Author Archives: Tony Flanders

About Tony Flanders

Contributing editor Tony Flanders has been working with S&T in some capacity since 2003.

Vesta, the 2nd-largest asteroid in the main belt

SkyWatch 2012: Asteroids

Many asteroids have been visited by spacecraft since the Galileo probe flew by Gaspra in 1991 en route to Jupiter. These spacecraft encounters have yielded a treasure trove of detailed images and data. To study an asteroid's surface completely and in detail, it's necessary to orbit the asteroid rather than just photograph it in passing.…

SkyWatch 2012: The Planets

Planets change greatly in appearance over time frames ranging from hours to months. That's both due to superficial effects — rotation revealing different sides of a globe — and fundamental changes on a planet's surface or in its atmosphere. A number of amateur astrophotographers have stitched their own images together to create movies showing changes…

SkyWatch 2012: Time-Lapse Skyscapes

In the article "Moving Pictures" from SkyWatch 2012, Lorenzo Comolli and Alessandro Gambaro explain in detail how to create time-lapse movies of the sky and other night scenes with a digital camera. Some of the authors' best videos are available on their website (click on AstroVideos in the left margin). Time-lapse skyscape videos have mushroomed…

SkyWatch 2012

SkyWatch 2012: Movies and More

SkyWatch 2012, the annual publication of Sky & Telescope, will soon be available as a digital download. You can also purchase a hardcopy magazine online, and it should appear on newsstands on October 18th. The theme of this year's SkyWatch is motion. Most people in the 21st century probably think of astronomy as timeless, dealing…

SkyWatch 2012: The Sun

The Sun is incredibly dynamic — something that's difficult to convey properly in the pages of a book or magazine. If you watch a major solar flare through a telescope, it will often change from one minute to the next. Time-lapse movies compress the time scale, allowing you to see this motion directly. In the…

SkyWatch 2012: The Deep Sky in Motion

Due to the vast distances separating deep-sky objects from Earth, few show obvious changes on scales shorter than a human lifetime. But there are exceptions. When stars explode or flair, their energy and/or cast-off material can create changes visible thousands of light-years away. For instance, the star V838 Monocerotis flared in 2002. The flash is…