The cover of the April 2023 issue

SOFIA’s End, 2024’s Total Solar Eclipse, and a Virgo Galaxy-Hop

In the April 2023 issue of Sky & Telescope, we’re getting ready for next year’s total solar eclipse over the Americas. First, we go through the best areas to watch the eclipse from in each region. Then we follow it up with a gallery of images of past solar eclipses and a quick look at this year’s hybrid eclipse over Australia and Indonesia. Also in this issue, we say “goodbye” to NASA’s SOFIA airborne observatory, which took its final flight in September 2022. The cancellation left many projects unfinished, including one studying magnetic fields in other galaxies. Meanwhile, we’re doing our own galactic study this month, scoping out galaxies in southern Virgo. Finally, new observations show that novae may be producing a metal that’s a vital component in your smartphone, lithium.



NASA’s SOFIA observatory came to an abrupt end in September, leaving a number of projects unfinished.

By Shannon Hall

Springtime Galaxy-Hop

Get your scope out and spend some time chasing galaxies in southern Virgo.  

By Ted Forte

Get Ready for Totality in ‘24

The Moon’s shadow sweeps across Mexico, the United States, and eastern Canada next year.

By Fred Espenak & Jay Anderson

The Little Stars That Can

Surprising new observations show novae forging a critical lightweight metal whose price keeps going up.  

By Ken Croswell

Gossamer Winds

While every total solar eclipse is different, past performance can help you plan for your next encounter with totality.

By Sean Walker

Beyond the Printed Page:

Airborne Astronomy

Read the history of NASA’s SOFIA.

Martian Dust

Listen to the sound of a Martian dust devil recorded by NASA’s Perseverance rover.

Eclipse Timings

Find out when the 2024 total solar eclipse will be crossing your path with Fred Espenak’s Road Atlas for the Total Solar Eclipse of 2024.

When’s the Next One?

See the list of all the eclipses happening this century.


Corvus and Company

This little constellation can guide you to spring sky delights.

By Fred Schaaf

A Touch-and-Go Solar Eclipse

This unusual event will entice eclipse chasers willing to travel.

By Bob King

Tracking Time on the Moon

Observing these craters can help you to recognize the age of other lunar features.

By Charles A. Wood

Creating Sharp Astrophotos

Taking well-focused images of the night sky is easy if you follow these simple tips.  

By Tony Puerzer

Table of Contents

See what else April’s issue has to offer.


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