Monica Young

As Sky & Telescope's News Editor, Monica commissions, writes, and edits articles on the latest news in astronomy science, observing, and technology. She also writes and edits articles for the print magazine, creates a yearly page-a-day calendar, and corresponds with readers about that bright star in the sky and the nature of black holes, among many other things.

Monica joined the staff in 2012 as web editor, with a primary mission of creating, maintaining, and updating website content. She guided the website through a major migration in 2014 and managed the overhaul of the site's interactive sky chart.

Monica fell into astronomy the way you might fall into a black hole — with no hope of return! At the University of Pittsburgh, Monica majored in Physics & Astronomy, with a second major in Journalism. She went on to complete her Ph.D. at Boston University, where she studied how quasars — the supermassive black holes lurking in distant galaxies — accumulate matter. To do this, she amassed data for 792 quasars from the XMM-Newton X-ray space telescope and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. She conducted part of her research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and graduated from Boston University in 2010 before taking a postdoc at The Pennsylvania State University.

Meanwhile, Monica spent her free time writing for the Association for Women in Science magazine, her blog, Stars and Spice: The Moving Universe, Penn State's media relations, and various other media outlets. Soon, what started as a hobby became her reason for getting up in the morning. So when an opportunity at Sky & Telescope arose, Monica was delighted to join the team.

When Monica's not editing, writing, or reading about astronomy, she keeps busy chasing after her two young sons.

2 thoughts on “Monica Young

  1. David-Wickholm

    Hi Monica,
    You did a great job a year ago back digging out that Nov 1979 article on globular clusters in M31 for me. Here’s another. I am trying to find an article (or just a defensible value) that stated the minimum magnitude per arcsec (MSA) required to stimulate the cones in our eyes. This concerns seeing color in extended objects such as nebula. I think the article actually was about planetary nebula, was within the last year or two, and listed the threshold when referring to why one object may be seen as bluish green while another is just grey (colorless). Thanks.
    Dave Wickholm (

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