Opinions on Sky at Night magazine

A place for general chat about Sky at Night Magazine

Opinions on Sky at Night magazine

Postby big dipper » Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:43 pm

Now that it has been running for 6 months or so, I wondered what opinions were on this new publication.........

Considering that the [i]Sky at Night[/i] has been running since, I believe, April 1957, this magazine has been a long time a-coming.

But I believe its been well worth the wait.

Although priced at £4.25, the publication still offers very good value for money. And, of course, you get a CD ROM included in the package. It appears to have something for everyone, covering the likes of the history of astronomy to the latest gadgets & software available to the astro imager. My own favourite parts are the equipment review section by Ade Ashford (formerly of [i]Practical Astronomy [/i]& then [i]Sky & Telescope[/i] fame) & the Hotshots section. The reviews are very thorough & is something that I feel has been lacking in the past in UK astronomy publications. I very much enjoyed reading this month's review on image stabiliser binoculars.

To my mind, [i]The Sky at Night[/i] magazine is the UK's answer to [i]Sky & Telescope[/i] & is the perfect compliment to the monthly TV programme. I shall certainly be reviewing my subscription when it expires next June.
big dipper
 
Posts: 1418
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:19 pm

RE: Opinions on Sky at Night magazine

Postby big dipper » Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:43 pm

BTW I also have every single [i]Sky at Night[/i] newletter since its introduction in the spring of 1981.

[size="5"][font="times new roman"][b]HOW SAD IS THAT??!!! [&o][:)][/b][/font][/size]
big dipper
 
Posts: 1418
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:19 pm

RE: Opinions on Sky at Night magazine

Postby sky » Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:40 pm

Hi Big Dipper,

I rate the mag [:D] but the CD for me is a real let down. [:'(]

It seems that the software is often repeated month to month and is chiefly composed of freeware applications available for nothing on the net. If their was an option to buy the magazine without the CD I would be taking it...

(that said, Septembers issue with the old episodes of the Sky at night was excellent. If you can get onto the BBC archive department an dget more old episodes on then great I'll keep up the subscription...)

cheers all
sky
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:48 pm

RE: Opinions on Sky at Night magazine

Postby damien » Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:56 pm

[quote]ORIGINAL: Big Dipper

BTW I also have every single [i]Sky at Night[/i] newletter since its introduction in the spring of 1981.

[size=5][font="times new roman"][b]HOW SAD IS THAT??!!! [&o][:)][/b][/font][/size]

[/quote]

not sad at all!! [:)] it sounds like you have a great repository of information there!

I get the emailed newsletter, but are seriously considering subscribing.
damien
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:19 pm

RE: Opinions on Sky at Night magazine

Postby Samg246 » Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:56 pm

I agree that the mag itself it fantastic - and the unique content like the virutal planetarium and hot shots are worthwhile. However stuff that you can already get online (like the free/shareware and even the previous TV episodes that you can already watch online here [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/spaceguide/skyatnight/proginfo.shtml]http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/spaceguide/skyatnight/proginfo.shtml[/url] are nice - but would be just as useful by providing links to the online versions. In fact I suppose even the hotshots and planetarium stuff could be posted online, and then all you need is a portal link. I like the CD 'idea' (and they act as nice bookends for the mags), but the moneys-worth is definitley in the mag. I suppose the next question is what else could you put on the CD?
Samg246
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:19 am

RE: Opinions on Sky at Night magazine

Postby piglet » Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:20 pm

Hi,

The Magazine is the only one i will purchase i find it has the most useful information out of the Astro Mags. Sky and Telescope is good but it's far too geared towards the American Public IMHO. The Astro Gear reviews are nicely done in the Magazine although i dont think i have read a review yet that say's something is BAD.As to the cover disc of The Sky At Night i love it, yes you can watch the episodes online but it's nice to have a collection of the best Tv programme in the world [:D]. Software on the disc is repeated agreed and it's my only niggle with the Disc, but if they start giving away software like the excellent Starry Night i wont complain too much [;)]. I think the Hotshots section is good but i would say that having 2 images up to now on there[8|].

James Dyson.
piglet
 
Posts: 1729
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:19 pm

RE: Opinions on Sky at Night magazine

Postby sky_at_night » Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:56 am

As a whole the magazine is excellent. The layout is refreshing especially the observing sections. To date I havenet come across anything organised so well for the observer. The main articles are easy to read and technically taxing at times which over all is a good balance.

I do have a gripe I somtimes find the reviews either a little opinionated or bias for one reason or another. I appricate that a balance can be a difficult thing to achive but I should find my self agreeing with the reviews the vast majority of the time and not finding my self at odds with them. Best buy in most case seems to be the highest price. Maybe you should have BEST BUY and BEST PERFORMANCE.

In fact reading this post back I have a gripe with the term BEST BUY. To me it means the minimum outlay for acceptable performance.

eg.

stab binos

Fujinon 91% £840 £9.20 for each percent.

Zenit 83% £849 £10.2

Canon 92% £1100 £11.92

Russian 49% £599 £12.2

Surely the Fujinon are the best buy and the canons the best performer.

The summary says the russian could be a contender if they can reduce the noise. The review says "Sadly the purely gimballed method of stabilisation proved largely ineffective" If they fix the noise I take it they will still be ineffective and look at that price performance.

Its not this one review it happened to be in front of me. I thought the review on wide FOV eyepieace was spot on in terms of the eyepieces used. I dont think you picked the best line up what happend to meades new wide field eye pieces you had shown one in the photo of the short tube for the review but didnt included one in the line up and two moonfish eyepieace which made me think you substituted one into the line up or something.

Please dont get me wrong, I like the mag, I subscribed as soon as it was announced it was to be published. But I do feel that this is one area when offering up reviews on what can sometimes be an expensive hobby is were there can be great value for us as readers in terms of saving money and spending wisely.

As an example the winner of the Widefield eyepiece review is now sold out and back ordered. I doubt that many readers me included had ever heard of the Moonfish group before the review.

Keep up the good work.


Kevin.



sky_at_night
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:19 pm

RE: Opinions on Sky at Night magazine

Postby sagittarius » Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:13 am

[color=#ccff00]SAGITTARIUS[/color]

[:)] I would just like to say that for me the magazine as been well worth the price. I especially like the How to articles. These have been good for me and others just starting out. Although, could do with a few more basic ones. The magazine content is good but a little more basics would help my self and my son.

I think it is usefull to have the freeware on the CD as some do not have internet access or experiance. I personaly use the software on my old lap top as a stand alone pc.

The article on collamating was good but would it be possible to do a step through of how to make a collimator. The internet article is good but some pictures from an experianced constructor of such things would be good.

I will continue to buy the magazine since I think its well thought out for us in the UK

Thanks
Fred [8|]
sagittarius
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:19 pm

RE: Opinions on Sky at Night magazine

Postby stappie0304 » Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:03 pm

hi
its a great mag, the review of the wide angle EP's was spot on. i am lucky in that i already owned one of the moonfish ones(plus a lot of their other stuff). it is a remarkable eyepiece for the price.
i agree with others that the software on the cd is repetitive. especially as things like starry night backyard and starry night theatre is given away on pc mags cdroms.
clear skies
stappie0304
ps Dani at moonfish tells me that the wide angle EP,s are due in stock today[:D]
stappie0304
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:20 pm

RE: Opinions on Sky at Night magazine

Postby braddito » Fri Dec 16, 2005 10:20 am

Over the years I have had a general interest in 'what's out there' but have never found a magazine as accessible as 'SAN'. I've subscribed because it presents to me (a non-graduate) the science at a level I can grasp with much else of interest as well. It's also one of those rare magazines where it's worth keeping an eye on the adverts as well.

I share some peoples reserve over the CD - I have a fairly powerful PC but still get glitches in the TV show replay and the planetarium (which to my mind, runs too quickly to take it in). The 'Starry NIght' freebie was excellent though and I open that up most evenings to see 'what's on'.

Overall, I'm very pleased with 'SAN' and it's made me determined to purchase a telescope so that I can see some of the objects for myself.
braddito
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:19 pm

Next

Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest