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Winter 2012Mercury Magazine

Contents and Select Excerpts
Vol. 41 No. 1
Winter 2012

This page contains the table of contents and select excerpts only and is not a complete reproduction of this issue. Complete content for online Mercury is available to ASP members and institutional subscribers.
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Page

Article

15

The Other Science from Planck, Nabila Aghanim, Clive Dickinson, Guilaine Lagache, Ludovic Montier, and Bruce Partridge, on behalf of the Planck Collaboration
Although its primary mission is to study the Cosmic Microwave Background, the Planck spacecraft has already made an impressive range of discoveries.

20

How We Serve (or Underserve) Our Students Through 'Dumbing Down', Kate Follette and Don McCarthy
We need to improve student’s skills in quantitative literacy via introductory astronomy and avoid “dumbing down” the mathematics we do present in such courses.

24

Extrasolar Planets: The Saga Continues, Paul Deans
Here are a few of the latest discoveries as astronomers seek the Holy Grail of extrasolar planets — an Earth-like world in a star’s habitable zone.

29

Astronomy in the News
A subsurface “Great Lake” on Europa, Pluto’s twin Eris, and finding planets in decade-old Hubble data — these are some of the discoveries that recently made news in the astronomical community.

 

Departments

4

Editorial, Paul Deans
Forty Years Ago

5

First Word, James G. Manning
Speedy Delivery

7

Echoes of the Past, Katherine Bracher
40 Years Ago: The Birth of Mercury Magazine

8

Annals of Astronomy, Clifford J. Cunningham
The Tychonic System

9

Astronomer's Notebook, Jennifer Birriel
More Astronomy with Digital Cameras

10

Planetary Perspectives, Daniel D. Durda
A Whole Different Solar System

11

Armchair Astrophysics, Christopher Wanjek
The Birth and Rise of X-ray Astronomy

12

Education Matters, David Bruning
To Click or Not to Click

13

Reaching Out, Bethany Cobb
A New Telescope for Public Outreach

14

Societal Impact, Connie Walker
Dark Skies: Protecting Our Children's Heritage

34

Society Scope/ASP Supporters
Board Member Awarded AAS Education Prize

36

Sky Sights, Paul Deans
Venus Visits the Pleiades

39

Reflections, European Southern Observatory
VISTA Views the Helix