Jump to content


Photo

Astronomy magazine VS Sky and Telescope

  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
144 replies to this topic

#126 Starlon

Starlon

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 243
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2006
  • Loc: desert, USA

Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:00 AM

_Sky and Telescope_ was in charge of space stations?! Huh! Who knew? :lol:


Thanx for your (facetious), enthusiastic reply. Unfortunately, your response doesn't warrant further repartee with you.. :shrug:
 

#127 Starlon

Starlon

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 243
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2006
  • Loc: desert, USA

Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:21 AM

BobinKy,

We witnessed the golden age of science fiction and the space race--something that is hard to put into words for those coming after us.


'Golden' ..? I don't buy into that thinking. We should be much.. much further along in our science. That is exactly my point. My issue. The only bastions 'we - the people' have left is mag's like those. This generation is so dumbed-down already.. here is examples: http://www.sciencecl...tech/index.html and: http://www.sciencecl...and-Skylab.html We should show them: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=oYsKGDJe4zE And: http://www.apolloarc...lo_gallery.html NOT: http://library.think...ata/EHSSLIN.HTM

Carl Sagan knew. Also see Berman Morris' books. Dark Ages.. America is well into, now. Over the several thousand years past, science & knowledge was trashed. Many.. many times. By.. cults. They call themselves.. 'religions'. They are all dark-agers.

Our wonderful Apollo science - gone. Purposely.
 

#128 rmollise

rmollise

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 15693
  • Joined: 06 Jul 2007

Posted 24 July 2010 - 07:42 AM


_Sky and Telescope_ was in charge of space stations?! Huh! Who knew? :lol:


Thanx for your (facetious), enthusiastic reply. Unfortunately, your response doesn't warrant further repartee with you.. :shrug:


Suits me. People lacking anything approaching a sense of humor don't generally want to talk to little old me for long. :lol:
 

#129 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14815
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 24 July 2010 - 09:26 AM

BobinKy,

We witnessed the golden age of science fiction and the space race--something that is hard to put into words for those coming after us.


'Golden' ..? I don't buy into that thinking. We should be much.. much further along in our science. That is exactly my point. My issue. The only bastions 'we - the people' have left is mag's like those. This generation is so dumbed-down already.. here is examples: http://www.sciencecl...tech/index.html and: http://www.sciencecl...and-Skylab.html We should show them: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=oYsKGDJe4zE And: http://www.apolloarc...lo_gallery.html NOT: http://library.think...ata/EHSSLIN.HTM

Carl Sagan knew. Also see Berman Morris' books. Dark Ages.. America is well into, now. Over the several thousand years past, science & knowledge was trashed. Many.. many times. By.. cults. They call themselves.. 'religions'. They are all dark-agers.

Our wonderful Apollo science - gone. Purposely.

Wow! You need to cheer up, bud!
Yes, our political leadership is shallow and lacks foresight. Don't tell me this is news to you! You'd have to go back to the founding fathers to find real intelligence in politics.
Actually, though, Bob said "the golden age of science fiction" AND "the space race". No mention of the golden age of science. I would say he's right on both counts, unless you figure H.G. Wells and Jules Verne to represent the golden age of SF. (Or unless you missed one of the two events).
 

#130 auriga

auriga

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1343
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2006

Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:23 AM

My favorite periodical was DEEP SKY magazine from the 1980s and early 90s published by Kalmbach and edited by David Eicher. Unfortunately it's defunct. I saved a few of them and constantly pull them out for reference. They had great content focused exclusively on DSOs and astrophotography--how to actually use your scope to the max! No sensationalism about asteroids, comets, dinosaurs, etc. It was a nice progression from the beginner articles in Astronomy.
I would support something like this again. Is there anything currently like it in print form?

No, it's been replaced by on-line sites and lists.
A few:
http://www.observers.org/observing/
http://www.geocities.../corridor/2120/
http://www.astroleague.org/index.php
http://www.maa.clell...ar/similar.html

and there are hundreds more.


Don,
Thank you! I find the observers.org site especially insightful and user- friendly.
Bill Meyers
 

#131 auriga

auriga

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1343
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2006

Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:33 AM

I subscribed to Astronomy from '84 to '96. After they got rid of the nice framed photo on the front cover and went all "glossy" it just wasn't the same. The Richard Berry era was great.


My start as an astronomy writer was with a two-part article on the Milky Way in Astronomy in 1983. I've been told that Richard Berry edited that article; but he left it pretty much as I wrote it. I still see occasional references to that article, so he showed good judgement in not messing with it. I owe him a word of thanks for his confidence in that article and in my writing.
It's been an entirely different story with the last two articles I've written for Astronomy, one on stellar associations that was published in the autumn of 1995 and another on Milky Way dust clouds that was published just last autumn. Both of them were 'edited' beyond recognition. What's worse, last year's article had errors in fact added to it! If they're going to change an author's article so much, they should at least send him a proof before publication.
It's this kind of carelessness in editorial work that has kept me from writing for Astronomy more often. In fact, I would not have written that article that was published last year at all but for the urging of my co-author in "Sky Vistas", Gerald Rhemann, who had taken some excellent astro-photos of southern Milky Way dust clouds.
The over-all quality of Astronomy during the 1980s was indeed much higher than it is today. Part of the problem is the general 'dumbing-down' in both magazines that has been remarked upon in CN forums about the magazines. And I for one can't understand why the magazines think they should do this. The standard of discussion on CN forums alone should tell them they are dealing with intelligent, literate readers!

Craig Crossen


Hi, Craig,
Good to hear from one of the very best writers in the amateur astronomy field. Your elegant writing style makes your books, which are packed with information, a real pleasure to read. Sky Vistas, for example, is wonderful. And I still cherish my copies of your 1983 articles on the Milky Way. As a writer myself, I was immediately struck by their quality.

So many of the magazines are badly written and badly edited, and so many of the books read like catalogs. Your articles and books are a pleasant exception.
Bill Meyers
 

#132 auriga

auriga

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1343
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2006

Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:59 AM

(snip)
And why will I never see that magazine? Because, for some reason I can't fathom, most of my amateur astronomer friends aren't as curious about astrophysics as they are about telescopes and eyepieces.
(snip)

Hi, Don,
I have noticed that most guides to astronomical objects for amateurs ignore the astrophysical properties of the objects. Examples are Luginbuhl and Skiff, and The Sky Atlas 2000 Companion, which are otherwise very useful books for the observer, although their writing style is wretched.

But I have just come across a book, "Concise Catalog of Deep Sky Objects: Astrophysical Information for 500 Galaxies, Clusters and Nebulae," by W.H. Finlay, and published by Springer, which does include astrophysical information in a visually appealing, user-friendly format.

I found it on amazon.com by accident, during a Google search yesterday and ordered it immediately, basing my decision on excerpts from the book on amazon.com, and on your very positive review of it there. Your judgment has always proved excellent, in my opinion. And as you point out, many more than 500 objects are actually referred to in the descriptions.

This book doesn't replace the more in-depth astrophysical articles you would like to see in the amateur astronomy magazines, but it does help to slake the thirst of those amateurs who crave an understanding of what it is that they are looking at, beyond "pretty large, pretty faint, some central condensation."

Regards,
Bill Meyers
 

#133 auriga

auriga

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1343
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2006

Posted 24 July 2010 - 11:23 AM

I'm coming from the perspective of a visual observer. Sue French's column is the gold standard.


Yes, I like Sue French's columns very much and Fred Schaaf's night sky columns too. In fact all the columns in this particular section are so informative and fascinating.


Those columns are the only things that keep me subscribing. If they go away, so will my subscription. Of the two magazines, I like S&T the best.



Hi,

Chuck Wood's column is every bit as insightful and well written as Sue French's. The moon is less popular as an observing object than are deep sky objects, but Wood depth of insight into what lunar features really mean, and his lively writing style, make his column outstanding.

Sue French's and Chuck Woods columns are in marked contrast with the inane and patronizing writing style of some of other columns, especially some of the equipment reviews.

Bill Meyers
 

#134 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14815
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:32 PM

Chuck Wood's column is every bit as insightful and well written as Sue French's. The moon is less popular as an observing object than are deep sky objects, but Wood depth of insight into what lunar features really mean, and his lively writing style, make his column outstanding.

That's true! I wonder why? Here, we have an entire alien planet hanging in the sky, presenting its secrets to us nightly; and most people just ignore it in favor of much fainter, more difficult targets! I'm as guilty as anyone.
Familiarity breeding contempt, maybe?
 

#135 auriga

auriga

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1343
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2006

Posted 24 July 2010 - 02:04 PM


_Sky and Telescope_ was in charge of space stations?! Huh! Who knew? :lol:


Thanx for your (facetious), enthusiastic reply. Unfortunately, your response doesn't warrant further repartee with you.. :shrug:


Suits me. People lacking anything approaching a sense of humor don't generally want to talk to little old me for long. :lol:


Cheer up, Rod, you're not all bad: you have a sense of humor and you know what you are talking about.
Bill Meyers
 

#136 auriga

auriga

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1343
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2006

Posted 24 July 2010 - 02:18 PM

(snip) an entire alien planet hanging in the sky, presenting its secrets to us nightly...
(snip)

Hi,
Well said!!

I think you are right: we downplay the strangeness of the moon and treat it as familiar.
Why? I suspect that the thrill of the hunt is so much less with the moon. The hunting instinct appears to be basic within us.

Also, the moon is less of a challenge to observe compared, say, to a galaxy cluster.

Bill
 

#137 Crossen

Crossen

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Vienna

Posted 24 July 2010 - 05:39 PM


Hi, Craig,
Good to hear from one of the very best writers in the amateur astronomy field. Your elegant writing style makes your books, which are packed with information, a real pleasure to read. Sky Vistas, for example, is wonderful. And I still cherish my copies of your 1983 articles on the Milky Way. As a writer myself, I was immediately struck by their quality.

So many of the magazines are badly written and badly edited, and so many of the books read like catalogs. Your articles and books are a pleasant exception.
Bill Meyers


Thank you for these very kind words, Bill.

Readers of this forum might recall that this past spring, in the thread titled "Are there any good magazines besides S&T?", the possibility that I would submit a revised and updated version of that 1983 Milky Way article to Sky & Tel was raised. Negotiations concerning the possibility continued off-line, and as a result in early June I sent the completed MS to Sky & Tel. I rewrote it as a 3-part series and it is quite long--over 8000 words--but the writing went fast because I knew what needed to be in it and had all the information ready at hand. I am pleased to report that Sky & Tel's initial reaction to the MS was positive, though I must caution that this is not yet a done deal.

Craig Crossen
 

#138 BobinKy

BobinKy

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3089
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2007

Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:32 PM

Hey Craig...

Sounds good. I hope to see it in the future issues.
 

#139 revans

revans

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1653
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Fitchburg, MA

Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:06 AM

I saw on the news this morning that Amazon.com has sold twice as many e-books as hardcover books on the last quarter... to me this is an indication that magazines are going to need to go electronic in the future to survive... but so far they seem to resist the idea... but clearly this is the wave of the future... they can ride it.... or not...
 

#140 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11208
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA

Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:45 AM

Actually, though, Bob said "the golden age of science fiction" AND "the space race". No mention of the golden age of science.


The state of scientific knowledge among the general public is deplorable -- though frankly, it's probably better now than it ever has been before. (Remember, it wasn't very long ago at all that most people dropped out of high school.) And the current anti-scientific movements are definitely dangerous.

But as for science itself, there's no doubt whatsoever that the golden age is right now. It's an incredibly exciting time to be alive; phenomena that were just recently total mysteries are beginning to make sense. The rate of scientific progress is unbelievable; nothing like it has ever been seen before. Not even close.
 

#141 blb

blb

    Aurora

  • -----
  • Posts: 4511
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Piedmont NC

Posted 26 July 2010 - 12:46 PM

Actually, though, Bob said "the golden age of science fiction" AND "the space race". No mention of the golden age of science.


The state of scientific knowledge among the general public is deplorable -- though frankly, it's probably better now than it ever has been before. (Remember, it wasn't very long ago at all that most people dropped out of high school.) And the current anti-scientific movements, notably the young-earth creationists, are definitely dangerous.

But as for science itself, there's no doubt whatsoever that the golden age is right now. It's an incredibly exciting time to be alive; phenomena that were just recently total mysteries are beginning to make sense. The rate of scientific progress is unbelievable; nothing like it has ever been seen before. Not even close.


I think that scientific knowledge is better now among the general population than ever before. Does that mean it is great? No, I don't think it is that great a knowledge base, but much better than any time before our time. I do think that this is the golden age of science. Will it be so in another hundred years? I don't think any one knows that. Knowledge is increasing exponentially. As for that disparaging anti christian remark, I do not think there is any place for it on this forum. Enough said.

Buddy
 

#142 Silent Bob

Silent Bob

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 89
  • Joined: 14 May 2010

Posted 26 July 2010 - 01:30 PM

Carl Sagan knew. Also see Berman Morris' books. Dark Ages.. America is well into, now. Over the several thousand years past, science & knowledge was trashed. Many.. many times. By.. cults. They call themselves.. 'religions'. They are all dark-agers.


I do agree with blb's comment and will say the same, this isn't the appropriate place for such posts. I've been censored numerous times defending my faith and the Truth, and by the same policy, posting such negative attacks against those of us who believe only detract from the purpose of this site and are therefore not appropriate either.

As for my feelings toward Sagan, Hawkings, and other "brains", they have caused us to go down the wrong road and spend (waste) so much money on useless pursuits; i.e. - SETI! See the SETI useless? thread (I state this strictly from a neutral position).

As for magazines, at this point I find myself preferring Internet research (painful and time-consuming as it cans sometimes be) than any magazine and the publishing politics that go with them.
 

#143 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11208
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA

Posted 26 July 2010 - 01:32 PM

I agree with blb's comment to Tony Flanders and will say the same, this is not the appropriate place for such posts ...
And to Tony Flanders - your narrow-minded attitude reflected here and frequently in your editorials ... are why I dropped your magazine.


I have edited my post to remove the reference to one particular anti-scientific movement. There's no shortage of such movements on the political left and the political right, among people of many different religions and no religion at all.

I have no doubt which of those is currently most dangerous in America today, but I'll let other people draw their conclusions.

I think that few educated people will agree that the scientific consensus with respect to geology and biology is narrow-minded.
 

#144 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11208
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA

Posted 26 July 2010 - 01:42 PM

I agree with blb's comment to Tony Flanders and will say the same, this is not the appropriate place for such posts ...
And to Tony Flanders - your narrow-minded attitude reflected here and frequently in your editorials ... are why I dropped your magazine.


I have edited my post to remove the reference to one particular anti-scientific movement. There's no shortage of such movements on the political left and the political right, among people of many different religions and no religion at all.

I think that few educated people will agree that the scientific consensus with respect to geology and biology is narrow-minded.
 

#145 Steph

Steph

    Texas Wildflower

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 27867
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2005
  • Loc: North Texas

Posted 26 July 2010 - 02:06 PM

Allllll righty then. I think we've gotten a little far afield of the subject to quite some extent, and it's not like the S&T vs. Astronomy discussion won't come up...for the eleventy billionth time...somewhere down the road. So it seems to be time to just shut this one down for now so we don't get off on topics that aren't, shall we say, suitable for CN, and get folks all riled up worse than anyone might already be and get anyone in trouble, m'kay? :smirk:
 






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics