10 years of Sky at Night Magazine

This June sees BBC Sky at Night Magazine celebrate its tenth anniversary. To mark the occasion, we rifled through our back catalogue and dug out some of the best features from past issues to share with you online. Each feature is available as a PDF to download, read and enjoy, looking back on a decade of reporting across the Galaxy and beyond…

The next hundred years

Patrick Moore became a stalwart TV figure in Britain through Sky at Night and would go on to become a regular contributor to the accompanying magazine.

In this round of past features celebrating ten years of BBC Sky at Night Magazine, Patrick looks back himself on the show that propelled him into the astronomical limelight.

But astronomy is by no means about dwelling on the past. To finish, Patrick looks ahead to what the next century could bring to the world of space exploration.




Read more of Patrick Moore's features in The Universe According to Patrick Moore, the definitive collection of his columns for BBC Sky at Night Magazine.

Click below to order your copy today.









To boldly go...

The desire to search beyond the stars and continue to traverse the galaxies remains as intense as ever. To finish our marathon of some of the best features from past issues, we thought we would pay special tribute to the spirit of human endeavour.

From issue 77, October 2011, Lucie Green details a history of British space exploration, while in issue 78, November 2011, Govert Schilling looks to the future with a feature celebrating the launch of Curiosity.


The mysteries of the cosmos

They say that truth is stranger than fiction. When it comes to astronomy and the cosmos, this is quite often the case. Despite this, sci-fi continues to stimulate our imaginations and inspire us to uncover some of the most mind-boggling mysteries in the Universe.

From issue 73, June 2011, Paul Sutherland reveals how an extragalactic exoplanet is changing our perceptions of what a planet is and how it behaves, while in issue 71, April 2011, Alastair Gunn talks to Sukanya Chakrabarti about a hidden galaxy that could pave the way to understanding the allusive substance known as dark matter.


The evolution of the 'scope

The telescope has come a long way over the 400 years or so since it was invented.

In our next round of past features, Ian Morison reports on SKA, the world’s largest radio telescope from issue 22, March 2007, while in issue 41, October 2008, Sean Blair visits the Very Large Telescope in Chile ahead of the release of the James Bond film ‘Quantum of Solace’.


Voyages of discovery

Launched in 1992, NASA’s Discovery Program began a new era of space exploration and study, calling upon the expertise of scientists and engineers to deepen human understanding of the Solar System.

Our features today look at two of Discovery’s most captivating missions. From issue 02, Mark Kidger marks the culmination of Deep Impact in July 2005, while David Rothery looks at the MESSENGER mission to Mercury in issue 33, February 2008.


'Scoping the skies

Even with all the ambition, ingenuity and technological innovation in the world, where would astronomy be without the benefits of the humble telescope?

Today’s features include an interview with John Dobson, creator of the revolutionary Dobsonian telescope, from issue 19, December 2006, and a look-back at the history of ‘scope-making in Britain from issue 62, July 2010


Things from another world...

From literature to cinema, music to visual art, the prospect of alien life-forms existing somewhere within the depths of the Universe continues to fascinate and inspire us.

In this next round of past features, Patrick Moore discusses the vivid imagination and skill displayed in his mother’s extra terrestrial watercolours from issue 12, May 2006, while Stuart Clark explores the past, present and future of SETI in issue 59, April 2010.


Finding a second Earth...

As we stare up at the night sky, the stars and planets, our imaginations will always be ignited at the prospect of life beyond our own Solar System.

Our next two features selected from past issues examine space exploration and the continuing quest to find another habitable planet like our own. Hazel Muir looks at extrasolar planets in issue 05, October 2005, and Vincent Whiteman reports on the discovery of a fourth planet around star Gliese 581 from issue 49, June 2009.


Innovators of science

Astronomy, like all scientific fields, is not without its innovators. To begin our tenth anniversary retrospective, we selected two pieces on two contrasting individuals.

From issue 36, May 2008, Martin Ince looks at the life and work of the indefatigable astronomer Galileo Galilei, while in issue 51, August 2009, the late Patrick Moore celebrates his friend, British science fiction innovator Arthur C Clarke.


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