Monday, August 27, 2012

Goodbye, Sky and Telescope

In an earlier entry I posted a graph showing the diminishing page count of Sky and Telescope magazine. It's still at 86 pages each month. And now it's renewal time for me.

Reasons to renew: Product reviews, articles on interesting topics, pretty picture, astronomy news, advertisements.

Reasons not to renew: The magazine has become a two-hour read. The astronomy news can largely be found elsewhere on the Internet. Ditto the pretty pictures and advertisements (which now tend to target high-end spenders). The hardware reviews are too brief and often are about products for which I have no interest. Article topics tend to repeat over time; not much new can be said about alignment of your telescope that hasn't already been written about it. The monthly sky guides are mainly for beginners; much of their function can be replaced by software. I seldom read the editorial articles or letters to the editor.

The only reason I can muster to renew that makes much sense is that I need to keep up on popular astronomy on behalf of the classes I teach, and S&T offers a convenient way to do that. So I've reupped for three years. I would have gone for the online-only version, which is cheaper, but I didn't care for the image quality of their online version. I'll keep looking in on it.