Astronomy magazines

Forums General Discussion Sky and Telescope Astronomy magazines

Nik Szymanek

I certainly agree with many of the opinions here regarding Sky & Telescope magazine. Like many, I stopped my renewal for the magazine shortly after it was taken over.Sky & Telescope for me was at it’s best in the ’90’s under the editorship of Leif J. Robinson (who I had the pleasure of meeting once….he was a real gentleman). Writers such as Dennis di Cicco, Roger Sinnott, Alan M. MacRobert could be relied on to cover interesting topics (especially astrophotography) with style. I have a huge collection of the magazine dating back to the ’50’s and whilst it had lost the charm of the earlier decades it was a very comprehensive magazine and was in my opinion the best available. Sadly, it was all downhill from the buy-out. When I saw a feature in it on ‘how to use a finderscope’, coupled with the smaller format and less pages it was the end of the road for me and signified a significant shift away from more-specialist articles.

As a long time collector of the US’s ‘Astronomy’ magazine I think something similar happened to that. My introduction to that magazine in 1981 was when Richard Berry (who I’ve also met!) was editor and what a capable editor he was. The magazine was really good at covering items of current interest (again, the burgeoning field of amateur astrophotography) of which Berry was a world leader. 

I think the UK’s two leading astro-mags, The Sky at Night and Astronomy Now, which themselves have improved over the years, outperform those once-mighty magazines.