Cover of the January 2021 issue

New Columns, Winter Galaxies, and Ice on the Moon

In the January 2021 issue of Sky & Telescope, we’re introducing three new columns: Evenings with the Stars, Suburban Stargazer, and Pro-Am Conjunction. Evenings with the Stars will focus on naked-eye stargazing, while Suburban Stargazer will help readers make the best out of light-polluted skies. Pro-Am Conjunction looks at the connections between amateur and professional astronomers, starting with a classic in every sense of the word: the century-old American Association for Variable Star Observers. After constellation-gazing, we’re ready to break out the big scopes and head out in search of dark skies. We hunt down some stunning winter galaxies and offer helpful tips for capturing their intricate details. While we gaze up at the light from our galaxy and from others, in this issue, we’re also seeing the dark side: From the ice hidden in permanently shadowed craters on the Moon to the tiny particles that might be the answer to dark matter, we’re taking a long hard look at the darkness and beginning to wonder what else it might be hiding.


Axion Hunters

The search for an almost invisible and wholly hypothetical elementary particle is on!

By Benjamin Skuse

Winter’s Galaxy Groups

Head off the beaten path to expand your January observing list.

By Ted Forte

Looking for Ice in the Dark

Tiny spacecraft are launching to tell us more about the water ice that lurks in shadowed craters on the Moon.

By Christopher Cokinos

Picturing Galaxies

Here are some tips to get the most out of your galaxy images.

By Adam Block

The Schiller Enterprise

The story of one man’s attempt to recast the constellations of mythology with biblical figures.

By Michael Mendillo

Beyond the Printed Page:

Phosphine in the Clouds of Venus

Read about the discovery of a potential biosignature in Venus’s clouds.

American Association of Variable Star Observers

Participate in important ongoing astronomical research with the AAVSO.  

Steve Gottlieb’s NGC Notes

Peruse Sky & Telescope Contributing Editor Steve Gottlieb’s observing notes on all 7,840 objects in the NGC catalog.

Amateur Astronomer Discovers a Large Asteroid

Learn about the kilometer-sized, potentially-hazardous near-Earth asteroid that was recently discovered by an amateur.  


Orion’s Magnificent Seven

Winter’s best-known constellation is also its brightest.

By Fred Schaaf

Sky Highlights for 2021

A full year of observing enjoyment awaits.

By Bob King

The “Blue Clearing” on Mars

This legendary phenomenon is a product of Earth’s atmosphere rather than the Red Planet’s.

By Thomas A. Dobbins

Taking on Taurus

Even under bright city skies, the Bull contains celestial sights worth seeking.

By Ken Hewitt-White

Table of Contents

See what else January's issue has to offer.


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