I decided as I am getting ready for my September observing, I wanted to do something fun, but different for this blog entry. So I decided to pull the last several years of my Sky & Telescope issues and share just a few articles that I feel are keepers Feel free to agree, disagree, or share of your own favorites by adding a comment. So with no further ado, here is my list.
I am gong to try to stay with fall articles since we are heading into fall, but not all the articles will be from fall. My first article comes from the October 2013 issue and it is tied to my personal interest, Supernova and Supernova hunting. The article is The Great Supernova Racy by Robert Zimmerman and discusses how the hunt for supernova has evolved from visual to imagery now and how the pros "beef up" their own techniques.
Also from that October 2013 is Sue French's The Age of Aquarius article that shares some of the wonderful targets and objects to be found in Aquarius. My favorite of course is the Atoms for Peace Galaxy, one I encourage those reading to go to that article and go after that wonderful fun object. There are other objects that are equally interesting as well.
The next article is from the September 2014 issue from Sky & Telescope. The article from there is a wonderful article on Seeking Interacting Galaxies by Steve Gottlieb. Steve covers where his galaxy choices come from, the Vorontsov-Velyaminov catalog of Interacting Galaxies. This article offers some very good visual galaxy pairs and some challenging pairs as well. It focuses in Pegasus, Andromeda, Delphinus, offering a good night of challenging and fun galaxy pairs to chase down. Great article.
Spider Webs in Space from the November 2014 issue of Sky & Telescope is a wonderful article on Planetary Nebula and how they form their shells. It also gives some wonderful planetary nebula targets, some of the "eye candy" planetary nebula to go after. Fun article and it compelled me to learn more of this through searching the Cornell site.
The Starry Heavens Clusters and Nebula abound in compact Cassiopeia by Sue French in the December 2014 issue is typical Sue French, a great article. It is a great and fun article on open clusters and nebula that are to be found in the fall constellation of Cassiopeia. These are some more oft unknown objects for the vast majority of observers and I recommend this article if your looking for a good evening in Cassiopeia as we transition into fall.
The gem from the December 2014 article is Howard Banich's A Visual Guide to the Cassiopeia A Supernova Remnant. If you have the aperture, say 10" or greater in a dob, and the right skies this is a challenging but doable object to go after this fall. In studying the object, as the gas continues to expand, the ability of visual observers to see this object has become easier and easier, well, at least highly likely. Howard Banich goes through a history of the observations of this object, what it is and how to observe both the northern and southern arcs. IF you want to have a fun challenge, Cassiopeia A this fall is THE object to go after from a dark site and to observe. It's one you'll remember capturing for a LONG time. Great article here.
Mark Bratton's The Complete Guide to the Herschel Objects is a reference book that I own two copies of. Why? I take one in the field with me every time I go and another is my desk copy in my office. The field copy is the same hard back and is still in outstanding condition. I LOVE, ENJOY, and USE that book a LOT in planning and confirming observations of objects. In the April 2015 issue of Sky & Telescope, Mark Bratton supplies us with an alternative to the Messier Marathon, and that is to recreate William Herschel's "Extraordinary night of discovery." It is an article I have printed off and put into sheet protectors and will use next spring to try to duplicate William Herschel's night. I am HIGHLY excited to try that (I'll probably try both March and April in case I don't do it in one night). Outstanding Article!
There are a couple of other articles that I'll probably put on the list, but for tonight this is a good start. So what is your favorite article related to observing from Sky & Telescope over the last couple of years? I have to state up front, I use to be hesitant about continuing my subscription with Sky & Telescope, but I am so glad I renewed through 2018. I have really found some articles that I have really enjoyed and look forward to more in the future. So I hope you find my suggestions worth your time, and you have a way to get them. More importantly I know they will help you enjoy the wonders of the night sky!