For more on SETI’s current and upcoming projects, see Seth Shostak’s “Listening for a whisper” (September 2004).

Print — Physicist Stephen Webb’s Where is everybody? (Praxis, 2002) offers 50 potential solutions to the Fermi paradox. That is, 50 possible reasons we haven’t detected signs of extraterrestrial life.

Web — To learn more about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, visit SETI’s web site.

The University of Kansas and NASA group mentioned in the article have a detailed paper of the damage Earth would sustain if a gamma-ray burst exploded near us. Read the article here.

The paper by John Ellis and David Schramm outlining the effects of a nearby supernova explosion can be found here.