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.

Feature Articles

The center of the stellar merry-go-round
Polaris stands at the center of the whirling northern sky.
Bob King

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

Texas Star Party
Ron Ronhaar and Todd Hargis

Do the Herschel Hustle
Interested in the Herschel challenge? Start with the Astronomical League's Herschel 400.

Occultation Timetables
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).

Star Parties
Spring will bring star parties — check out our complete listing.


Messier 93 (M93)
Messier 93
Atlas Image / 2MASS / Univ. of Mass. / IPAC / Caltech / NASA / NSF

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.


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February 28, 2019 at 4:20 pm

I can not acces to my account, My ZIP Code in Argenina is not recognized. Even trying to enter with my name the ZIP is required

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Monica Young

February 28, 2019 at 4:45 pm

Try selecting LOOKUP BY NAME & ADDRESS and leaving the STATE and ZIP CODE Fields blank, then select your Country from the drop-down box provided. If that doesn't work, please contact us at [email protected]

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