Sky & Telescope Magazine

Take a peek inside the issues of Sky & Telescope magazine and explore the digital extras that accompany our columns and feature articles. Come see what’s in the latest issue, and if you like what you see, subscribe!

Sky & Telescope is the essential guide to astronomy, showcasing each month a wide array of celestial events and astronomy news. Our online table of contents give you an overview of what each issue offers: the magic of the night sky, groundbreaking astronomy research, visual observing challenges, and astrophotography advice. Many of our articles are enhanced with “beyond the printed page” extras, including movies, simulations, and image galleries, and you’ll find those here as well.

Auroral activity in the UV light up Jupiter's polar regions. Similar aurora on exoplanets driven by stellar winds could be detectable in the UV or the radio.

The Radio Jove Project: Listening in on Jupiter

The January 2014 issue of Sky & Telescope features Yvette Cendes’s article on radio emission from Jupiter — and the possibility that we might soon hear similar radio signals from planets beyond our solar system. Even as astronomers race to catch the radio whispers from a hot Jupiter orbiting another star, NASA’s Radio Jove...

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Jupiter Watchers

The cover story of S&T's January 2014 issue features the significant role amateur astronomers have played in planetary science, and especially the study of Jupiter, over the past decade. Amateurs have monitored everything from Jupiter's changeable weather to Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9's bruising impact. Jupiter watchers have received help and legitimacy for their discoveries from...

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Inside the December 2013 Issue

FEATURED ARTICLES Mysterious Travelers Humans have been seeing comets for millennia, but we still have a lot more questions than answers. By David Jewitt The Comet ISON Story With the most dramatic portion of Comet ISON's apparition almost upon us, questions remain about what we'll see. By John E. Bortle Dazzle or Dud? When,...

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South Pole Science

A behind-the-scenes look at the construction of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica, plus more information about science done at the South Pole. (This blog is an online companion to our January 2014 feature article on IceCube.)

Sky & Telescope November 2013

FEATURED ARTICLES The Black Widows A mysterious group of stellar corpses resurrect themselves by sucking life from their companion stars.By Roger W. Romani The Most Powerful Telescope Ever Built ALMA's cutting-edge technology promises to unveil our cosmic origins.By Monica Young How Often Do Bright Comets Appear? With Comet ISON approaching, it's natural to ask...

Comet Hale-Bopp

The Greatest Comets of the Past Century

In the November 2013 issue of S&T, Joe Rao redirects Comet ISON speculation to answer a different question: just how often do showstopper comets grace our skies? His answer might surprise you. Rao looks back over all the comets of the past century, calling out examples of showstoppers, showpieces, and garden-variety comets. Readers predicted...

Sky & Telescope October 2013

FEATURED ARTICLES The Great Supernova Race In the efforts to discover exploding stars, professionals have taken the lead, but amateurs have managed to stay in the game.By Robert Zimmerman Back to the Big Bang A faint signal hidden in the universe's earliest light might reveal what happened in the first moment after cosmic birth.By...

ALMA Observatory

How ALMA Works Its Magic

In the November 2013 issue of S&T, I write about a revolutionary new telescope being built in the Chilean Atacama Desert. The Atacama Large Millimiter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) explores a little-known region of the electromagnetic spectrum, waves that are longer than the farthest infrared but shorter than radio waves. Submillimeter/millimeter waves come from frigid gas...

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Join the Great Supernova Race

In the cover story of the October 2013 issue of Sky & Telescope, author Bob Zimmerman tells the story of the hunt for exploding stars. Professional astronomers have taken the lead in recent years with the advent of automated sky surveys, but amateurs have managed to stay in the game. Groups of amateur astronomers...

Sky & Telescope September 2013

FEATURED ARTICLES The History of Water on Mars How many times has NASA discovered water on Mars? We set the record straight.By Emily Lakdawalla Solving the Quasar Puzzle Fifty years ago, recently discovered "radio stars" began revealing their exotic secrets.By Bradley Peterson Deciphering Starlight In Europe, many amateurs are engaging in professional-level research.By Jan...

Water on Mars

How many times has NASA discovered water on Mars? For the answer, look in the September 2013 issue, where author Emily Lakdawalla sets the record straight. Orbiters and landers have returned so many beautiful high-res images, we couldn't include them all in the article. To see more of the photographic evidence for water on...

Sky & Telescope August 2013

FEATURED ARTICLES Exoplanets Everywhere A leading researcher answers the most pressing questions about our galaxy's enormous population of planets.By Sara Seager The Women Who Created Modern Astronomy Three Harvard "computers" established our current understanding of the stars.By John Dvorak The New Social Face of Astronomy Join the revolution that's forging new connections between amateur...

Sky & Telescope July 2013

FEATURED ARTICLES Is Plate Tectonics Necessary for Sentient Life? Water, atmosphere, and pleasant temperatures are nice, but active geology could make or break a planet's habitability.By Bruce Dorminey Observing the Milky Way, Part I: Sagittarius & Scorpius Binoculars are the ideal tool for exploring the galaxy we call home.By Craig Crossen Dew Busting Dew...

Sky & Telescope June 2013

FEATURED ARTICLES Star-Shredding Black Holes Dormant black holes turn into ravenous beasts when renegade stars wake them from their slumber.By Suvi Gezari The Chelyabinsk Super-Meteor Scientists are piecing together the story of the largest asteroid impact with Earth since 1908.By Daniel D. Durda The Story of Einstein's Telescope A telescope made specifically for the...

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...

Sky & Telescope May 2013

FEATURED ARTICLES Saturn’s Amazing Rings Astronomer’s understanding of these beautiful bands has come a long way since Galileo first spied “a case so surprising” in 1610. By J. Kelly Beatty How Worlds Get Out of Whack Several gravitational mechanisms can cause planets to migrate substantial distances from their formation orbits. By Greg Laughlin Stonewall...

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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,...