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björk wonder

rubix_cube_cat in astronomy

Sky & Telescope vs. Astronomy magazine

Hi, I'm new and such. :)

I'd really like to subscribe to an astronomy/space exploration magazine, but I'm not sure which one I should choose. I'm leaning toward Sky & Telescope but I'm also considering Astronomy magazine. Can anyone make any personal recommendations?



Historically, people tended to start with Astronomy and then graduate to Sky & Telescope. The stereotype was that Astronomy was good for the lay person and Sky & Telescope was more "serious" with a greater focus on equipment. However, those stereotypes don't really play anymore. Astronomy has become a fine magazine under new editorial direction while Sky & Telescope has fallen on hard times due to a recent buyout by a magazine company (Sky & Tel used to be independent). But recently Sky & Tel has staged a comeback in the last few months while also gaining a new editor who is a terrific science writer. So basically, both are now quality magazines in my mind.
A good thing to have that kind of situation in progress.

From a local perspective, it seems to me as if Sky News has picked up Astronomy's old "beginner/lay person" ambit for the Canadian astronomy community. Whether local publications elsewhere in the various nations are doing likewise, I don't know.
Thanks for the info! I only knew that S&T had been around longer and that Astronomy had a larger circulation. Knowing a little more of the history helps with my decision.
I love Astronomy magazine. I subscribed to it many, many years ago but let it expire because it didn't seem to hold my interest for very long, but when I grabbed a copy not too long ago it was wonderful. Full of eye candy, as well.

But I can't tell you what it's like compared to Sky & Telescope as I've never read through a full issue.
Haha, sounds kind of like me and National Geographic. :) If I do choose Astronomy (and I thinking I might), I'll start with just a year's subscription and go from there.
I'd go with Sky and Telescope; I like their articles much more, but Astronomy is also a good magazine.
They both are good and have similar features. Astronomy is somewhat more mass market and Sky & Telescope is slightly more technical. But both are quite accessible for anyone interested in the skies.
I adore Sky & Telescope; I'd buy it for the annual Skywatcher's Almanac alone. I love the fact that every issue contains astrophysics (translated into English!) and planetary science and current space missions and tips on building telescopes and things to look for in the sky this month and...

I've never read Astronomy.
I had both for a while and I preferred S&T for similar reasons. I miss S&T having the monthly Gleanings for ATMs column, however. I have the January 2010 issue (bought for the annual Almanac chart) and the 'Telescope Workshop' column is frustrating. It talks about a new-ish design but doesn't say anything about actual construction - which I think rather misses the point when the thing talked about is supposed to be a rather easy item to make.
My opinion as a professional is that the quality and factual correctness of the articles in Sky & Telescope have declined precipitously over the last ten years. However at the same time my dealings and interactions with the folks at Astronomy have improved and they have really gotten better. I think the writers at Astronomy are much more professional and knowledgeable about how to communicate science to lay people. Sky & Telescope is just coasting on its past reputation and a stable of at best mediocre (at worst fail out of journalism school awful) writers.
Hmmm, good to have a professional opinion. I don't really know that much about either magazine as far as history/reputation, so it really helps to hear from someone who's dealt with both of them firsthand. I think I may go with Astronomy after all. :)


Astronomy & Katrina

My house and telescopes in New Orleans were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina levee failure salt water flooding. (Not something you want to experience, trust me.) The Astronomy people found me in Slidell, THREE YEARS later, & sent me copies that they couldn't deliver, and that I had forgotten that I had coming. (Trauma can do that to you.) How many companies would do that? Not too many. So I renewed for three years. And StarDome is cool. The new Meade 12 inch ACF is on the way as I write this. Scopebuggy too.
Bill, retired 1,000 feet north of I-12 in Slidell, LA. (The highway noise keeps the dogs from barking, and lights from going on, at 3:00 a.m.)

August 2015

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