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Willmann-Bell

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Xilman's picture
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Willmann-Bell

Willmann-Bell has recently gone out of business. They published, amongst other things, Uranometria 2000 and Annals of the Deep Sky.  Both are very useful and important works for amateur astronomers in my opinion.

Does anyone with connections to the publishing industry know how the WB publications may perhaps be taken over by another company?

Cambridge University Press is an obvious candidate because of their extensive output in this field, none of which directly compete with the publications mentioned.

Jeremy's picture
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CUP will no longer publish

CUP will no longer publish amateur astronomy books. See Owen's comments on WB and CUP on this recent thread here.

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CUP

Yes - unfortunately CUP is going through a lot of changes currently. You may have heard the news that CUP is going to merge with Cambridge Assessment in 2021. The university says there will be lots of exciting opportunities for CUP to produce "digital education" tailored to exam syllabuses. But at the same time, they've admitted they will be laying off a significant number of staff:

https://www.cam.ac.uk/news/cambridge-university-press-to-join-with-cambridge-assessment

I fear the future is not very bright for the bits of CUP not connected with "digital education", given it will soon be a sub-division within an exam board.

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AIP4WIN software

Willmann-Bell shutting up shop is a sad development. The AIP4WIN software, which accompanies Richard Berry’s book “Astronomical Image Processing”, has been used by many people for photometry. The second edition, including AIP4WIN version 2 software, has been out of print for many years. According to Willmann-Bell, they are making a non-registered version available from their website, specifically stating “AIP4Win2.0 No Longer Requires On-line Registration”. Richard Berry comments in an AAVSO forum that it is now essentially freeware.

Xilman's picture
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AIP4WIN

Good news.

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An old fogey comments...

It is a real shame that we have got to this point but I think it reflects the fact that many people now expect to be able to browse the web and get information for free. Most sources of quality journalism are suffering the same fate. Some publishers have embraced the low-cost route but many of their current books look like printed versions of someone's web page.

The Internet has been, generally, a great force for good but quality publishing has taken a big hit. I'm not so sure that the democratisation of news and comment has been a particularly positive thing either.

Xilman's picture
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Yes but ...

As far as charts are concerned Aladin and DSS are both free and far in excess of what printed media can realistically provide.  I use them all the time and print off what I require as and when it seems like a good idea.

It is more the replacements for Burnham's and Annals of the Deep Sky with which I am concerned.

I love the smell of old paper in the morning. It smells of contentment. I own many astronomical publications, a few of which are over 200 years old though very few can honestly be described as useful except in very unusual circumstances.