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Observing Notebooks

Sky & Telescope's Observing Editor offers a few suggestions to help you set up your first (for fifth!) observing notebook. Feeling inspired after reading Contributing Editor Bob King’s article on observing notebooks in the September 2017 issue of Sky & Telescope but need help starting a notebook? Here are a…

Messier 17 Sketch Howard Banich

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Beyond the Printed Page: Messier 17

No matter what you call it, Messier 17 is one deep-sky object to which you'll find yourself returning throughout your observing life. In our September 2017 issue, Contributing Editor Howard Banich examined the science and history of Messier 17, an H II region in Sagittarius also known as the Swan…

20 Draconis

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Draco Double Stars

Contributing Editor Matt Wedel offers more double and multiple stars to look for in and around the head of the constellation Draco, the Dragon.

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Abell Planetaries

If you're looking for an observing challenge, George Abell's complete catalog of planetary nebulae has you covered. I observed my first planetary nebula by accident. I was moving the optical tube of my new telescope up and down, back and forth, nearing epic levels of frustration as I hunted for…

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Beyond the Printed Page: A Modern Standing-Stone Calendar

Why would an amateur astronomer build a standing-stone calendar, thousands of years after the last ones were erected by his distant ancestors in the British Isles?

NGC 5907 and stellar stream loops

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Stellar Streams in Galaxy Halos (A Gallery)

Stellar streams are the remains of dwarf galaxies that once orbited the Milky Way. We showcase here stunning images of these galactic ghosts.

Earth-size planet Kepler-186f

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What Makes a Planet Habitable?

In our March 2017 issue we included a diagram of all small, confirmed exoplanets in their stars’ habitable zones. Here’s the saga of how we decided which planets to put on that list.

Eridanus II ultra-faint dwarf galaxy

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Ultra-faint Companions to the Milky Way: A Gallery

Peruse a gallery of ultra-faint galaxies, the subject of Keith Bechtol's feature article in the April 2017 issue of Sky & Telescope. Wide-field surveys are accelerating discoveries of these elusive companions to the Milky Way.

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Sky & Telescope Errata: 2017

If you see something questionable in a recent issue of Sky & Telescope magazine, check here to see a list of clarifications and errors that have been found.

NGC 1275

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Going Deep: Perseus Galaxy Cluster

Looking for a new deep-sky challenge? Turn your scope toward ACO 426, the Perseus Galaxy Cluster.

Akatsuki spacecraft

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Active Space Missions in 2017

Sky & Telescope has put together a digest of active missions in 2017. We’ve included astrophysics, planetary, gravity, solar, space weather, and stellar projects.

Eta Carinae

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A 3D View of Eta Carinae

New research on Eta Carinae featured in S&T's October 2016 issue lets you peer in and around Eta Carinae's Homunculus Nebula.

Reference fields for relativity test

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My Do-It-Yourself Relativity Test

Here's an update on an amateur astronomer's amazing effort to prove that Einstein really was right during next year's total solar eclipse.

Mink 1-65 Planetary Nebula

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Minkowski Planetary Nebulae

Looking for an observing challenge? An expert observer offers advice for exploring the Minkowski catalog of planetary nebulae.

Hercules Galaxy Cluster.

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Hercules Galaxy Cluster: Going Deep

To aid your observing endeavor, Contributing Editor Steve Gottlieb has provided an expanded table of galaxies, with their position angles, visual magnitudes, size, and positions.

Title page of C. E. Barns's 1001 Celestial Wonders, 1931 edition.

Beyond the Printed Page 1001 Celestial Wonders", "bookmark_label" : "Clicked on More from C. E. Barns's 1001 Celestial Wonders"}'>

More from C. E. Barns's 1001 Celestial Wonders

Here is Jim Mullaney's much longer sample of objects from this delightful 1927 amateur-astronomy guide, in order of right ascension, followed by more illustrations of the book.

globular cluster IMF01 at 12 Gyr

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Beyond the Printed Page: Globular Cluster Simulations

Watch a million stars age in these prize-winning simulations of globular clusters. The simulations track the stars' movements and evolution over 12 billion years.

Trifid Nebula sketch

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The Trifid Nebula

Here's some further reading on the stages of star formation visible in the Trifid Nebula, subject of the May 2016 issue's Going Deep column.

M81 — cool, too.

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Two Cool Galaxies: M81 and M82

How many details can you see when you take a look at galaxies M81 and M82?

Uranus before and after AO

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Adaptive Optics: Before and After

To expand on the feature article on adaptive optics in our May 2016 issue, we're including here a full gallery of before-and-after images. The effect of the technology is immediately visible - and astounding.