Beyond the Printed Page

You’ll find here the digital extras that accompany our feature articles, including interviews with world-renowned experts, simulations of the newest astronomical theories, and extensive image galleries. Go beyond the printed page to explore the multimedia world of science discovery and community interaction.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some suggestions: After reading about the role of citizen science in astronomy in the March 2014 cover story, check out Meg Lamb’s online article about two of the newest Zooniverse programs looking for your participation: Space Warps and Planet Four. Or watch simulations of the unfolding universe that accompanied Joel Primack’s July 2012 cover story on the newest cosmology results. And don’t miss editor in chief Robert Naeye’s exclusive interview with exoplanet expert and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Sara Seager (MIT).

Color Balance with eXcalibrator

To accurately balance color CCD images, there are a number of techniques and tools to get you in the ballpark. I use eXcalibrator to balance all my color-filtered images. The program analyzes your red, green and blue FITS files in search of white stars, then automatically computes RGB ratios based on the stars’ relative...

Star-Shredders in Action

In the cover story of the June 2013 issue, Suvi Gezari takes us into the den of hibernating black holes, showing us what happens when a star tickles the nose of a powerful beast: the black hole rips the unlucky star apart, lighting a flare that can be seen from across the universe. After...

Fomalhaut b

Interview with Exoplanet Expert Greg Laughlin

In the May 2013 issue of S&T, astrophysicist Greg Laughlin of the University of California, Santa Cruz — a leading expert on extrasolar planet research — describes the major role that migration plays in shaping the architecture of planetary systems around other stars. In a 15-minute interview with S&T editor in chief Robert Naeye,...

The asteroid occultation of July 29, 2013

As told in the July 2013 Sky & Telescope, on the morning of July 29th a 9.1-magnitude orange star in Aries will vanish for up to 3 seconds behind the invisibly faint asteroid 1074 Beljawskya, as seen from a narrow track running from west Texas through southern Missouri, Ohio, southeasternmost Ontario, and Montreal. The...

The asteroid occultation of June 11-12, 2013

As told in the June 2013 Sky & Telescope, on the morning of June 12th a 6.4-magnitude star in southern Ophiuchus east of Antares will wink out for up to 4 seconds along a track from Oklahoma across northwest Texas, southern New Mexico, and southern Arizona, when it is occulted by the small, faint...

Jackson's attack in Chancellorsville

The Battle of Chancellorsville

In a feature article of the May 2013 issue of Sky & Telescope, author Don Olson highlights the role of the Moon in Stonewall Jackson's fatal wounding. Below, we feature a gallery of images that couldn't fit in the magazine.

Messier 101, the Pinwheel Galaxy

Guide to Messier 101

This is the web supplement to Howard Banich's article "The Determined Observer's Guide to M101," in the June 2013 issue of Sky & Telescope. In it, Banich describes observing M101 with his motorized 28-inch alt-azimuth Newtonian, preparing the sketch shown below at low resolution. M101 is extraordinarily rich in active star-forming regions, 10 of...

Arsia volcanoes

Caves on the Moon and Mars

As Robert Zimmerman’s cover story of the April 2013 issue explains, Earth is not the only world in the inner solar system with caves. The same volcanic processes that created some of Earth’s caves also occurred on the Moon and Mars. Using imagery from a variety of orbiters, geologists have spotted a number of...

A Civil War Submarine and the Moon

In the February 2013 issue, the article “The Moon and the Mystery of the Hunley” by William Stevenson describes how the tides and the phase and position of the Moon played a role in the first successful submarine attack in naval history. The assault took place during the American Civil War, when the northern...

dark matter detector

Detecting Dark Matter

Dark matter was discovered 80 years ago when astronomer Fritz Zwicky spied a galaxy cluster whirling so fast, the galaxies were bound to fly apart unless something — something less luminous than ordinary stars or gas — held them together. Decades later, the scientific community concedes the existence of dark matter, after many different...

Triple asteroid

Asteroid Moons

In the past decade, new observations have shown that asteroids are no longer the solitary, dense, potato-shaped rocks we thought them to be, orbiting the Sun unchanged eon after eon. The December issue of S&T describes the latest research that paints a different picture. Asteroids, it turns out, are porous collections of small rocks...

Start time of Australian total solar eclipse

Mapping Eclipses

In the November issue of Sky & Telescope, Michael Zeiler writes about the history of eclipse maps. Even as long ago as 1715, astronomer Edmond Halley was able to calculate an eclipse map that was accurate to within 3 km. Now Michael Zeiler's eclipse maps have unprecedented accuracy, and the start of the eclipse...

How NuSTAR Catches X-rays

NASA's NuSTAR mission will give sharper-than-ever views of the high-energy universe. But corralling X-rays is like herding cats. These wily photons have enough energy to penetrate through our skin and muscles as if they weren't even there, and bringing them to a focus is no easy task. Principal Investigator Fiona Harrison (Caltech) tells Sky...

Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds

Making the Magellanic Clouds

Our Milky Way Galaxy has more than a dozen known satellite galaxies. But two stand out above the crowd for their impressive size and brightness: the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Both are easily visible with the naked eye from the Southern Hemisphere, and have been known to skygazers since the dawn of humanity....