Diving into the Blogosphere

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has found a whole new type of ring in Saturn’s menagerie: the lumpy, incomplete ring arc (see photo below).
Courtesy Cassini's Radio Science Subsystem Team / JPL / ESA / NASA.
We're going to do things a little differently here at SkyandTelescope.com.

First off, as the title of this blog post suggests, we've made the decision to dive head first into the blogosphere. Before now you've seen associate editors Stuart Goldman and Tony Flanders write about astronomy online and stargazing. But we've never had the whole staff blogging about the news, what's in the sky, or what's on our minds. That changes today.

We will, as always, give you the news and prepare you for celestial events. But now we want to tear down the "fourth wall" and make our reporting more of a dialog. Before now we've never really let you, the reader, share your thoughts and opinions about what we write about. Astronomy is all about community, and we want to make sure you have a voice and a place to share your ideas about the stories we publish.

To make this happen, we've set up some guidelines. This is a family-friendly website, and we intend to keep it that way. That's why we're insisting that only registered users on SkyandTelescope.com be allowed to post comments. Registration is free, and it takes just a couple of minutes. But putting the registration wall in place will help keep out the riffraff and make the conversation far more worthwhile. We've also installed obscenity blockers and spam filters, and we'll be lurking often. If posts get out of line, we'll remove them. We're also asking you for your help. At the top right of every comment box is a "report violation" link. Click on it to tell us about a problem, and we’ll look into it ASAP.

Our goal is ambitious: to make sure you're always informed about what's happening in astronomy. Through this website and these new blogs, our job is to enhance your Sky & Telescope experience. SkyandTelescope.com shouldn't be just a website. It should be a place where you can get together with other members of the astronomical community to share your love of the night sky with each other and with the broader public.

We hope you enjoy the new format. Come by often, and and let us know what you're thinking!

18 thoughts on “Diving into the Blogosphere

  1. Zehra

    Finally, a legit. place for astronomy buffs to voice their opinions and to be heard, in an atmosphere that is conducive to learning and loving astronomy.

  2. Ala'a H. Jawad

    What a wonderful opportunity to interact with S&T staffers on astronomy related matters! As a long time reader of S&T (three decades and counting), I’ve witnessed the magazine evolve and develop from a periodical that arrived once a month, to a hotline that informed of astronomical events to the explosion of the internet – and now to the field of online personal publishing.
    Way to go, S&T :-D

  3. Shah

    An interesting decision indeed. Looking forward to interact with other S&T subscribers as well. I’ve been subscribing the magazine since 1989, and it sure helps me a lot in pursuing astronomy as a hobby here from Malaysia.

  4. Christine Pulliam

    I’ll be interested to see how your experiment works out. Best of luck!
    Just one nit: Why’d it take two clicks to get to see all comments? Why not just one as on most blogs?

  5. Judith Coutts

    Back in February when we were in Florida, the flat side of the 1/2 moon was parallel to the horizon. What position of sun and moon makes that possible?

  6. Sector

    Even if a bit overdue ;-D, this must surely be an improvementin the grand scheme of things…good idea. And, thanks!

    I am currently a regular on another hobby web forum, and we tend to do a good job of policing ourselves. However, there are no appointed moderators, only a single adiministrator who responds to complaints. Sometimes we get “trolls” who lurk a bit and get a sense of what pushes the most buttons. Then, they strike and start what we call flaming wars where hurtful and personal attacks are the course.

    If I could suggest early, when YOU think a post/reply/thread has the potential to be inflammatory, be very cautious about participating…at all! Best to let the subject and its author die a natural death…by neglect.

    Just a suggestion.

    Thanks, again, for the addition.

  7. Donn Mukensnable

    I admire your pluck in opening up a dialog, and expect this will make a big difference in the timeliness of information. I’ve been a looong time S&T reader (even when I didn’t subscribe) and look forward to this new era.

    Donn

  8. B G Gajjar

    In earlier time it is said that “Knowledge is power”. But now this has chaned to “Shared knowledge is power”. Blogoshere will defenitely benefit to all astronomy lovers by the way of sharing informations and that way it will serve for the cause of science. I am eager to see it….

  9. Khalid Marwat

    This is a wonderful idea. I have been reading the Sky and Telescope since 1989. I have seen it developing into a truly international magazine. This idea of ‘blogosphere’ will make this astonomical community REALLY international. I have sometimes missed events only because they didn’t get reported as they were not happening in America. For south asia I had to consult ‘other’ sources. Will blogosphere plug this gap? I hope so. Happy blogging.

  10. Eric F Diaz

    I too think that this is a wonderful idea. I agree with the statement made by David Tytell that “astronomy is all about community”.

  11. Rose

    I think this is an interesting idea, and a great one, and was wondering, can we ask questions too? There are times when I have seen something and I just want to ask someone becausi I had questions. We live in an urban/country area near the capital of PA, and there is no one handy to ask about what I saw, or continue to see.

    Yeah, I am just an amateur, and a casual observer, but it would be nice to have a source of answers from people who are NOT too busy to bother answering what may be silly questions.

    Thanks…
    Rose!~

  12. Charlie Mueller

    My interest in astronomy really began when I became a navigator in the Army Air Corps in WWll. I now,at 85 years old,am using my limited knowledge to encourage my fellow residents to observe the sky both day and night.I live in a community where everyone is over 55. Watching where the Sun rises and sets,aepecially at the equinoxes and solstice,was something they had not thought about.Now I write a one page article monthly,using information gathered from your magazine.I have been pleasantly surprised at the interest expressed by residents.

  13. Ben Waranowitz

    You did not specify an dI assumedit was light. Probably wrong assumption on my part. Then, the Sun was far below the horizon, and the Moon was near first quarter and setting in the west OR was at last quarter and rising in the east.

  14. William Hulse

    On July 12, 11:15pm MST, I was observing the sky with binoculars (yes, I should have brought my 8″ Meade) in the clear skys of central Idaho near Stanly. After checking on Jupiter I swung to look at Mizar in Ursa Major. Near Mizar I saw a pulse of light. I thought it was a passing plane or a satalite reflecting light. I watched more and it repeated from a stationary position near Mizar about every 10 seconds. It was too faint to observe with the naked eye but I watched it pulse for about 4 minutes with the binoculars.
    Does anybody out there know what was going on?
    Regards,
    Bill Hulse
    Idaho Falls, Idaho
    Wapiti13@aol.com

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