Institute for Astronomy Home
IFA Home Page   |    Search   |    Other Editions    No. 4 - Spring 2002 
  All Articles  


Librarian's Corner:

by Kathleen Robertson, Institute for Astronomy Librarian

Astronomy and Sky and Telescope (S&T) are the two most popular U.S. magazines aimed at stargazers. Both publish beautiful photographs and report current research. Each costs about $40 a year for twelve issues. Both include product reviews, upcoming celestial events, and a sky chart, which shows the sky at mainland latitudes. (Friends of Hawaii Astronomy receive monthly charts for Hawaii's latitude.)

These publications have interesting Web sites that offer additional features. Astronomy's news section at has a fresh item each day; the feature section is posted less frequently. Access to some sections of the site requires registration. Once registration is complete, seven forums, on topics ranging from astronomical equipment to solar system observing, become available.

The Sky and Telescope site has a very simple customization feature: if you enter your email address and location once, you will be shown current almanac information for your location each time you return to the site, including sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, and a list of visible planets. The "Astronomy Basics" item on the "How To" menu has useful presentations on star names, the stellar magnitude system, and time notations used in astronomy. The S&T site includes an archive of full text issues, from July 1996 to the present, in portable document format (PDF). Access to this archive costs $10 a year for magazine subscribers and $20 for nonsubscribers.

For subscription information, see the Web sites or write to Astronomy, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-9950 , or Sky & Telescope, 49 Bay State Road, Cambridge, MA 02138-9783