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The best astronomy magazine?


coffee_prince
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Out of the three it would be Sky & Telescope for me. I used to get AN regularly ( I've got the 1st 5 years complete in fact ! ) but since discovering astro-forums on the web I rarely buy a magazine these days TBH - only when I have a long train journey !.

John

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The only one i take regularly is Sky & Telescope. But its not as good as it used to be...

Astronomy Now is better now than it was a few years back.

I never really got on with Sky @ Night.

Two others at WH Smiths - Astronomy (US publication), and Astronomy & Space (?) - the Irish publication. I used to take Astronomy, but it is a bit samey these days.Not convinced there is enough meat in Astronomy & Space.

/callump

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S&T went down the pan about a year ago for me...and a LOT of people I know think the same. S@N and AN I get every month...I have a bit of bias toward AN :-)...

Depends on what you want...every publication has strengths and weaknesses. I also like Astrophoto Insight and used to enjoy Practical Astronomer.

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I used to subscribe to S&T which was the one I liked best but stopped a few years ago, and don't read any of the mags much now (there's so much on the web).

Which mag you prefer depends on what you're looking for.

My impression was always that AN was especially good for beginners and for people interested in space (including rocketry), not necessarily observing. I haven't read it cover-to-cover for a few years so maybe it's changed. But my dad's a keen subscriber and he hasn't had his scope out for a few years as far as I can tell.

S&T I always thought good for serious observers at any level, also with a fair bit of techie and DIY stuff. I like reading observing notes from people with telescopes bigger than mine - it inspires me to try harder. I sometimes go through my back issues for articles on things like flocking, collimation etc. More often for the "deep-sky notebook".

I found the US mag Astronomy also very good, pretty much like S&T, though perhaps a bit less content.

I've never read S@N.

A thing that always struck me with the US mags was a greater tendency towards human-interest type stories ("Looking at M31 with my six-year-old daughter" kind of thing). These are a matter of personal taste.

With any mag, the economics is that your readership will be mostly beginners, so you need to cater for them. And you need something that will hold on to them once they're further up the learning curve. How the balance goes is a matter of editorial choice. I always felt that S&T stretched furthest up the curve.

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I think S@N has majorly gone down hill since its inception. While I have no objection to beginery articles, it seems to mostly have gone that way. And whats with that IDIOTIC!!!! doctors article?!!!!

Also, while I have no objection to reading about kit, it seems their product reviews are becoming ever so much more slanted, especially towards kit priced twice the competition as winners in group tests.

It has to be AN for me now. Meatier articles and more slanted to the practical astronomer actually getting out and using a telescope.

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:-)

Thing is, despite an obvious slant towards AN, I do enjoy reading a wide range of subjects covered by the UK mags. I miss PA...it was good and augmented the others well. S&T...and Astronomy just don't do it for me any more

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I've always felt there was a significant "overlap" between S@N and AN.

But I guess some topics are simply current to the particular month. :)

Of the two, I think I prefer AN. I occasionally buy other (e.g. US) mags...

To see which equipment I might covet, but generally, cannot afford. :o

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I've been subscribing to S@N for about 8 months now and I always thoroughly enjoy it. Good balance of topics, great articles (SPM's piece is always a great read as is Keith Hopcroft's 'beginner's guide' column). I find their starmap easy to read and concise. Sometimes I wish they'd forego page upon page of advertising and get some more stories and 'useful' info in there but they have to adverts really so hey-ho. The magazine keeps me busy all month, I'm always going back to it :o

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I subscribe to S@N (well, my step mum pays for it every year as a birthday present). I find it very good. The Classified ads have been of great help to me in the past.

The equipment reviews editor, Paul Money, is a friend of my step mums ( I have yet to meet him) and he collimated my dad's scope (the soligor) just before he passed. I have always wanted to ask him (and will do when I meet him) why the reviews always bias the more expensive items and how yo can compare, for example, a £50 EP with a £250 one!

All in all, I like the format of S@N. I like the episode on the cover disc (especially useful if you missed it!) SPM's column is always thought provoking and his guide to the moon is beyond compare!

AN is farily good, but I find it a bit too concerned with rockets and news of experiments for my liking. Also, they wouldn't offer me any deals when I asked about subscription at Astrofest a few years ago, so they're obviously not too desperate for new readers!

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All in all, I like the format of S@N. I like the episode on the cover disc (especially useful if you missed it!) SPM's column is always thought provoking and his guide to the moon is beyond compare!

I read S@N because it's good for an astrodunce like me.

And what SPM said about the treatment of David Bellamy made me really think and find out more (as someone who has always felt an inate trust in the BBC).

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Having been away from Astronomy for 8 years (change of job etc. etc.) I picked up a few magazines from the news agents last week. First thing that struck me was the fall from grace of S&T. It used to be THE magazine for anyone who aspired to moving off the first step of Amateur Astronomy. Now its thin on paper and thin on detail.

I was however impressed by S@N. Definately come on by leaps and bounds. AN seems to have kept the same level of quality and format but my vote now would be for SkyAtNight which is really depressing as Sky&Telescope was the Ferrari amongst Fiesta's. :o

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My favourite is Amateur Astronomy, a subscription-only mag from the States. It is decidedly non-glossy and black-and-white only, but the articles are written by amateurs for amateurs and cover everything from star parties to observing to telescope making.

I did not like Sky At Night when it came out, but I bought it recently (a pleasant surprise to find both it and AN in the magazine section at Tesco) and was impressed by it. Same with Astronomy Now, especially as it has a monthly sketching column. Both magazines have improved a lot - I used to prefer the US magazines but I think that they have gone backwards while the UK output has improved.

For more specialist reading, I also like the Webb Deep Sky Society's Deep Sky Observer.

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