Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_celestial_motion.thumb.jpg.a9e9349c45f96ed7928eb32f1baf76ed.jpg

Sign in to follow this  
Stormwatch

Practical astronomer magazine

Recommended Posts

I currently subscribe to S@N magazine, and generally end up buying AN every month as well, but I find myself often completely uninterested in a lot of the articles in those magazines, especially AN which usually has a large percentage of articles which just go WAAY over my head. I'd much rather read more reviews of kit, with tips on how to get the best out of such kit, than read about vague theories on dark matter or other cosmological questions. Also, buying two magazines with two pretty much identical "guides to the month's night sky" seems a bit of a waste of time (especially during summer when I haven't really had the 'scope out).

So PRACTICAL Astronomer sounds like a promising magazine. Is it really much different to the mainstream, newsstand mags?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magazines for every conceivable hobby, will always contain more useless stuff, than usefull. Unfortunately Astronomy magazines are no exception. Plenty of adverts, and some quite usefull articles, and if you are lucky, something that really gels with your particular interest. But only rarely does that happen. I agree that there comes a time when you have to assess just what you are paying good money for.

I used to by Astronomy, Sky and Telescope, Astronomy Now, and goodness knows what else off the shelf at WH Smiths.

Then one day I took a long look at all the magazines My wife had stored away in a spare bedroom In Built Wardrobe, and I was dumbstruck.

The weight of them alone must have been placing my ceiling in grave danger of collapse, never mind the money they had cost me

over the years. I was just pleased they were Monthly and not weekly. I stopped the buying of them from that Month, and it was only last week I was in Smiths, and I decided to buy a Sky at Night magazine. I have read it, and I enjoyed seeing Geppetto's Lunar picture, and also some of the articles.

What I won't do, is go on another spending spree on magazines. I think on the whole, they are not worth a monthly purchase.

A couple a year would suffice me.

As to your dilemma, Practical Astronomy implies hands on activities, which is desirable I guess, but not having ever read a copy I can't advise you one way or the other.

I think it is a decision you have to make yourself.

Ron. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I 'picked up' a copy of Practical Astronomer, at last years Kelling Heath 'star party'.

It wasn't a bad read, and did major on practical astronomy at an amateur level.

I did consider subscribing, but never actually got around to doing so. It is still a consideration.

I subscribe to S@N, and buy Astronomy Now, from my local newsagent, as unlike S@N magazine, AN don't give much of a financial benefit for subscribing, so I prefer to let my local shop get something out of it.

I also, receive Popular Astronomy magazine, as a member of the SPA, but I've decided to 'drop' the SPA this time around, as there is little or no benfefit for me, in being a member.

As far as Practical Astronomer goes, quite a few UKAI members seem to subscribe, and apart from late arrival problems, I've not read any negative comments. Unlike S@N mag, that always contains adverts that have absolutely nothing to do with astronomy, and which have given rise to a number of negative comments.

Why don't buy a copy or two of Practical Astronomer (I believe this is possible), and make a judgement based on what you find.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have subscribed to 'Practical Astronomer' since the beginning and find it an interesting read.

It does adopt a far more 'hands on' approach than the other magazines, but I find this the best thing about PA. Personally, I find articles about how to process my images, (including actual screen shots), far more useful than pieces on the latest discoveries regarding Dark Matter or the expansion of the universe.

PA may not be as 'polished' as some of the other astronomy magazines, (yet), but the fact that it deals with aspects of the hobby which are of most interest to me, (astro-imaging / observing techniques / proper equipment reviews), means it is the only magazine to which I currently subscribe.

Recently, the publishers were giving away a free copy as a 'taster'. I'm not sure if the offer has ended, but you could always check out the website for sample articles and reviews.

http://www.practicalastronomer.com/main.php

Hope this helps.

Lee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, I think they all give a mixture of the "hard and easy" taking away some of the more detailed stuff would then prevent academic astronomers from having a feed into the goings on. I have found that the tests of kit carried out in S@N can be very effective (look at the way sales went up for the baader laser after they ran an article) I also think that astronomy as a subject is initself a pretty upward level of understanding, and the science will always come across as daunting at the best of time.

In respect of the S@N, they tend to run adverts of all forms as it is a BBC publication and as such relies on the advertising to ensure it is published.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i used to buy the AN religously until the price went up and up, and my interest got diverted onto other things.

I would occasionally buy it if there was something interesting. But the AN to be fair never seems to contain and awful lot. not enough anyway for me to justify the price.

The S@N i subscribe to, and i must admit i do find it a fab read, something new an interesting each time. While it does this for me, i will keep my sub.

I do agree with the concept of practicle astronomy. i notice also that there are more and more useful books appearing here too. The get out and do rather thn sit and read.

I suppose i see astronomy as a practicle subject, one reason i no longer really attend meetings. Cannot be bother sitting listening to someone harping on for ages. after a days work.

i know, i know, winging again!

Alf Garnet out lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gave up buying Astro Mags a while back. I grew sick of page after page of glossy adverts and 2 page 'in depth' articles. :(

No surprise as most Magazines and Newspapers are basically there to sell advertising to a target audience.

I would much rather invest in a book.

I've not read Practical Astronomer, how many ads are there compared with actual articles?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gave up buying Astro Mags a while back. I grew sick of page after page of glossy adverts and 2 page 'in depth' articles. :(

No surprise as most Magazines and Newspapers are basically there to sell advertising to a target audience.

I would much rather invest in a book.

I've not read Practical Astronomer, how many ads are there compared with actual articles?

which is true though, i mean given that people are paying for these periodicals already, why contaminate them with adverts. i can understand one or two, but to have the same Rubbish in there each month, and paying top dollar for that too. so yes i quite agree

i guess as i see it the S@N mag has enough in it to wet my appetite

AT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only subscribe to PA and have only been doing that for 3 months, have 3 months of my subscription left. To be honest I won't renew. Having packed in the imaging there's very little in there that's interesting.

As for S&T, AN, Astronomy and S@N, I read all those on a Saturday morning while my wife is browsing the shops. That's why we have a local reference library!!!! WHSmiths don't actually sell anything, that's not how a library works!

Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

Like some of you I subscribe to S@N because there is a considerable discount in doing so. I've also got all of them so can't really bring myself to stop. As for the advert they don't really bother me, they are just ignored. I feel that there is a good mix of article in here and very occasionally get something worthwhile from the CD. However, most of the stuff on the CD is freeware that can be found on the internet. I also buy A.N. and I find that a generally more challenging, but worthwhile read. I do agree that there should be more practical guides which are clearly not the emphasis of these two magazines, so perhaps Practical Astronomer does satisfy a necessary niche IHMO. Think I'll give it a go but I haven't seen it in any retailers.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel that there is a good mix of article in here and very occasionally get something worthwhile from the CD. However, most of the stuff on the CD is freeware that can be found on the internet.

Chris

I've had S@N mag from Day 1, and have every CD. However, unlike you Chris, I've never found anything of use/value on the CD.

I'd much prefer to have the option of a non 'CD included' version of the mag, and pay less for it!!

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel that there is a good mix of article in here and very occasionally get something worthwhile from the CD. However, most of the stuff on the CD is freeware that can be found on the internet.

Chris

I've had S@N mag from Day 1, and have every CD. However, unlike you Chris, I've never found anything of use/value on the CD.

I'd much prefer to have the option of a non 'CD included' version of the mag, and pay less for it!!

Dave

This mag sounds like a decent read so I think I'll buy at least one issue and see what it's like before I subscribe.

On the S@N CD, I must admit I actually really like it. I never used to bother but recently I started watching the programmes and stuff on my laptop with headphones on, while the wife watches Big Brother or something like that. I ALWAYS miss the programme as it's on at a stupid time, so it's great to have it on a cd IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel that there is a good mix of article in here and very occasionally get something worthwhile from the CD. However, most of the stuff on the CD is freeware that can be found on the internet.

Chris

I've had S@N mag from Day 1, and have every CD. However, unlike you Chris, I've never found anything of use/value on the CD.

I'd much prefer to have the option of a non 'CD included' version of the mag, and pay less for it!!

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too came to a decision one day about which subscription I'd keep going. S@N were less than useless on the services side when I had a problem with delivery - so off they went. I got a bit weary of review after review on just about anything being overwhelmingly positive and found that at odds with my experience of certain products.

AN was always a good one, but alot of the science stuff was out of my reach until i started reading more on the subject and did some OU courses - now I find that science content much more useful.

Both mags could do away with a lot of the adverts too - problably essential from their buisness point of view though.

PA has been consistent - they do decent reviews and highlight pros and cons that are relevant, (though I found some of their info on optics baffling as my knowledge isnon existant). They do good tutorials on processing images too - though as with any software based work, it is very program specific.

I subscribe to PA, and get AN off the shelf when I fancy a read.

Anthony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.