Monday, December 11, 2006

 

Goodbye Night Sky

A visit to what remains of Night Sky Magazine’s website revealed words I’d hoped never to read:

We regret that subscriptions to Night Sky are no longer being accepted. The
March/April 2007 issue, now in production, will be the final
issue.
Like everybody who's had anything to do with Night Sky (I contributed several articles over the course of its brief lifespan), I've been impressed by what Kelly Beatty and his Skypub colleagues have accomplished, and proud to have had a (very) small part in what looked to be a the success of a new magazine—something pretty rare lately.

Not that I'd figgered the magazine had a dog's chance in hell when I first heard about it. When I was told about Sky’s plans for a new beginner magazine, I was just a mite skeptical. It was an idea that had been tried before—most recently by Kalmbach with their Odyssey, which was kept afloat for quite a while, but never really took off. Night Sky, I learned, however, was gonna be different. It wouldn’t be a kid magazine, it would be aimed at amateur astronomy beginners of all ages. It would be "backyard astronomy for everyone," light on the Discovery Magazine type gee-whiz science-fact stuff, and heavy on practical observing how-tos and equipment advice.

As one issue after the next hit the streets , each better than the last in my opinion, each garnering, from what I could tell, favorable notice among amateurs old and new, young and old, I began to think the upstart just might make it.

Alas, ‘twas obviously not to be. I think Night Sky was a brave experiment for a time when it’s a tough proposition to start a new newsstand magazine (or even keep an existing one afloat). Sadly, sometimes brave experiments fail, however worthy they may be. As above, my hat’s off to Kelly, the Night Sky staff, and my fellow freelance contributors. No happy ending, but what a magnificent failure Night Sky was.

Comments:
I still have and use every issue! I kept them all. I found out about it and subscribed before the first issue ever came out.

Too bad the sales were not good and they had too discontinue it. You had that right! Each issue was better!

I feel they are a treasure! Fell lucky to own each copy! Kelly Beaty did a great job!

They are now on a cd for people.
 
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