Sky and Telescope

Forums General Discussion Sky and Telescope

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 29 total)
  • Author
  • #574236
    David Swan


    Are there any readers of the Jan 2019 Sky and Telescope out there? Glancing at the lunar eclipse visibility map on p19, I immediately noticed that the UK was missing. I initially thought this might be a weird point about issue x (removed for obvious reasons), until I realised that of course the whole island of Ireland, including the Republic of Ireland, was absent. 

    It would seem the contagion of issue x is worse than I first thought. Please don’t talk about issue x on this thread.


    Peter Anderson

    All I know is that the Australian Jan 19 ‘Sky and Telescope’ printed my story about observing the main stars of Ursa Major (Big Dipper) from Noosa Heads , Aust at 26 deg South as a ‘focal point’ item so I am ‘chuffed’ with it. (See details in my account on this website) Of course we don’t see this lunar eclipse in Australia so the local edition did not cover it. The Australian edition, glossy, 8 per year at 84 pages each draws key articles and reviews from its parent but includes a healthy amount of local content.

    Alex Pratt

    Hi David,

    Being a Yorkshire Lad I only take S&T’s free e-mail newsletter. In its article on the lunar eclipse its visibility map includes the British Isles.

    Observing January’s Supermoon Total Lunar Eclipse

    Clear skies,


    David Swan

    Hi Alex – I’m a Geordie ;).

    Just a bit of a fun observation. They’ve obviously corrected the figure for the web; here’s the print version. How does this happen? Surely they just use stock maps.


    Alex Pratt

    Hi David,

    Some of my family are from the North East, so I particularly enjoyed last year’s BAA meeting in Newcastle.

    Zooming in to your print version the map background looks slightly blotchy and uneven off the coast of continental Europe, clearly interrupting the line of longitude. Perhaps some image processing was done to remove the UK and Ireland?


    David Swan

    Yes, very curious. I might mention it to Bob King on his web page on the eclipse.

    Dominic Ford

    My guess would be that they made the figure in some tool like Adobe Illustrator, and while they were manipulating the labels into the right places, some numpty accidentally pressed the delete key with the wrong object selected. As Alex says, it looks like some amount of the outline is still visible, so possibly they even deleted the orange fill without deleting the outline. Or they were fiddling with the settings for the dark shading where the eclipse is visible, and accidentally had Britain selected at the time. 🙂

    Peter Carson

    I take the S&T and can’t say I’d noticed.

    Perhaps S&T thought the UK and Ireland are constantly shrouded in cloud so wasn’t worth putting them on the map.


    Nick James

    That’s a fun observation. Perhaps it is a test for a subsequent Trump-centred edition where large parts of the world are erased.

    I have to admit I let my S&T subscription lapse a few years ago. At the risk of sounding like a very old fogey it used to be a really good magazine that stood way above all of the others but now I think it is just one of many and I seldom found stuff of interest in it that I couldn’t get elsewhere.  

    David Swan

    That’s a quite reasonable comment. Some issues are great, others not. I like Sue French’s deep sky bit, as she highlights stuff that looks good to amateur visual observers who do not have a giant Dobsonian.

    Jimmy Fraser

    I had real problems renewing my Sky & Telescope subscription online last month – I gave up and sent in the renewal card by post, which they got. I love the old Sky & Telescope covers at They live long in the memory. By the early 1990s they started to use screaming headlines and that special look was lost. Nowadays the cover art never registers with me at all. The BAA Journal is still a joy though.

    Jimmy Fraser

    I must add though that despite my loss of enthusiasm for the modern Sky & Telescope covers the interior of the magazine is very well designed with excellent illustrations. I began my subscription in January 1986 – always looked forward each month to the articles written by Walter Scott Houston, George Lovi and John Bortle.

    Grant Privett

    The magazine changed after it was taken over. It went from being focused on the real enthusiasts with good (substantial) equipment review, observing accounts from experienced observers and cutting edge stuff, to a slim shadow of its former self and devoid of interest to all but beginners.

    It still has some good writers, but a lot of the content is fairly lightweight.


    Dr Paul Leyland

    That’s what the market seems to need these days in order to remain financially viable as a main-stream publication.

    More credit to The Astronomer for remaining true to its readership.  No glossy adverts, no dumbing down.

    Of course, I’m just a reactionary elitist old-fart^H^H^Hogey

    Bill Ward


    I often wonder about the progression to grumpy old man status….

    This is an excellent example, I subscribed to S+T for decades then I too let it slide a number of years ago. It’s gone from a quite superior magazine with technically interesting articles (some even had formula!) to positive mediocrity. I decided to buy a CD compilation of all the past editions and the difference decade to decade is clear (I think so anyway).

    Oh well, I suppose that’s what called progress….




    I like S&T and have copies dating from 1978, when I first brought a copy, at JBO here in Cheshire. I have subscribed to said S&T, ever since.

    It used to be a very high-quality Astronomy publication in 1970-1980-1990. But it is not as good- now there is a new editor and they have reduced the number of pages. I much prefer the book style Sky and Tel of the 1990s.

    Martin Mobberley

    I agonised about renewing my S&T sub when it was due to expire a few months ago. I was very close to letting it lapse.
    As others have said, it simply is NOT the quality publication it used to be.
    This was not helped by having the same experience as Jimmy: renewing online did seem to be impossible from the UK.
    I e-mailed the publishers and got an acknowledgement from a robot, but nothing from a human.
    Eventually, my unbroken paper mag collection since 1981 swayed me to renew using the renewal card.

    BTW, on the subject of The Astronomer magazine I recently informed Guy Hurst that there is a public house named ‘The Astronomer’ near Liverpool Street!


    Guy was amused by this ‘rival’ organisation, fittingly part of the Fuller’s chain!


    Dr Andrew Smith

    I used to lust after the Unitron refractors that were advertised on the back cover in the good old days.

    Regards Andrew 

    Grant Privett

    The problem is it went from owners who wanted to make a living to owners who wanted to be rich with the minimum possible effort.

    You see it in business a lot. Buy something good, reduce standards, cut costs and milk that asset!

    Eric Watkins

    I too had an unbroken chain of S & T since the early 80’s + a good cover of back magazines.  However, about 3 years ago I deliberately gave up subscription. Contents were becoming so trivial and uninspiring with regard to amateur projects. At one time I would read it cover to cover many times, but I was finding that I read quickly through it over breakfast coffee and never looked at it again, also true of many of the current crop of amateur mags which may go the same way for me.


Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 29 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.