Astronomy (magazine)

Astronomy (ISSN 0091-6358) is a monthly American magazine about astronomy. Targeting amateur astronomers for its readers, it contains columns on sky viewing, reader-submitted astrophotographs, and articles on astronomy and astrophysics that are readable by nonscientists.

Astronomy magazine May 2008
May 2008 cover of Astronomy
EditorDavid J. Eicher
CategoriesAmateur Astronomy
PublisherKevin Keefe
Total circulation
First issueAugust 1973
CompanyKalmbach Publishing
CountryUnited States
Based inWaukesha, Wisconsin, U.S.


Astronomy is a magazine about the science and hobby of astronomy. Based near Milwaukee in Waukesha, Wisconsin, it is produced by Kalmbach Publishing. Astronomy’s readers include those interested in astronomy, and those who want to know about sky events, observing techniques, astrophotography, and amateur astronomy in general.

Astronomy was founded in 1973 by Stephen A. Walther, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and amateur astronomer. The first issue, August 1973, consisted of 48 pages with five feature articles and information about what to see in the sky that month. Issues contained astrophotos and illustrations created by astronomical artists. Walther had worked part time as a planetarium lecturer at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and developed an interest in photographing constellations at an early age. Although even in childhood he was interested to obsession in Astronomy, he did so poorly in mathematics that his mother despaired that he would ever be able to earn a living. However he graduated in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, and as a senior class project he created a business plan for a magazine for amateur astronomers. With the help of his brother David, he was able to bring the magazine to fruition.. He died in 1977.

AstroMedia Corp., the company Walther had founded to publish Astronomy, brought in Richard Berry as editor. Berry also created the offshoot Odyssey, aimed at young readers, and the specialized Telescope Making. In 1985, Milwaukee hobby publisher Kalmbach bought Astronomy.

In 1992, Richard Berry left the magazine and Robert Burnham took over as chief editor. Kalmbach discontinued Deep Sky and Telescope Making magazines and sold Odyssey. In 1996 Bonnie Gordon, now a professor at Central Arizona College, assumed the editorship. David J. Eicher, the creator of "Deep Sky," became chief editor in 2002.

The Astronomy staff also produces other publications. These have included Explore the Universe; Beginner’s Guide to Astronomy; Origin and Fate of the Universe; Mars: Explore the Red Planet's Past, Present, and Future; Atlas of the Stars; Cosmos; and 50 Greatest Mysteries of the Universe. There also was, for a time in the mid-2000s, a Brazilian edition – published by Duetto Editora – called Astronomy Brasil. However, due mainly to low circulation numbers, Duetto ceased its publication in September 2007.

Articles and columns

Astronomy publishes articles about the hobby and science of astronomy. Generally, the front half of the magazine reports on professional science, while the back half of the magazine presents items of interest to hobbyists. Science articles cover such topics as cosmology, space exploration, exobiology, research conducted by professional-class observatories, and individual professional astronomers. Each issue of Astronomy contains a foldout star map showing the evening sky for the current month and the positions of planets, and some comets.

The magazine has regular columnists. They include science writer Bob Berman, who writes a column called “Bob Berman’s Strange Universe”. Stephen James O’Meara writes “Stephen James O’Meara’s Secret Sky,” which covers observing tips and stories relating to deep-sky objects, planets, and comets. Glenn Chaple writes "Glenn Chaple’s Observing Basics", a beginner’s column. Phil Harrington writes "Phil Harrington’s Binocular Universe", about observing with binoculars. "Telescope Insider" interviews people who are a part of the telescope-manufacturing industry.

In each issue of Astronomy Magazine, readers will find star and planet charts, telescope observing tips and techniques, and advice on taking photography of the night sky.[2] The magazine also publishes reader-submitted photos in a gallery, lists astronomy-related events, letters from readers, news, and announcements of new products.

Astronomy may include special sections bound into the magazine, such as booklets or posters. Recent examples have included a Messier Catalog booklet, poster showing comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) and historical comets, a Skyguide listing upcoming sky events, a Telescope Buyer's Guide; a poster titled "Atlas of Extrasolar Planets"; and a poster showing the life cycles of stars.


Astronomy is the largest circulation astronomy magazine, with monthly circulation of 114,080.[3] The majority of its readers are in the United States, but it is also circulated in Canada and internationally.[4]

Its major competitor is Sky & Telescope magazine with a circulation of 80,023.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "Alliance for Audited Media Snapshot Report - 6/30/2013". Alliance for Audited Media. June 30, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  2. ^ "Astronomy Magazine". Science & Nature Magazines. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  3. ^ a b "Consumer Magazines ("Science/Technology" SRDS)". Audit Bureau of Circulations. Archived from the original on 2012-06-04.
  4. ^ "Astronomy (subscription page)". Kevin Keefe. Retrieved 2009-12-29.

External links

American Meteor Society

The American Meteor Society, Ltd. (AMS) is a non-profit scientific organization established to encourage and support the research activities of both amateur and professional astronomers who are interested in the field of meteor astronomy. Its affiliates observe, monitor, collect data on, study, and report on meteors, meteor showers, meteoric fireballs, and related meteoric phenomena.

The society was founded in 1911 by Charles P. Olivier of the Leander McCormick Observatory. The initial enrollment was fifteen members. These were recruited by Dr. Olivier by letter. The first paper based on the observations of the members appeared in the Astronomical Journal in 1912, describing the η Aquarid meteor shower. In 1926, Dr. Olivier began to publish meteor notes from the society on a nearly monthly basis in the Popular Astronomy magazine under the title "Monthly Notes". This continued until his editor, Curvin H. Gingrich, died.Some time prior to 1932, Dr. Olivier began appointing regional directors to facilitate the data collection for the society. A director was appointed to the Pacific Northwest region in 1932. Initially this consisted of Washington and Oregon states, but later came to include the western provinces of Canada plus Idaho and Montana. In 1938, the Canadian provinces were withdrawn from the society, while California was added. This western division was headquartered at the University of Oregon in Eugene.In 1960, Dr. Olivier published the first catalogue of hourly meteor rates based upon the data collected by the society members from 1901 to 1958. The second catalogue was published in 1965, which included data up to 1963.During the late 1970s, David Meisel became Executive Director of the society. The headquarters for the society was relocated to Geneseo, New York. The society research was expanded to include radio meteor studies, then spectroscopy of meteors.The society publishes observations and scientific interpretations quarterly in Meteor Trails, The Journal of American Meteor Society. Once per year they give the American Meteor Society Award to a person who has contributed to research on meteors. They also provide an annual research grant to a student of SUNY-Geneseo who has contributed to meteor research or to the AMS.

Astronomers Without Borders

Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) is a U.S.-based organization founded by Mike Simmons and Anousheh Ansari, dedicated to spreading astronomy throughout the world, by getting people in developed countries to sponsor the purchase of equipment and training for people in developing countries. The group's aim is to create "goodwill and understanding" across all boundaries through the sharing of astronomy.The group was founded in 2007, and achieved official tax-free status in 2009, which was the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). AWB sponsored several events that year, including The World At Night (TWAN) and the IYA2009's Global Cornerstone Project 100 Hours of Astronomy. Utilizing important historical and natural settings across the globe, The World at Night created wide-angle images of the sky, in order to show the universality of star-gazing. 100 Hours of Astronomy ran April 2–5, 2009, the goal of which was to get as many people across the world to look through optical telescopes. The World at Night was the idea of Simmons and Babak A. Tafreshi, the editor of Iran's Nojum Magazine, the only astronomy magazine in the Middle East.The group organizes Global Astronomy Month every April.

Astronomy Now

Astronomy Now is a monthly British magazine on astronomy and space. According to the Royal Astronomical Society, Astronomy Now is the "principal amateur astronomy magazine in Britain" with a reputed circulation of 24,000.The magazine features articles ranging from how to observe the night sky to the latest discoveries in the Solar System and in deep space. The first issue of Astronomy Now was published in April 1987 by Intra Press, initially as a quarterly publication, but it soon became monthly. Today it is published by Pole Star Publications Ltd, who have been the publishers for over a decade.

Bruce Dorminey

Bruce Dorminey (born March 8, 1959) is an American science journalist and author who primarily covers aerospace, astronomy and astrophysics. He is a regular contributor to Astronomy magazine. Since March 2012, he has written a regular tech column for [1] He is also a correspondent for Renewable Energy World.

David J. Eicher

David John Eicher (born August 7, 1961) is an American editor, writer, and popularizer of astronomy and space. He has been editor-in-chief of Astronomy magazine since 2002. He is author, coauthor, or editor of 23 books on science and American history and is known for having founded a magazine on astronomical observing, Deep Sky Monthly, when he was a 15-year-old high school student.Eicher is also a historian, having researched and written extensively about the American Civil War.

Don Dixon (artist)

Don Dixon (born 1952) is an American astronomical artist practicing space art in the tradition of Chesley Bonestell.

Born in Easton, Pennsylvania, Dixon has created cover art for Scientific American, Sky and Telescope, Omni, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Astronomy Magazine, and many other publications. Dixon's paintings have been used to illustrate the covers of several science fiction books, such as the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson and the Galactic Center Saga by Gregory Benford. He directed and co-wrote the immersive animated film Centered in the Universe, which premiered in 2006 at the Samuel Oschin Planetarium at Griffith Observatory, where he has served as Art Director since 1991. He is a founding member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA) and was elected a Fellow of that organization in 2000.

Kemble's Cascade

Kemble's Cascade (Kemble 1), located in the constellation Camelopardalis, is an asterism — a pattern created by unrelated stars. It is an apparent straight line of more than 20 colourful 5th to 10th magnitude stars over a distance of approximately five moon diameters, and the open cluster NGC 1502 can be found at one end.

It was named by Walter Scott Houston in honour of Father Lucian Kemble (1922–1999), a Franciscan friar and amateur astronomer who wrote a letter to Houston about the asterism, describing it as "a beautiful cascade of faint stars tumbling from the northwest down to the open cluster NGC 1502" that he had discovered while sweeping the sky with a pair of 7×35 binoculars.Houston was so impressed that he wrote an article on the asterism that appeared in his Deep Sky Wonders column in the astronomy magazine Sky & Telescope in 1980, in which he named it Kemble's Cascade.

Father Lucian Kemble was also associated with two other asterisms, Kemble 2 (an asterism in the constellation of Draco that resembles a small version of Cassiopeia) and Kemble's Kite (an asterism that resembles a kite with a tail which is also in the constellation of Camelopardalis). In addition, an asteroid, 78431 Kemble, was named in his honour.

L'Astronomie (magazine)

L'Astronomie is a monthly astronomy magazine published by the Société astronomique de France (French Astronomical Society). The first issue, dated 1882, was published on January 1, 1883. The editor-in-chief is Janet Borg. The magazine is available by subscription and has been available in newspaper kiosks and magazine stands throughout France since 1 January 2008 and is distributed by Presstalis.

Mab (moon)

Mab ( MAB), or Uranus XXVI (26), is an inner satellite of Uranus. It was discovered by Mark R. Showalter and Jack J. Lissauer in 2003 using the Hubble Space Telescope. It was named after Queen Mab, a fairy queen from English folklore who is mentioned in William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.Because the moon is small and dark, it was not seen in the heavily scrutinized images taken by Voyager 2 during its Uranus flyby in 1986. However, it is brighter than another moon, Perdita, which was discovered from Voyager's photos in 1997. This led scientists to re-examine the old photos again, and the satellite was finally found in the images.The size of Mab is not known exactly. If it is as dark as Puck, it is about 24 km in diameter. On the other hand, if it is brightly coloured like the neighbouring moon Miranda, it would be even smaller than Cupid and comparable to the smallest outer satellites.Mab is heavily perturbed. The actual source for perturbation is still unclear, but is presumed to be one or more of the nearby orbiting moons.Mab orbits at the same distance from Uranus as the μ ring (formerly known as R/2003 U 1), a recently discovered dusty ring. The moon is nearly the optimal size for dust production, since larger moons can recollect the escaping dust and smaller moons have too small surface areas for supplying the ring via ring particle or meteoroid collisions. No rings associated with Perdita and Cupid have been found, probably because Belinda limits the lifetimes of dust they generate.Following its discovery, Mab was given the temporary designation S/2003 U 1. The moon is also designated Uranus XXVI.

Marc Kuchner

Marc Kuchner (born August 7, 1972) is an American astrophysicist, a staff member at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) known for work on images and imaging of disks and exoplanets. Together with Wesley Traub, he invented the band-limited coronagraph, a design for the proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) telescope, also to be used on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). He is also known for his novel supercomputer models of planet-disk interactions and for developing the ideas of ocean planets, carbon planets, and Helium planets. Kuchner appears as an expert commentator in the National Geographic television show "Alien Earths" and frequently answers the "Ask Astro" questions in Astronomy Magazine. He currently serves as the principal investigator of the popular citizen science websites Disk Detective and Backyard Worlds.

Mercury (magazine)

Mercury is a science magazine that features articles and columns about astronomy for a general audience. It is the bi-monthly magazine of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and was first published in 1972.Mercury has its headquarters in San Francisco. Current and past Mercury columnists include Christopher Conselice, Eric Schulman, and Christopher Wanjek.

NGC 4244

NGC 4244, also Caldwell 26, is an edge-on loose Spiral galaxy and Caldwell object in the constellation Canes Venatici. It is part of the M94 Group (the Canes Venatici I Group), a galaxy group relatively close to the Local Group containing the Milky Way. It shines at magnitude +10.2/+10.6. Its celestial cooridinates are RA 12h 17.5m, dec +37° 49′. It is located near a naked-eye G-class star Beta Canum Venaticorum, barred spiral galaxy NGC 4151, and irregular galaxy NGC 4214. The galaxy lies approximately 6.5 million/14 million light years away, with a redshift of +243/493 km/s. A nuclear star cluster and halo is located at the centre of this galaxy.

NGC 6871

NGC 6871 is a small, young open cluster in the constellation of Cygnus. The cluster has less than 50 members, most of which are blue and white stars. It is located 5135 light-years from Earth.

Popular Astronomy (US magazine)

Popular Astronomy is an American magazine published by John August Media, LLC and hosted at for amateur astronomers. Prior to its revival in 2009, the title was published between 1893 and 1951. It was the successor to The Sidereal Messenger, which was published from March 1882 to 1892. The first issue of Popular Astronomy appeared in September 1893. Each yearly volume of Popular Astronomy contained 10 issues, for a total of 59 volumes.

The first editor, from 1893-1909, was William W. Payne of Carleton College. Charlotte R. Willard served as co-editor from 1893-1905. He was followed by Herbert C. Wilson, who served in the post between 1909 and 1926.The magazine played an important role in the development of amateur variable star observing in the United States.In 2017 Popular Astronomy has returned as part of, along with sister titles Popular Electronics and Mechanix Illustrated.

Rogelio Bernal Andreo

Rogelio Bernal Andreo (born 9 January 1969) is a Spanish-American astrophotographer. He is known for his photographs of deep sky objects. His work has been recognized by NASA as their Picture of the Day. Andreo's photography has been published in international magazines and periodicals, as well as television networks including the BBC, National Geographic, and the Discovery Channel series Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking.

Takuo Kojima

Takuo Kojima (小島 卓雄, Kojima Takuo, born 1955) is a Japanese amateur astronomer and discoverer of minor planets.He is credited by the Minor Planet Center with the discovery of 45 asteroids he made between 1987 and 2000. Takuo Kojima also writes a regular column for the astronomy magazine Gekkan Temmon titled the "Comet Observers Guide. The main-belt asteroid 3644 Kojitaku is named after him.

The Messenger (astronomy magazine)

The Messenger is a quarterly magazine published by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). It provides information about scientific, technical and other developments connected with the ESO.

What If the Moon Didn't Exist

What if the Moon Didn’t Exist is a collection of speculative articles about different versions of Earth, published in book form in 1993. They were originally published in Astronomy magazine. The individual scenarios are:

Solon – Earth without a Moon

Lunholm – Moon closer to Earth

Petiel – Earth with less mass

Urania – Earth’s axis tilted like that of Uranus

Granstar – More massive Sun

Antar – Effects if a supernova exploded near Earth

Cerberon – Star passing through the Solar System

Diablo – Black hole passing through the Earth

Seeing the world via infrared

Effects of ozone layer depletion

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