24 January 2019 at 3:21 pm #580595Edward FraserParticipant
Any recommendations for which Astronomy mag or mags worth subscribing to now?24 January 2019 at 10:34 pm #580596Jeremy ShearsParticipant
Front cover of my first S&T. Got on the last day of the Christmas hols in Jan 1974 at the Old Royal Greenwich Observatory25 January 2019 at 6:45 pm #580601Bill WardParticipant
Now there’s a question!, and there’s probably a near infinite number of opinions as to which is best… 😉
PS. …but apart from JBAA of course, The Astronomer…26 January 2019 at 10:53 pm #580605John ThorpeParticipant
My view on S&T is that, along with nearly all the popular science magazines, it has certainly dumbed down over the years, and I cancelled my sub some 20 years ago.
However, as a teacher, always promoting astronomy wherever a chance presents, I am conscious of the fact that most students are not ready for the detail and depth of a publication like the BAA Journal. Sky and T gets it just about right for this level of interest. In fact I would argue that it does a better job than its competitors, and we currently use it in our school astro society.
And I do enjoy a number of the articles, particularly the historical ones and the updates on space missions, which, not being able to get to BAA meetings regularly, have often escaped my attention.
One thing I find disappointing. Long time S&T readers will recall George Lovi’s centre spread sky charts, brilliantly drawn and clearly marked with RA / dec. None of the popular magazines now seem to include these. The book of Lovi’s sky maps is still, along with Nortons, my first port of call for checking unfamiliar skies.28 January 2019 at 6:24 am #580606Paul Anthony BrierleyParticipant
Joseph Ashbrook was the editor back in the day when Jeremy got his first Sky and Telescope.
I started collecting mine in 1978. It was an excellent magazine. When JA was the editor, and it continued to be so until the new editor took over.
I am not saying he isn’t a good editor. But I do wish there was more content, and they didn’t just focus on the US population.29 January 2019 at 10:31 pm #580616John ThorpeParticipant
Agreed about Joseph Ashbrook. His “Astronomical Scrapbook” is one of my favourite browsing books. Published in 1984, it is a collection of many of his S&T articles.4 February 2019 at 7:18 pm #580643Alan ThomasParticipant
It’s not exactly a recommendation, but I stopped subscribing to S&T a few years ago. Instead, I decided to try Sky News: The Canadian Magazine of Astronomy & Stargazing. It only appears bi-monthly and is not particularly voluminous. But is has a very spacious and calm style, is printed on heavy, quality art paper (as S&T once used to be) and I particularly enjoy the images it offers, many of which are superb. I rather like it.
My father bought me a subscription to S&T, when I was starting out in astronomy, in the early 1960s. I found it pretty awe-inspiring, especially its full-page pictures; one of somewhere on the Moon’s surface sticks in my mind to this day. And frustrating to see all those telescopes advertised for sale, but only to the locals. It was like seeing an Aladdin’s cave without being able to go into it.
When I became a teenager, the sub fell by the wayside. I didn’t take it up again until I was in my sixties. . . and then dropped it again!6 February 2019 at 6:22 am #580648Paul Anthony BrierleyParticipant
I have to say I don’t like the way S&T gets sent out to Subscribers, well in advance of the published date.
January I received March. And yesterday. A letter to renew my subscription which isn’t due until August.14 February 2019 at 11:14 am #580678Nik SzymanekParticipant
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.
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