Sky and Telescope


This section of the Starlight Night website relates to Sky and Telescope magazine and to its immediate predecessors The Sky and The Telescope.

It was while preparing a PowerPoint talk to present to my local astronomical society (and to other societies if they felt the urge to watch and listen) that I decided on the theme of speaking on several different astronomy-related topics (such as the Naming of Minor Planets; How to Pronounce Halley; the Saga of Sidus Ludoviciana; How to Pronounce Uranus; and so on). This would be presented under the general title of Astronomical Scrapbook and I thought it would be a neat idea to include something on the early history of Sky and Telescope magazine. After all, it has (as far as I can tell) a longer and more interesting ancestry (if that is the correct word) than any of the other currently-available popular astronomy magazines. In addition, the title Astronomical Scrapbook was inspired by the long-running feature of the same name, written by the late Joseph Ashbrook (1918-1980) and which adorned the pages of Sky and Telescope for many years.

The original intention was to have a short (around 10 minutes) section of the talk devoted to this particular topic. However, to say that was an ambitious idea is an understatement. As I began to research the early days of Sky and Telescope I realised that this particular section of the presentation would need to be of at least 15 minutes duration, then half-an-hour, then an hour . . . you can doubtless guess the rest. . !


I am now working on a full talk (with possible/probable updates and follow-up talks) relating to the early history of the magazine. I received a great deal of help with useful information for the talk from members of the current staff of Sky and Telescope, although it soon became clear to me that I needed to obtain as many of the early issues as I could. This would allow me to read through them and to follow the story chronologically, gaining information for the talk (and becoming even more inspired) as I went on. Sky and Telescope kindly printed my letter requesting pre-1960 back issues in the January 2018 edition of the magazine. This produced a flurry of replies, the upshot of which is that my own collection is nearing completion!


One of those who responded came forward with the suggestion that I become a collection and distribution point for early issues of the magazine. After all, it seems that there are many out there who appreciate the important role that Sky and Telescope has fulfilled over the years since it first appeared way back in November 1941. This seemed like yet another good idea, hence this section of my website being devoted to the project.

If you have any issues of Sky and Telescope (from the mid-1960s back) or any issues of either The Sky or The Telescope that you no longer require, please feel free to get in touch with me and we should be able to sort something out with a view to taking them off your hands. Similarly, if you are an issue or two short of being able to complete your collection, please let me know. Your request can be published on this website and, who knows, you may strike lucky!

The success of this project depends on you, the reader, so if you can help, please take the time out to do so. Your feedback is welcomed and I look forward to hearing from you. . .



I currently have spare copies of the May 1946, June 1946, July 1946 and September 1946 issues of Sky and Telescope. All four appear to be complete and in fairly good condition. The front and back covers of the July 1946 issue are complete but loose at the bottom, although still secured to the magazine with the top staple. These are all available at a low cost, which simply reflects what I paid for them myself. Postage will be extra. If any of these are of interest please contact Brian on and put ‘Sky and Telescope Back Issues’ in the subject line of your email.

The June 1943, November 1945 and November 1949 issues of Sky and Telescope are needed to enable someone to finally complete their collection! Can you help? If so, please email me on and let me know! Thank you!

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