NGC 1277


The biggest black hole whose mass has so far been properly measured lies at the heart of a galaxy called NGC 1277, 250 million light years from Earth in the constellation of Perseus – and it’s a real whopper. While our own galaxy’s central black hole has an estimated mass of 4.1 million Suns, the black hole in NGC 1277 is around 17 billion solar masses.

Astronomers discover and assess black holes in distant galaxies by measuring the orbits of the stars that surround them. Many have now been found, with masses equivalent to millions or even

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Next-gen Rockets

Right now, companies around the world are building a new breed of super launcher that will have the capability to take bigger payloads in greater numbers beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) than ever before.

Known as heavy-lift rockets, these behemoths are essential if we are to continue our unmanned exploration of the Solar System as well as taking humans to new destinations. But there’s a reason the last such vehicle, the Saturn V, was retired over 40 years ago; these massive launchers are not only expensive but complicated and a huge engineering challenge, too. Now, however, it’s time to take

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Even as a child, Prisca Courtin-Сlarins was at the forefront of the luxury beauty industry.

During summer holidays she spent with her family in Saint-Tropez, the fashionable Parisian — along with her twin sister and cousins — was among the first to try the prettifying formulations crafted in the lab by their grandfather, Jacques Courtin-Clarins, who founded the family-owned skin-care company that bears his name.

«He would try all the products on us,» explains Courtin-Clarins, who is now 26, «and wanted to know what we

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New-world tradition

AMERICAN PIONEERS were driven by an unquenchable thirst to explore the new and the unknown. To be free. To find that special place in the New World that would support them and their families. A place they could, through honest labor, make their own and pass along to their children.

When they found such a place, these pioneers needed to provide shelter and safety as quickly as they could. They used the most convenient and abundant building material they could find: trees.

Trees are easy to cut down, quick to fashion and form, relatively lightweight for heavy load bearing, flexible

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Экс-басист Metallica Джейсон Ньюстед возвращается со своей новой группой, еще раз делая то, что у него получается лучше всего.

Прошло 12 лет с тех пор, как басист Джейсон Ньюстед покинул Metallica, окончательно устав от того, что ему запрещали любую музыкальную активность вне группы. Пока он продолжал заниматься множеством проектов, врачи провели серию операций на плече музыканта — после аварии в 2006 году он еще долго шел на поправку. Сегодня он абсолютно здоров или, по крайней мере, «здоровее, чем когда-либо», и готовится к выпуску дебютного альбома своей новой группы Newsted.

Группа носит Ваше имя, ЕР называется Metal, альбом — Heavy Metal

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News from the black & white world. Edited by Mark Bentley.


Magnum photographer Rene Burri has been awarded the Leica Hall of Fame Award 2013 for his contributions to photography.

Born in Switzerland in 1933, Burri’s most famous picture is arguably his portrait of Che Guevara smoking a cigar.

Photo sharing website Smugmug has said it will not strip key metadata from pictures placed on its site. The announcement comes after controversial plans were unveiled by the government that could potentially allow free use of orphan photographs — images where the copyright owners cannot be contacted because the

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News of Symbians Death Has Been Greatly Exaggerated


It’s been a year since Nokia and Microsoft announced their strategic partnership. With Windows Phone 7 headlining their smartphones, Nokia has been grabbing the headlines with their WP7 Lumia series, while their Symbian-powered devices have taken a back seat. But Symbian isn’t exactly dead.

Sales of Nokia’s Symbian Series 40 (S40) devices, which include the Asha series unveiled in October 2011, have hit the 1.5 billion mark since their introduction in 1999. Nokia believes that 675 million out of the 1.5 billion devices sold thus far are still active devices.

The Asha

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Picture this. The young CEO of one of the coolest companies on the planet hops on stage at SmugMug HQ, San Francisco sporting blue jeans; baseball cap (but not reversed); strident green trainers and a Superman T-shirt.

He announces ‘the dawn of a brand new era’ to an expectant crowd of specially selected customers, world-famous photographers; a glut of assembled media — and live to the world at large (courtesy — and receives a rapturous standing ovation even before he can finish his address.

You’d be forgiven for thinking it might be the Second Coming. It wasn’t. It was

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New Zealand opts for Seasprite

DEFENCE MINISTER Paul East announced on March 11 that the Kaman SH-2G Seasprite has been selected to replace the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN’s) elderly Westland Wasp HAS.1s.

Although East denied that the decision was influenced by Australia’s recent choice of the same helicopter (AFM, March, p06), he indicated that New Zealand had ‘gained reassurance from Australia’s decision’, as there were obvious advantages in having compatible equipment.

The RNZN will acquire four refurbished SH-2G Super Seasprites under a NZ$274 million deal, with delivery scheduled for the year 2000. In the interim, it will take delivery of four older former USN

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New York Snipers

Mark Ayton spoke with members of the 174th Fighter Wing, New York Air National Guard about recent capability upgrades to the F-16C.

THE 174TH Fighter Wing (FW) is part of the New York Air National Guard. It operates 15 Block 30 F-16C Fighting Falcons from Hancock Field, the military side of Syracuse International airport, in mid-state New York and has approximately 1,000 people assigned.

Since the first F-16 arrived at Syracuse in 1988, the 174th has flown Block 10 F-16As, Block 25 F-16Cs and the current Block 30 F-16C. It was one of only two Air National Guard F-16 Wings

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