Astronomy and Space Magazines Show You the Cosmos

Some of the best information about astronomy, stargazing, and science in general, is written by very knowledgeable science journalists in a number of popular magazines. They all provide "vetted" material that can help stargazers at all levels stay informed about astronomy. Others are treasuries of science news written at a level anyone can understand.

Here are five favorites that deal with astronomy and astronomers as well as space exploration from the early days into the future. You can find telescope tips, stargazing hints, Q&A sections, star charts, and much more.

Many of these have been around for a number of years, gaining respectable reputations as reliable sources of the science and hobby of astronomy. These are most popular in the United States and Canada, and each one has a thriving web presence, as well. 

Edited by Carolyn Collins Petersen

01
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Sky & Telescope

Sky & Telecope Magazine. Sky&Telescope/F+W Media

Sky & Telescope Magazine has been around since 1941 and for many observers is considered the "bible" of observing.  It began as The Amateur Astronomer in 1928, which then became The Sky. In 1941, the magazine merged with another publication called The Telescope, and became Sky & Telescope. It grew quickly through the years of World War II, teaching people how to become observers of the night sky. It continues to carry a mix of astronomy "how to" articles, as well as topics in astronomy research and space flight. 

S&T's writers break things down to a simple enough level that even the most newbie beginner can find help on the magazine's pages. Their topics range from selecting the proper telescope to a wealth of observing tips for everything from planets to distant glaxies. 

Sky Publishing (the publisher, which is owned by F+W Media) also offers books, star charts, and other productions through its Web site. The company's editors lead eclipse tours and often give talks at star parties. 

02
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Astronomy Magazine

Astronomy Magazine. Astronomy/Kalmbach Publications

The first issue of Astronomy Magazine was published in August 1973, was 48 pages long, and had five feature articles, plus information about what to see in the night sky that month. Since that time, Astronomy Magazine has grown into one of the preeminent magazines of astronomy in the world. It long billed itself as "the most beautiful astronomy magazine in the world" because it went out of its way to feature gorgeous space images. 

Like many other magazines, it features star charts, as well as tips on buying telescopes, and peeks at big astronomy. It also features in-depth articles on discoveries in professional astronomy. Astronomy (which is owned by Kalmbach Publishing) also sponsors tours to astronomically interesting sites on Earth, including eclipse tours and trips to observatories.

03
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Air and Space

Air & Space January 2011 Cover. Smithsonian

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum is one of the pre-eminent science centers in the world. Its halls and exhibit areas are rich with artifacts from the age of flight, the space age, and even some interesting science fiction exhibits for such programs as Star Trek. It's located in Washington, D.C. and has two components: the NASM on the National Mall, and the Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport. The Mall museum also has the Albert Einstein Planetarium.

For those who can't get to Washington, the next best thing is to read Air & Space Magazine, published by the Smithsonian. Along with historical looks at flight and space travel, it contains fascinating articles about new great achievements and technology in the aviation and space fields. It's a handy way to keep up with what's new in space flight and aeronautics. 

04
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SkyNews Magazine

SkyNews Magazine is Canada's astronomy magazine. SkyNews

SkyNews is Canada's premier astronomy magazine. It began publication in 1995, edited by Canadian science writer Terence Dickenson. It contains star charts, tips for observing, and stories of particular interest to Canadian observers. In particular, it covers activities by Canadian astronauts and scientists.

Online, SkyNews features a photo of the week, information on getting started in astronomy, and many other features. Check it out for the latest in stargazing tips keyed to observing in Canada. 

05
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Science News

Science News covers all sciences and always features stories in astronomy. Science News

Science News is a weekly magazine that covers all sciences, including astronomy and space exploration. Its articles distill the science of the day into digestible bites and give the reader a good feeling for the latest discoveries.

Science News is the magazine of the Society for Science & the Public, a group that fosters scientific research and education. Science News also has a very well-developed Web presence and is a goldmine of information for science teachers and their students. Many science writers and legislative aides use it as good background reading in the scientific advances of the day. 

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Greene, Nick. "Astronomy and Space Magazines Show You the Cosmos." ThoughtCo, Dec. 27, 2017, thoughtco.com/top-astronomy-and-space-magazines-3073176. Greene, Nick. (2017, December 27). Astronomy and Space Magazines Show You the Cosmos. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/top-astronomy-and-space-magazines-3073176 Greene, Nick. "Astronomy and Space Magazines Show You the Cosmos." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/top-astronomy-and-space-magazines-3073176 (accessed January 18, 2018).