Astronomy’s 60 Greatest Mysteries

The editors of Sky & Telescope announce a brand-new special publication that addresses the most pressing questions facing astronomy today.

Sky & Telescope is pleased to announce the release of a new special publication: Astronomy’s 60 Greatest Mysteries.

Astronomy's 60 Greatest Mysteries
Sky & Telescope
We're featuring short articles that provide up-to-date information and insight on the most pressing questions facing astronomy today:

  • How common is life on other planets?
  • Are we alone?
  • How do stars explode?
  • Why are some galaxies shaped like spirals?
  • What is dark matter?
  • How did our universe come to be?
  • Are there hidden dimensions of space?
  • Is it possible to travel backward in time?

To address these provocative questions, we lined up some of the world’s most distinguished scientists, including exoplanet hunter Geoff Marcy, Britain’s Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, and award-winning sci-fi writer and astrophysicist Gregory Benford. And the issue is beautifully illustrated with colorful photos and artwork. We can’t thank these authors enough for doing such a fabulous job of packing fascinating and sometimes mind-bending discussion into accessible stories that you can read in just a few minutes.

Astronomy’s 60 Greatest Mysteries is quite different from anything we have ever produced. We gave it the same level of care and attention to detail as if it were an issue of S&T. Check it out if you want new insight into where things stand at the very forefront of human knowledge on some of the most profound mysteries in science and what major discoveries might lie just ahead.

Table of Contents
Sky & Telescope

And don't forget to watch out for our regular annual issues SkyWatch and Beautiful Universe, which will be published later this year. All three of these publications are not sent in lieu of a monthly issue of S&T. They can be purchased at Barnes & Noble and other leading magazine retailers, or you can visit our online store, Shop at Sky.

7 thoughts on “Astronomy’s 60 Greatest Mysteries

  1. Mike Lynch

    Hmmmmm…. Monica, you bear a strong resemblance to Robert Naeye! Or does Robert bear a strong resemblance to YOU!! :^)

    I think the wrong name or wrong photo was posted with this article!

  2. Peter WilsonPeter Wilson

    Q. A train is traveling west at 60 mph. How long will it take to reach Denver? Most people laugh at this, because the problem has obviously been oversimplified. Two parameters, speed and distance, are required to answer it, not one. Here’s a more complex question: is the Hubble expansion of the universe speeding up or slowing down? The original “standard model,” based on complicated equations using 5-variables (expansion rate; density; light-to-dark-matter ratio; photon-to-baryon ratio; and luminosity), said it should be slowing down. But astronomers had to measure it, just to be sure. Turned out, the expansion is speeding up! So theorists added a 6th parameter, "dark energy," nature unknown, to make the model fit observations. Say it again: the pre-dark energy model is too simple, like the train problem above. At least 7 parameters are required, not 5, to model the cosmos. Missing from the model is “duality,” manifested in two parameters: coupling efficiency of luminous energy (the Greek letter) eta, and distance, Ri, across which this energy is coupled. When I point out this oversight to cosmologists, they dismiss me like I’m Alfred Wegener babbling about plate tectonics. It would be interesting if the editors here decided to understand what duality is, and why the standard model should be considered incomplete without it. Duality will not go away by ignoring it.

  3. DbaiG

    "Robert, very informative article! These are very primitive and pivotal questions that set man to explore more and more about this universe. Man is trying and trying to get these questions answered but no one could do so yet. Perhaps this is leading us to conduct more and more research. You’ve done a terrific job.


  4. Bruce

    I’m glad to see that you haven’t given up Peter. If duality is so unreasonable it should be easy to disprove. One of your detrators should write a paper disproving the notion if it is so oviously wrong. But people sometimes fail to look into something out of fear that, hey, what if he is right? and they don’t want to go there.

  5. Bruce

    Whent to the "Shop at Sky" link and found that this publication is reported to be out of stock. Already? When is this hot seller expected to be available?

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