Photograph: Stefan Seip

The magnificent photograph on the cover of SkyWatch 2010 was shot by Stefan Seip, one of the world's finest astrophotographers. Unfortunately, we inadvertently neglected to credit him for the photograph — an omission that we're partially correcting with the article that you're reading now.

Seip is a master of every branch of astrophotography — and terrestrial photography too. But perhaps his most compelling works are his night landscapes, which combine aspects of both disciplines. Showing what the world actually looks like at night, with familiar Earthly objects in the foreground and the night sky looming behind them, is extraordinarily difficult. But the hallmark of a truly well-executed night landscape is that it looks completely natural and effortless.

You can browse Seip's night landscapes in The World at Night website. And you can see a much richer selection of his photos on his own website.

SkyWatch 2010, our annual magazine, tells you everything you need to know to get started — or get better — at visual astronomy and astrophotography. And it contains charts and guides detailing the observing highlights for each month of 2010. Also included is a CD-ROM packed with practical how-to information. SkyWatch 2010 is now available on a newsstand near you, or can be ordered online from


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