Polaris, Spinning Scopes & the Herschel Hustle
Explore the sky near and far with the March 2019 issue of Sky & Telescope. S&T Editor Camille Carlisle takes on Polaris, revealing how much we do and don't know about the northern star, while author Benjamin Skuse walks us through the dynamics of scopes in space. Speaking of which, data from the Gaia spacecraft are helping solve a longstanding controversy over the distance to the Pleiades. Looking for more to observe these winter nights? Take a page out of amateur and expert Tom Reiland's book and observe some (or all) of the 2,477 deep-sky objects in the Herschel catalog! Or, for those interested in an easier stroll through the sky, take a peek at the planets greeting us at dawn. Enjoy these and other stories in the March 2019 issue of Sky & Telescope.
Secrets of Polaris
The North Star presents a façade of constancy, but it hides a capricious temperament.
By Camille M. Carlisle
Spinning Through Space
To capture our dynamic universe, sometimes our telescopes need to show a little dynamism themselves.
By Benjamin Skuse
Placing the Pleiades
Gaia data solve a decades-long controversy about the distance to the Pleiades.
By Guillermo Abramson
The Herschel Hustle
Are you up for the ultimate observing challenge?
By Tom Reiland
Nurture Your Newt: Bathing Mirrors
Cleaning your reflector’s optics ensures top performance.
By Jerry Oltion
A Dream Fulfilled
The success of Muddy Run Observatory depends on local expertise, shared goals, and strong relationships.
By Robert Naeye
Beyond the Printed Page
Do the Herschel Hustle
Interested in the Herschel challenge? Start with the Astronomical League's Herschel 400.
While the Moon doesn't block any 1st-magnitude stars this year, enjoy the dimming of lesser lights with the help of the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA).
Spring will bring star parties — check out our complete listing.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
Three Worlds at Dawn
During the night's second half, three planets come into view.
By Fred Schaaf
Starfish and Stragglers
Celebrate spring by recreating Messier's historic discovery of a striking star cluster.
By S. N. Johnson-Roehr
Expectation and Observation
Amateurs can benefit greatly by approaching the eyepiece without preconceived notions.
By Thomas A. Dobbins
The Great Twin Brethren
The Roman brothers stand high these spring nights.
By Sue French
Table of Contents
See what else March's issue has to offer.