Magazines

These are links to publications which, as general astronomy resources, will have links of their own. Since astronomy is their business, you may get the quickest return on your time by seeing what they have first.

  • Sky and Telescope — Publishers of Sky and Telescope magazine, one of the big two here in the United States. This is my favorite but some of my friends prefer Astronomy, so who knows which you will like. One of my reasons for liking this is the tear-out star maps which always have some commentary on interesting things to observe. You can treat them as project sheets (I do). In that past couple of years, Sky and Telescope has reorganized so that it is more hemispheric-neutral, and the tear-out maps have the southern skies on one side and the northern on the other. That's great for the folks in the southern hemisphere, but I was disappointed because I had been using their "Small Scope Sampler" page (which was on the back of the tear-out map) at the telescope. I can't do that anymore.
  • Astronomy is another big magazine here in the USA and the first one to which I ever subscribed in the mid 1970s using my allowance. More recently, I was getting both Sky and Telescope and Astronomy, but there is a moderate amount of duplication (same news stories, no surprise there) and I ended up selecting only Sky and Telescope. Some of my friends have similarly had to choose between the two and ended up choosing Astronomy, so you might want to read several issues of both before choosing one or the other.
  • Nightsky is another publication by the Sky and Telescope folks but aimed squarely at the novice by eliminating much of the jargon and taking more space to explain the basics. If you are thinking of getting a gift for yourself, a child, or a friend who has expressed an interest in astronomy, this magazine should be on your short list.
  • SkyNews — Publishers of SkyNews magzine, the biggest (only?) Canadian astronomy magazine. Terrence Dickinson is the editor and David Levy is a regular contributor. The magazine is bimonthly (6-times per year) and is pretty short compared to the big two. The sky charts are not as nice as those of either Sky and Telescope or Astronomy but every now and then they print a "photo-realistic" sky chart in the centerfold which is worth the subscription. Mine are a bit warped from being used under dark skies on dewy nights but I love them.
  • Amateur Astronomy is a labor of love by Tom Clark, its chief (only?) editor. The articles are definitely of a less-polished variety than the "professional" magazines, but if you are handy with your hands and are thinking of ways to modify your telescope or build some handy gadget, the back-issues provide a wealth of information. I've been backfilling my collection for just that reason, simply to have the resource available, even if I have too many thumbs.