View Full Version here: : Which Astronomy Magazine do you read and why?
06-07-2011, 08:07 AM
There are many publications out there that are specifically for Astronomy. Which one do you read/subscribe to and why? If you like one over another please describe why? One might have more tech articles ect.
Sorry guys! I left the Australian Sky & Telescope.... I tried to change the poll but I have no idea how. So I guess just the S&T.
06-07-2011, 08:46 AM
You should probably add Australian Sky & Telescope, because the majority of users here are Australian :)
06-07-2011, 08:59 AM
The only one to subsribe to ;)
06-07-2011, 09:16 AM
As Iceman indicated, I nominated Sky and Telescope, but actually mean the Australian version.
06-07-2011, 10:45 AM
Australian Sky and Tel is the only one I regularly read.
But have in the past subscribed to or read The Astronomer, Astro Tech Today, Astronomy and Astronomy Now.
I also subscribe to a few FB astronomy news feeds from Alan Dyer, Robert Brand etc
Australian Sky & Telescope is the one for me.
I also get the British Sky at night magazine, love those old Sir Patrick episodes.
06-07-2011, 12:46 PM
Oz Sky and Telescope.
Sky at Night ( english) and the American one Astronomy on the odd occasion:)
06-07-2011, 06:10 PM
I voted sky and telescope assuming it was AS&T.
I have often bought Sky at Night, but find it a little light on substance these days - maybe I just have changing expectations.
06-07-2011, 09:41 PM
I also voted sky and telescope assuming it means the Australian version.
Subscribed since it was first published in 2005.
06-07-2011, 10:02 PM
Subscription now - but I read it anyway - I just gotit from the library!
06-07-2011, 10:20 PM
BBC sky at night and AS&T
07-07-2011, 12:02 AM
1. Australian Sky and Telescope
2. BBC Sky at Night
(voted None of the Above)
07-07-2011, 12:17 AM
I guess its my turn. While I don not subscribe to any one particular magazine I do read Astronomy, S&T, and AStronomy Now. I usually gravitate towards S&T but while at the news stand I'll pick up which ever magazine has articles I am interested in. Usually that means DIY articles, reviews and other realated topics.
So why are you guys reading the magazines you do? Do you like DIY, reviews, beginner articles? What floats your boat?
07-07-2011, 01:23 AM
I've pretty much narrowed it down to Astronomy Now and S&T.
AS&T has very good observing guides, particularly Sue French, and occasionally something "sciencey" I haven't already read.
The equipment reviews, I find are scant and largely irrelevent as I don't do AP and over the last couple of years they've focused almost exclusively on Astrographs and CCDs
AN has excellent technical articles and equipment reviews that are more germain to my observing style.
BBC's Sky at Night has gone straight down the crapper since a friend of mine was made sub-editor. :P
Though I still get it now and then for the DVD.;)
Astronomy, I find has really gone downhill without any help from my friends. I only get it now if I'm stuck somewhere without anything else to read.
I buy AST but usually sneak read as many others as I can by traveling a tram route which takes me through the Melbourne CBD and then past a number of selected newsagents. I hate it when any of the agents put out early airfreighted copies which are film wrapped and at twice the price!
08-07-2011, 11:27 AM
S&T. Pretty much started with that and have enjoyed its format and content, especially the equipment test reports (when they review scopes/eyepieces rather than imaging gear which seems to be the case 80% of the time lately), and the solar system/deep sky observing guides. 'Focal Point" is sometimes entertaining too.
08-07-2011, 06:35 PM
The Australian version of Sky & Telescope for me
08-07-2011, 07:41 PM
Sky and telescope... Aussie version. Have all the issues since no1, probably the best on the market, would like more local articles though, plus the space news is a bit heavy on NASA and not much elsewhere.
Basically an American mag with some aussieness.
Used to get the British one... Mainly for the DVD component... But went off it a while back and haven't bothered since, I think they did some old episodes from way back.... didn't work for me.
Have to agree with you. Good observing guide but equipment reviews could be better.
I used to really enjoy Astronomy and Sky and Telescope back in the mid 90's. I always looked forward to each issue. The mags now don't seem quite the same... could be me changing though! :)
09-07-2011, 02:33 AM
I grew bored with them all.
They all seem to lean more towards Astrophysics more than good old Astronomy nowdays. And the majority of gear reviews is top shelf stuff.
I think newbies to the hobby would be overwhelmed with scientific hoo-hah where they really crave lots of basic Astronomy tips, hints and lots more Telescope reviews. Not so much the top shelf stuff, but lots of beginners stuff. There's not much in any of the mags for beginners.
They used to be full of good basic info up until about 5 years ago.
Don't get me wrong, I like reading about astrophysics, but Astronomy mags for the last 5 years seem to have changed into Astrophysics mags with Telescope ads in them for Astrophotographers.
Just my view.
09-07-2011, 08:35 AM
I noticed the comments about test reports in Australian Sky & Telescope and I thought people would be interested to know what equipment has in fact appeared in test reports in our last 8 issues (my policy as Editor is to run at least 1 test report or book review in each issue).
Aug/Sep 2010: Atik’s 314L+ CCD camera
Oct 2010: Saxon’s 82-deg widefield eyepieces
Nov/Dec 2010: SBIG’s SG-4 Autoguider
Jan 2011: Carina Mobile’s SkyFi wireless telescope controller
Feb/Mar 2011: Apogee’s Alta U9000 CCD camera and Meade’s 8-inch LightSwitch telescope
Apr 2011: Ekinox 4-inch refractor and GoTo mount, Baader Hyperion Mk III Zoom eyepiece, SBIG ST-8300M CCD camera, and William Optics FLT-98 refractor
May/Jun 2011: PlaneWave’s CDK Astrograph
Jul 2011: Book Review
In the Aug/Sep issue (to be mailed in a few days) is the Coronado double-stacked personal solar telescope. In our October issue is Orion’s 10-inch GoTo dob. Down the track is a 14-inch SkyWatcher dob and Explore Scientific’s 6-inch “David Levy Comet Hunter” scope.
There’s a mix of telescope, camera, and accessory reviews across a range of budgets.
An index to all our test reports is here:
09-07-2011, 12:16 PM
I have to agree with your opinion there Ken. Whilst I also occasionally enjoy reading about some aspects of cosmology and astrophysics - to a point - this is one aspect of most of the magazines which have stopped me from subscribing. As a result I only buy from the local newsagent when there content is of interest to me.
What I have always looked for in astronomy magazines is, as you have said, "good, basic information" - observational, practical information. In regards to AS&T these are all found in the centre few pages from contributors such as Les Dalrymple, Sue French, and Ross Gould.
In my opinion most of the glossy magazines on the market these days have steered away from many of the basic fundamentals of backyard astronomy. And I use the term "backyard" which in my opinion is just as relevant as using the term"amateur". If my memory serves me correctly, I used to read more articles about ATM projects, cheap and easy builds, barn door mount projects, etc etc. than we do these days. Why don't we see as many ATM projects these days? Perhaps because the market and advertising is all for pushing new scopes and gear.
AS&T (and others) do put together a quality publications, I am not disputing that, but sometimes I cannot justify the cost.
Remember this is my opinion only, from my observations as a backyard observer. Your perspective will no doubt be different.
09-07-2011, 01:37 PM
I have always been a builder. I built my own 375 gallon acrylic aquarium, tear drop trailer, and telescope to name just a few. One thing I have noticed with younger people is they lack the desire to build. It seems as though they would rather just buy something that looks like it might involve a bit of research and work. In the states there is a serious lack of engineers and scientists which seems to validate me a bit. :D
With that said I agree with you guys. I mostly pick up the magazines looking for DIY articles and reviews of equipment that I can actually afford without having to open up a line of credit. Don't get me wrong some good astrophysical articles are great also. Maybe some good DIY articles will help bring new people into the hobby. You know the sono-tube Dobsonian type of builds that are easy to do and easy to acquire parts for. However, the later statement is becoming more difficult... Ultimately, I have no idea what articles best drive the astronomy magazine's sales. I would assume what is being printed is what the majority are looking for. All I can do is suggest what would get me to subscribe.
Edit: Oh, I forgot to mention. With DIY articles especially I like pictures, lots of them, and big ones too. No point in having a DIY article with three or four small pictures of somebodies beautiful build with great design features you cannot see.....
11-07-2011, 08:59 AM
US Sky & Telescope
I purchase OZ Mags on a semi-regular basis and UK Mags when they appear (if the articles are different, sometimes they are not :shrug: )
27-07-2011, 12:38 AM
I have let my subscriptions lapse, but I've enjoyed US Astronomy Magazine the most, then US Sky and Tel.
In fact, I still have the first issue of Astronomy magazine (1973, I think). Good, thought-provoking articles, capturing the sense of adventure.
12-08-2011, 09:05 AM
I subscribe to US Astronomy and I have fond memories of reading that magazine when I was 10 (25 years ago sigh....). I also like Aus Sky and Telescope - just wish it was published more often.
12-08-2011, 09:40 AM
I read the US S&T online and the Australian S&T on paper.
12-08-2011, 10:25 PM
No subscriptions but I get every issue of AS&T and Sky At Night. Equipment reviews (scopes, accessories, AP gear) remain unread - not that I don't do lots of observing & Ap, just that I'm not in the market for anything. AS&T has lots of good articles & enough Oz content to keep me satisfied - it's a fantastic publication given the market, IMO. Sky At Night has a broad range of informative articles, and a SHem sky guide. I like that they have several pages devoted to snippets of astro news. Good for people like me with short attention spans. CD is a bonus - rainy day stuff but liked their Apollo series and occasionally you pick up some useful free software.
23-08-2011, 12:30 PM
AS&T for me. I haven't subscribed to an astronomy publication for 8 years but started again in 2010 and so far I have liked every issue.
23-08-2011, 02:38 PM
+1 for Aus Sky & Tel. Good mag, good articles. More DIY would be good. But in many ways, the rationale for building your own is diminishing. It is cheaper to buy ready-made. And it works better. And you get it faster. The only good reasons left to DIY are "enjoyment" (which is valid if intangible), as a learning exercise, and because what you want is not available commercially.
24-08-2011, 09:20 PM
The only one I read on a regular basis is Astro Photo Insight, which is electronic.
When going on holiday I will grab what looks good from the newsagency, often an Aust S&T and something else. Although I rarely get to reading most of them so wonder why I spend the money :screwy:
Australian Sky & Telescope for me its the best mag ever :D and i love the dudes that do up some of the articles in them i get much better enjoyment out of reading AS&T than the Womens Weekly magazine :lol::lol:
Yeah there's a vast difference between the astro sections of both of these magazines isn't there Jen?
:lol::lol: yep there sure is RB :rofl:
25-08-2011, 04:51 AM
I buy AS&T because of the local observing content.
I also buy Sky at Night because to me, the articles seem to be explained better. Maybe it just suits my reading style. I can barely understand Patrick Moore on the DVD too, but that just adds to the entertainment value.
I buy Astronomy Now and I also get the US subscription-only mag Amateur Astronomy which has a bit of Aussie content - 'Shorts from Down Under' and the 'Dr. Nervo Shatterini quiz'.
06-10-2011, 09:47 AM
I pick up AS&T every month and occasionally Sky at Night. The articles in AS&T are usually great but each month I find myself skipping more articles than I actually read. I'd agree with Ken that it's a bit astrophysics heavy - some of these articles are good, but I really struggle to read others. I also skip right over the astrophotography content. Weighing up whether or not to continue buying it, truth be told.
06-10-2011, 02:41 PM
I see plenty of young people building all manner of projects.
The difference these days is the cost. It used to be that if you built yourself you could put together an 8" reflector for a small fraction of the cost of a commercial scope, so there was much more impetus to get into DIY. Also, the commercial scopes didn't have heaps of advantages over home made (in the days before goto etc.)
Now when you can pick up a second hand C8 for under $500, the DIY route isn't as attractive to the starving students as it once was.
Having said that though, I'd love to see more beginner articles, and more DIY in the magazines.
14-10-2011, 06:17 PM
Astronomy Technology today are offering a 12 month subscription online for $10USD at the moment
14-10-2011, 10:10 PM
I love Astronomy Technology Today. I have to admit that I always read the magazines as a kid to drool over the gear inside anyway, if you got another interesting article then that was what I used to justify them to others. ;)
05-11-2011, 05:05 PM
I'm with you Lightning, love Astro Tech Today. When I get my S&T each month, the first thing I turn to is the equipment pages. :)
05-11-2011, 05:27 PM
Although I have been receiving the S&T magazine for nearly 30 years, I will be changing to the Australian S&T when my subscription runs out. I think the US version is better, however, the Australian S&T is more pertinent to the Australian audience. I will still get the US S&T but via electronic edition instead (mostly for the ads) and then get the annual DVD for reference. I am moving away from printed magazines and moving to electronic content. It is time for all magazines to include an electronic version.
It still surprises me that publishers are still reluctant to embrace electronic media. I still buy books, but mostly older astro books for reference purposes. It is rare that I buy any new titles in printed form and mostly now look for the electronic form. The electronic devices available today can story many books and it is nice to be able to take your reference library with you in a small device.
I recently wanted to replace my older version of the McGraw Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, which in book form is a large and heavy two volume set, costing about $450. I contacted McGraw Hill seeking the DVD version and to my dismay they are not going to make a version in electronic form. To me, this seems crazy, as the electronic form is much more convenient and easier to use. If they made a DVD version at a reasonable price they would sell considerably more than their two volume sets.
Electronic form is the way of the future, to a degree, so I hope these publishers wake up to this. If they don't, I won't be buying their product.
21-11-2011, 08:49 PM
:) I am with you there Peter , Thats why I have been trying to find an Australian supplier of the S&T 70 years of The CD collection..
Its a pain alright !
As you say mate , its the way af the future ;).
I also still buy lots of astronomy books and Mag's , I think its an easier ? More comfortable way to read , like sitting under a tree on a saturday afternoon with a book , waiting for dark , as the scope cools off?
Oh yea .
06-12-2011, 01:30 PM
Hi, I found this thread while looking for a back issue of AS&T (Australian Sky and Telescope).
I am looking for someone who is willing to sell their AS&T Issue 51 (Feb/Mar 11). I have been collecting all the issues of AS&T since Issue 1 and have all the issues but issue 51 (went missing). I am happy to pay a premium of up to $5-10. Please let me know if anyone (knows anyone) who wants to sell their back issue... Thank you.
06-12-2011, 03:38 PM
The office of Australian Sky & Telescope sells back issues going back 1 year. If you would like to call the Odysseus office, our staff can help you there.
06-12-2011, 05:06 PM
While you are at it, you might want to add JJJNettie's Facebook wall as another option.The only one I am subscribed to at the moment, a plethora (word of the day) of information on all things astronomy as well as a smorgasboard of other information....;)
:lol::lol::lol: lol Chris
13-12-2011, 07:23 PM
I read AS&T. I've tried a few of the other magazines but found this one was the best, especially for local information.
14-01-2012, 09:01 AM
I read for some years S&T magazine. I also read day by day, Astro Bob. I know it's not a magazine but sometimes I feel like it is.
18-01-2012, 11:39 AM
I JUST signed up for Australian Sky & Telescope.. :D:D:D
28-01-2012, 07:27 AM
Australia Sky & Telescope and the BBC's Sky at Night
and any others I can get my hands on :D
09-02-2012, 03:49 PM
Australian Sky and Telescope- it's simply the most relevant to me. I have Starry Night PP6 but I still use the magazine's chart for setting up my scope.
12-02-2012, 08:17 PM
The way the question is worded, it seems only printed magazines (delivered by mail, or bought at a newsagent's?) would count.
Is there any way to say 'I subscribe, but read the online/electronic version'?
Also, does astro-ph count as a magazine?
Cant believe you dont have "sky at night" here..you get a free DVD ofthe last broadcast show and the website is very good
13-01-2013, 07:08 PM
Sky and Telescope. I am a subscriber, great magazine to read. Haven't really looked at the other ones.
13-01-2013, 11:07 PM
If anyone has access to a University library (staff / student / alumni / public member) you might find Sky & Telescope in the electronic journals collections. I just noticed 'Astronomy' too. I might request Australian S&T!
14-01-2013, 04:21 PM
I'm an avid reader of "Sky and Space". Eagerly awaiting the next issue as we speak.
They're very good, the way they reassure me all the time that I'm still on their subscription list, that they haven't forgotten that I'm still fully paid up. As soon as they iron out one or two technical glitches they'll be right back at me.
Any day now...
14-01-2013, 08:21 PM
It really depends on the issue!
Australian: Australian Sky & Telescope is the most frequent purchase
US: Sky & Telescope (US) electronically, Astronomy
UK: BBC’s Sky at Night and Astronomy Now
To be honest though, if you’ve been getting these magazines for a while they tend to begin to repeat themselves – usually starting with the monthly constellation guides ;) So, if there is something riveting in an issue I may get I one, but if not I will just read the science news on the web, and look here or in CN for equipment news.
14-01-2013, 10:06 PM
Yep same again, the old episodes are great to watch.
15-01-2013, 09:49 PM
Australian Sky and Telescope. Needs some "How tos" more often though.
Sky at Night (not on the list) - only for the Astrophotography masterclass etc.
And Astronomy Now
Dislike all the American Astro magazines VERY much. Far too much advertising, poor quality paper, and generally very average content. I will READ "Astronomy" only - never buy it. I find I can actually READ it in about 2 minutes in the news agency! IT USED to be OK, but like most mainstream US magazines, is 100% advertising driven and has so biased reviews it is worthless.
16-01-2013, 01:02 AM
Australian Sky and telescope, and I have a subscription to Sky At Night (only because they published one of my photos), plus I get the Canadian magazine SkyNews.
I like the Sky At Night supplements they do- they did one recently on A/photography which was kinda useful. If I knew how to use photoshop would have been more useful!!
16-01-2013, 01:10 AM
AST becuase I keep getting yearly subscriptions for Christmas otherwise I get all my info online its free, far quicker and current.
17-01-2013, 10:33 PM
18-01-2013, 09:49 PM
Yep, Aussie S&T for me too.
It used to be Sky and Telescope seeing as that's not available here I get AN and Sky at Night.
22-01-2013, 05:12 PM
I'm a subscriber to Australian Sky and Telescope, and like others mentioned, I like to local content. Not all issues are for me, but the majority are.
I like the local advertisements, these are good to read thru to keep up to date [not to mention they fund the magazine].
I very much like the S French section, the various latest astronomical news, gallery, and the last page readers article.
But Greg, if you are still monitoring this thread, the one thing missing is an astrophotography section for "What's up this month". There are plenty of sections for the visual observer and the planetary imager, but little targeted directly for the astrophotographer. You may argue against this that the current sections are adequate, but these provide only occasional assistance to me for what's up next/now. I also believe that astrophotography must be one of the largest growing areas in astronomy today, so securing this markets interest by having a specific section providing a "What's up" section would increase demand for the AS&T.
The new category could be broken up into three sections, 1st a DSLR wide field section for panorama possibilities. This could be expanded to assist the new field of readers emerging in achieving great sky animations like those done by Alex Cherney. Not advice on how to do the animations, but advice on assisting readers on planning their session for this month.
The next sections could be easier, for 500mm to 1000mm focal lengths, and the last for 1800mm to 2500mm. It may be argued that for each focal length, you may derive a very different field of view from the CCD used, but a line needs to be drawn somewhere on how to designate the sections of advice.
I think one of the hardest things to do, especially for the new comer, is to identify what to capture next. Those who do not have support in the form of a club or forum, may find they lose interest quickly as they cannot find the next interesting object to capture. AS&T could fulfil this void, making these next interesting objects a simple thing to plan for.
I wouldn't recommend obscure objects with little colour or without nebulosity, as most people are interested in a "Wow" result rather than a scientific purpose. It may even be advice in the form of a list/matrix. I have even made a simple reminder list in Excel for myself using auto-filters. Here you can select the month of interest, and even target objects for a certain focal lengths. I've attached mine just as a hint. This list is a little old now, as I use CCDAP for future sessions.
People can plan their own framing, but AS&T could even advise on this too for particular objects. It may be that AS&T reminds readers to not miss important objects surrounding the main object in the field, and that they try to include these too [depending on their FOV].
Anyway, just my 20cents. I very much like my AS&T. :thumbsup:
31-01-2013, 07:40 AM
Sky and Telescope and AStronomy magazine because I read it for free at the library every month.:D:D:D:eyepop::thumbsup:
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