The digital archive of Sky & Telescope magazine is an essential resource for astronomers at any level. And this weekend only, get $25 off.

Sky and TelescopeAbout once a week, I pop a disk from the Sky & Telescope Seven-Decade Collection into my laptop. I’m usually looking for something specific: a Questar ad from the 1950s or what astronomers were saying about Hubble just before it launched. But sometimes I just type in a word or two, such as “black holes,” and see what comes up. The results never disappoint.

Here are some examples from recent perusings:

  • The amusingly practical values of moonlight (S&T: Nov. 1941, p. 17), among them “the creation of tides . . . Service of the phases as a lunar calendar . . . The direct service of the Moon’s light in illuminating the harvest fields, countryside, and polar nights.”
  • Bart J. Bok explained in July 1963 (back when Sky & Telescope subscriptions cost just $5 a year!) how radio and optical astronomers were working closely to understand the Milky Way’s spiral structure and the Sun’s place in it. The discussion is fascinating in part because some if it is wrong: for example, studies at the time suggested that the Sun lies 10,000 parsecs (32,000 light-years) from the galactic center. A few holdouts had it right — in fact, older estimates were closer to the correct value of about 8,000 parsecs.
  • Amidst the changing times of March 1989, Stephen James O’Meara wrote a column on Women in Astronomy, highlighting prominent amateurs such as Denise Sabatini, Deborah Moran, Lauri Kunkel, and Deborah Byrd. Their profiles are fascinating and worth a read.

Sky_7-Decade_Collection-500pxThere are many more examples to be found in reliving astronomy’s history, each (even the ads) fascinating in its own way. And to keep your bookshelves free of clutter, we offer the entire archive as a DVD/CD digital collection. The Seven-Decade Collection ($249.99) covers November 1941 through December 2009, and later years are available individually as CD compilations (between $4.99 and $19.95).

And this weekend only, we’re celebrating “Christmas in July” with $25 off any order over $50 (discount applied automatically at checkout). So come celebrate with us!

Comments


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July 24, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Looked all over for a price! Is it free?? Just saying $25 is ominous...

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Monica Young

July 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm

The 7-Decade DVD Collection is $249.99. (I updated the post as well.)

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John

July 27, 2015 at 1:56 pm

It's too bad Sky & Telescope can't break these up and sell them by the decade at $39.95. That $250 price tag for the boxed set of DVD's has kept me at bay for years.

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Monica Young

July 29, 2015 at 1:25 pm

I'll pass this along . . . in the meantime, if there are particular back issues you're looking for, the online store is having a sale of 50% off all individual back issues.

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John

July 30, 2015 at 6:42 am

Thanks for the heads-up on the 50% off sale! There are a few issues I might be interested to look up, but I agree with your sentiments expressed in the article that it would be fun to have the complete set of Sky & Telescope at my fingertips, to randomly browse or search and see what turns up. By the way, one of the gems I love most from a handful of old back issues I have acquired was from the July 1947 issue (pp. 14-15), in which Alice H. Farnsworth, in a "Books and the Sky" review of CG Abbot's 1946 "The Earth and the Stars," made the ultimate wrong-side-of-history prediction regarding the then-future 1966 Leonids. She wrote, "In view of the absence of conspicuous displays both in 1899 and 1933, it seems misleading to say that the next great November shower of meteors is due in 1966." That's priceless! I'll just have to start saving my paper-route money and bite the bullet. I know that the box set is worth every penny. It might not be as bad as trying to save up for a 5-inch APO, but still, $250 is a fair chunk of change to part with all at once! And it's not like I could devour 7 decades of Sky & Telescope in a fortnight anyway. So, yeah, it would be nice to buy it up one small piece at a time. Thanks for passing my suggestion up the chain, even if it gets shot down.

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Plimsol

July 31, 2015 at 10:24 am

I had previously ordered the ‘Sky & Telescope Digital Bundle 2013’ from you in early November last year which was the Seven Decade DVD Collection plus the additional years for 2010, 2011 &2012. When it didn’t arrive by late December, I chased this up and was told it would be available by the end of January. When January came and went, I chased this again and was told it wouldn’t be available until the end of the following month. Another month went by and when I enquired on my order, I was again told the same story. And next month likewise. Then in May I discovered that my credit card had been charged. Incorrectly I assumed that this meant my order was on its way. (I don’t normally expect to be charged until the goods are despatched). But when nothing arrived I chased this up but this time none of my emails were answered until I eventually got a reply in July saying that the Digital Bundle had been on back order but you were “no longer carrying this product” so I would therefore be refunded. So I was surprised when I received an email recently advertising the digital Sky & Telescope Collection and then saw the above article on this webpage. So I’m very wary of placing an order for the Seven Decade DVD Collection based on my previous experience.

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Monica Young

July 31, 2015 at 11:44 am

Hi Plimsol,
I'm so sorry you had this experience. We always carry the Sky & Telescope 7-Decade Collection in the store, but the real issue was the bundle you were attempting to purchase. Our entire warehouse was migrating during that time to a new location several states away, and during that time there were a few snafus with certain product orders. That shouldn't have happened, but things are largely back in order now.

The email you received was offering 50% off *individual* digital back issues, an offer that will end today.

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Jim Cook

July 2, 2018 at 2:12 pm

What happened to this collection?

I know it went out of stock, and had received information that a 75th S&T collection was to be issued, but never saw a release announcement. I'm guessing (hoping?) that a new plan is in place?

TIA,
-Jim

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Monica Young

July 3, 2018 at 1:05 pm

Thanks for asking, Jim! We're discussing options for how to present the full S&T archive in a way free from digital decay (namely, technology going obsolete). In the meantime, however, we continue to offer our annual compilation CDs: https://www.shopatsky.com/magazines/cd-dvd-products

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brida1709

September 1, 2018 at 11:07 pm

Hello 🙂 I ordered this a while back, and now when I use this, I cannot use it on Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox on Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. May I ask why? Please help 🙂

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Monica Young

September 2, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Please see this link: https://skyandtelescope.org/sky-and-telescope-magazine/fix-sky-telescope-dvd-cd-adobe-flash/. If this doesn't address the problem you're experiencing, you may also email customer service at skyprodservice@skyandtelescope.com.

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