Greetings fellow astrophiles!
Author’s Note: Have an online resource you find valuable enough to want others to know about? Please consider writing up a brief post for the CNYO website so we can include it in our list! If you’re not the blogging type, then please send along the info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It can be rightly argued that the internet’s greatest benefit to society is the amount of information made freely available. It can also be argued that the internet’s greatest drawback is the amount of information made freely available. And I’m not just talking about the many, many nonsensical pseudo-scientific videos that go viral on Facebook that accost your logic centers and disappear the next day. Websites and bloggers who consistently provide organized, well-researched, up-to-date information about any topic are worth their weight in bookmarks. This is particularly true in astronomy, where what we know about pieces of the universe both close by and beyond the first visible photons seems to change noticeably by the year.
Every hobby has its online resources, and hobbyists who want to keep their knowledge bases current eventually discover where to go to find out what’s what. My plan this year is to start highlighting some of these resources in the hopes of speeding up the discovery process to those who want to quickly cycle their way through to “the good stuff.”
Free Astronomy Magazine, From astropublishing.com
Long before the rise of the www, numerous RSS feeds, podcasts, and amateur astronomy blog sites, our community relied heavily on the august Sky & Telescope and venerable Astronomy Magazine as one-stop shops of current events and new discoveries (and our friends across the pond extra-enjoyed Sir Patrick Moore and Sky At Night). The serious gear-centric amateur astronomer might also feel a hole the size of the Boötes Void without a subscription to Astronomy Technology Today. All three have taken the internet to heart and incorporate web specials and social media as part of their everynight activities.
Back around 2009, an Italian group started Astrofilo, an online astronomy magazine regretfully (well, for us non-Italian readers) in Italian. I’m sure the pictures were great regardless, but things finally got more interesting for the rest of us in May of 2014 when the magazine was made available in Italian AND English. As described briefly by the magazine editors on another web post…
Our content is written with the collaboration of professional astronomers, and while suitable for all levels of interest, aims to avoid the over-simplification characterising many other sources.
The completely free PDF magazine uses the best that social media and our direct feeds to global space agencies has to offer, providing well-written, highly informative articles complete with embedded videos and all of the best images that fly by our favorite astro (and general news) websites. Once you get used to the interface, you’ll quickly be able to jump around pages, zoom around for better views, and download the magazine in PDF format (which may make your life a little easier if you’re reading on a tablet or slower laptop).
Do give the current issue on the astropublishing.com website (and the many available back issues) a good look, which includes a nicely varied list of topics (click on the image at right for a view of the current Table of Contents).