Permissions FAQs: How to Use Sky & Telescope Content

Looking to use content you’ve found on www.skyandtelescope.com or in one of Sky & Telescope’s publications for a project or publication of your own? Here are some guidelines to get you started. Please consult the below before submitting your permissions request — the answer to your question might be here! Following these guidelines will also speed up the process.

Below are guidelines for

Using Sky & Telescope Images or Illustrations
Using Sky & Telescope Articles (Excerpts or Full Text)
Using Other Random Bits of Sky & Telescope Content
How to Request Permission

Using Sky & Telescope Images or Illustrations

Want to use an image, diagram, or other illustration you’ve seen on our website or in our magazine? Here’s what to do:

  1. Check the credit line. If it says S&T, then we hold the copyright and can provide permission. If it doesn’t, we can’t: we ourselves had to ask permission to use the image (and, often, we’ve paid to do so).
    • Example 1: celestial event illustration with credit line “Sky & Telescope diagram”—that’s ours.
    • Example 2: astrophotography image in our gallery or in our magazine with a credit line that doesn’t include “S&T”—that’s not ours, you need to ask the photographer. Many astrophotographers have their own websites, so try typing the person’s name into your favorite search engine. If you can't find them, contact us.
    • Example 3: image that says "NASA" or "ESA" in the credit line—unless the image is a mosaic or adaptation made by an astrophotographer (see Example 2) or us (see below), the image is public domain—you can use it.
  2. If the diagram/image/illustration is one of ours, check to see if we’ve already made it available for public use. This happens if

You will still need to include a credit line with these images, even though you don’t need to ask us directly. The correct credit line will appear with the image in our press releases/on the IAU site. If using the image online, please link back to our press release.

  1. If it’s one of our diagrams or illustrations but we haven’t made it public—you need to ask us. This applies to diagrams, graphs, charts, creative illustrations, and any other piece of art in our print or digital publications, on our website, or that are part of our other products (for example, globes). (Request permission.)

Using Sky & Telescope Articles (Excerpts or Full Text)

Want to use part or all of an article on our website or in one of our publications? Here’s a list of common uses and what you’ll need to do:

Excerpt: If you’re just quoting us a couple of times, you are permitted to use up to 100 words (roughly) so long as you clearly cite the quote. You can do this up to a half dozen times or so.

  • Example: you’re writing an article about supermoons and want to quote from one of our online articles on the subject—that’s okay, so long as you cite us and include a link to our article. You don’t need to ask us.
  • Example: you want to compile a regular “news feed” of astronomy news and are taking a paragraph from each of our recent blogs—that’s NOT okay, even if you’re linking to our stories. You need to ask us to set up a formal content-sharing agreement. (Request permission.)

Full text: If you want to use the full text of an S&T blog or article, or transcribe/post the script of any multimedia we’ve created—you need our permission. This includes requests to translate our content into other languages and post those translations on foreign astronomy websites. (Request permission.)

  • Note: if you are the author of the S&T article you want to use, please check your author contract and/or with the editor you worked with about guidelines.

Photocopies: If you are making a reasonable number of photocopies of an article to distribute free of charge at an educational or public event (for example, a class or star party)—that’s okay, you don’t need to ask us so long as each photocopy clearly states where the content is from and that’s it’s © Sky & Telescope.

  • If you’re looking to distribute on a large scale (use your judgment) and/or money will be involved—ask us. (Request permission.)

Using Random Other Bits of Sky & Telescope Content

Want to use something we’ve created but it doesn’t really fall into the image/text categories above? Here are some examples and what to do:

  • Do-it-yourself projects and chart printouts: on our website you’ll find various education/public outreach resources, such as how to make a sundial or a Getting Started in Astronomy handout with beginner sky charts for different times of the year—these are okay to use for public outreach without asking us, that’s what we created them for!
  • You want to makes copies of several pages of one of our sky atlases and tape them together to make a big chart of a particular section of sky, and you’re only going to use the chart for your personal observing and not make extra copies for anyone—that’s okay, you don’t need to ask us.
  • You want to use one of our products on a set for a movie/television show/stage production—follow the request procedures below and attach your waiver form to the e-mail, and we’ll take care of it.
  • You’re a manufacturer whose product we reviewed, and you want to know if you can post our review on your website—contact our Advertising Sales department.
  • You’re a planetarium software developer who wants to use in your software a list of observing targets we compiled—ask us, we’ll sort out the paperwork with you. (Request permission.)

How to Request Permission to Use Sky & Telescope Content

Contact permissions@skyandtelescope.com. In your e-mail, include the following information:

  1. What you’re asking to use: provide a description and a link or issue/page number where the content appears. Be specific!
  2. The intended use: how do you want to use our content? Is it for a book? Your website? A club newsletter? A newspaper? A class paper? Again, be specific.
  3. Distribution: how (and how far) will your project/publication be distributed? As a free ebook? In a peer-reviewed journal? In a book to be published by X both in the U.S. and internationally? As a handout at a local planetarium show?
  4. Market: is your project a for-sale textbook? A freebie handout for your amateur club? Something in between?
  5. Any other details we should know.

Failure to provide this information will delay your request. No seriously, we mean it: the more back-and-forth it takes to establish what you’re asking for, the longer it’ll take us to determine if we can/will grant permission.

Depending on your request, one of our editors will either handle it in house or will connect you with the licensing department of our parent company, F+W Media, Inc.