Sky@Night mag - disappointing

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d...@star.le.ac.uk

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May 25, 2005, 10:00:25 AM5/25/05
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Dear all,

Am I the only one disappointed in the new Sky at Night magazine?

For me, the one word that sums it up is: CLUTTERED!


1 - The article about nebulae.... PERFECT! Nice stunning photos of
nebulae that dominate the page - why not do the entire magazine like
that, then? S@N has about 5 photos per page average. Look at the Sky
& Telescope - 2 large photos per page. Astronomy IS big fantastic
photo's - not clutter. This particularly annoyed me on the readers
gallery pages, where the photo's were not done any justice at all
(again, compare with S&T).


2 - It may suprise you to learn that research astronomy is done in the
UK! To me, the British magazine should be SHOUTING at what wonderful
science is done in the uk, not leaving them as footnotes half way
through a story. Sorry, but I find it annoying when I see NASA getting
credit where you could equally credit European & UK astronomers, if not
moreso. e.g. I'd title the story about La Palma + WHT something like
"Big British 'scopes"! (Or something like that!)


3 - Telescope tests - excellent. Nice and clear, no clutter. I look
forward to the bigger toys in up and coming reviews.


4 - It started badly - 12 photos of Patric Moore in the first 5 pages.
I'm not a fan! reasons include PM passing of other people's
discoveries as his own; people writing books & articles for him and PM
passes them off as his (what does he know about TouCams?! Since I know
PM didn't write that sentance, I don't believe he wrote a word in the
entire magazine, which is possibly unfair. But he does "cry wolf" too
much, and so is doing himself an injustice); and the general public
think that all astronomers are old men;...
I know people will totally disagree with me, and fair enough, as long
as you understand my PoV on PM!


5 - Sky@Night episode bit. I'm sure they could find nice photos of
PeteL et al, without taking an excessive number of stills from the
video of people in mid sentance - Chris looks like he's just about eat
a fly, and Pete has his eyes closed! Could/should do better!


6 - I've not seen the CD-Rom myself... but I've been told not to
bother, since it pops up in a tiny sub-screen!


I could go on, but life is short.


Basically, I'll continue to be buying Sky & Telescope, mainly because
it is much better designed - clear & without clutter. (e.g. 2 columns
per page, not 4 column per page and columns that last for just 1 inch
before going to another column - that *is* dumb!)

I'm just glad I looked at someone elses and didn't buy it!

The only advantage in the S@N is that you get UK prices - although a
quick comparison between S&T & S@N confirms John's suspicions... Just
swap the dollar sign for a pound sign!


These may sound like an unnessesary rant - but I'm just hoping that
the magazine read this and so improve. I sooooo wanted to buy a good
british magazine, but I feel I've been let down. The content may be
good - but good content must be presented well, or I will just find an
equally good content on a better designed web page. Infact, a good
astro mag should be "pretty-pictures" driven, since the content can all
be found on the web, but hard copy glossy images cannot.

Any thoughts, comments? I hope the S@N team take on board some of
these critisms.

Das

David Sewell

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May 25, 2005, 5:21:08 PM5/25/05
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I always browse through a magazine before I purchase it. I recommend it to
quelch disappointment. Give it time to develop, I'm sure it will not let us
down....


Steve

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May 26, 2005, 3:27:01 AM5/26/05
to
Totally agree with you Das.
The American magazines (S&T, Astronomy and NightSky) are far superior.
But given time I think it will find its feet and become a good, well
presented British magazine. Just as long as it does not turn into another
awful Astronomy Now.

Steve


John D. Tanner

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May 26, 2005, 9:14:57 AM5/26/05
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I'd like to be able to review it myself but I don't seem to be able to
get hold of a copy :-(

John
http://physics.open.ac.uk/~jdtanner

Ian Sharp

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May 26, 2005, 11:48:31 AM5/26/05
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In reply to your rant about PM....

>PM passing of other people's discoveries as his own;

Got any evidence of that?

>I don't believe he wrote a word in the entire magazine, which is possibly
>unfair.

Of course it's unfair! (so why say it?). It is very clear from the style
that PM wrote a lot of those words, even if dictated. I've seen him type
articles and books word perfect at 100wpm on this old typewriter. This comes
from having the best all round knowledge of astronomy of anyone living -
even in his elderly state now he's still very sharp.

It needs to be remembered that without PM, we would not have a S@N magazine
to debate!

I thought the magazine was a bit cluttered when I first flicked through it.
After reading the articles I am much more impressed, especially for the
first edition.

Ian Sharp.

<d...@star.le.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:1117029625....@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

Martin Frey

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May 26, 2005, 12:52:13 PM5/26/05
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d...@star.le.ac.uk wrote:

>I don't believe he wrote a word in the
>entire magazine, which is possibly unfair.

etc. etc.

He seems to be one of the least pretentious, most approachable and
genuine enthusiasts I have ever come across with a mass following of
fans inside and outside astronomy. This is rare indeed - and for an
old Etonian, well nigh impossible. Only Humphrey Littleton gets even
close.

So there he is endorsing Starry Night for money while professing not
to know which side of a monitor to look at. He looks to me like
someone with a realistic view of a possibly expensive future in
professional care garnering a last few shekels but others may take a
less tolerant, (more anally retentive?) view.

--
Clear skies

Martin Frey

---------------------------
http://www.hadhastro.org.uk
N 51 02 E 0 47
---------------------------

John Carruthers

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May 26, 2005, 1:47:59 PM5/26/05
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>>Am I the only one disappointed in the new Sky at Night magazine?<<
>>For me, the one word that sums it up is: CLUTTERED!<<

I'd have said busy or lively perhaps. Not having bought an astronomy
mag for some years I was pleasantly surprised.
jc

--
http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/jc_atm/


Pete Lawrence

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May 27, 2005, 4:39:57 AM5/27/05
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On 25 May 2005 07:00:25 -0700, d...@star.le.ac.uk wrote:

>4 - It started badly - 12 photos of Patric Moore in the first 5 pages.

I'm not going to get involved in matters discussing layout etc. but I
will pick you up on this. You make it sound like Patrick sits there
asking for more and more picture of himself to be inserted into the
magazine. I can tell you from personal experience, the exact opposite
is true and his desire is to see fewer pictures of himself!

>6 - I've not seen the CD-Rom myself... but I've been told not to
>bother, since it pops up in a tiny sub-screen!

Oh come on Das - you're supposed to be a scientist! "I was going to
investigate the structure of DNA but someone has told me it's rhombic
so I won't bother!".
--
Pete
http://www.digitalsky.org.uk

Geoff Smith

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May 27, 2005, 5:25:31 AM5/27/05
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Definitely not disappointing. Got hold of a copy last night and at first
glance the magazine seems very well put together.

I've only had time to look at two of the free programmes on the CD but
either of them would have justified the cover price on its own. I think
issue 1 will be a hard act to follow!


David Sewell

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May 27, 2005, 3:47:28 PM5/27/05
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"Pete Lawrence" <pete.l...@nospam.co.uk> wrote in message
news:6nmd915gh7e4c0l9s...@4ax.com...

> On 25 May 2005 07:00:25 -0700, d...@star.le.ac.uk wrote:
>
>
> >6 - I've not seen the CD-Rom myself... but I've been told not to
> >bother, since it pops up in a tiny sub-screen!

To "try" to watch the mpeg video via the cd is dire to say the least, but
run directly from the file, (full screen) it is brilliant. With a
broadband connection, downloading is not an issue so the "free" stuff on the
cd is pretty pointless. Anyways, I look forward to following the magazines
development.

> Pete
> http://www.digitalsky.org.uk


Clive

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May 27, 2005, 4:41:40 PM5/27/05
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When is the next issue out? i would like to get hold of a copy as i
seem to have missed the first one

Chef!

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May 27, 2005, 4:46:18 PM5/27/05
to
Ian Sharp wrote:
> This comes from having the best all round knowledge of
> astronomy of anyone living...

Got any evidence of that?

His treatment and knowledge of deep-sky observing and objects has always
been cursory at best and nothing shows this better than the obscenity that
goes by the name of the Caldwell catalogue.

And of course, there are shedloads of US amateurs that would put him to
shame, given half a chance and probably more than a few UK ones come to
that.

Regards,
Chef!


David Sewell

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May 27, 2005, 4:48:35 PM5/27/05
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"Clive" <nos...@thankyou.com> wrote in message
news:te1f911ssqr49mpvr...@4ax.com...

Hi Clive,
Issue 2 on sale 28 June 2005
Regards,
David


Pete Lawrence

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May 27, 2005, 5:05:52 PM5/27/05
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On Fri, 27 May 2005 21:41:40 +0100, Clive <nos...@thankyou.com> wrote:

>When is the next issue out? i would like to get hold of a copy as i
>seem to have missed the first one

Issue one was released on the 24th June Clive. I would be surprised
if they have all gone!
--
Pete
http://www.digitalsky.org.uk
Global Projects - http://www.globalobservers.net

Pete Lawrence

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May 27, 2005, 5:06:35 PM5/27/05
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On Fri, 27 May 2005 22:05:52 +0100, Pete Lawrence
<pete.lawre...@pbl33.co.uk> wrote:

>On Fri, 27 May 2005 21:41:40 +0100, Clive <nos...@thankyou.com> wrote:
>
>>When is the next issue out? i would like to get hold of a copy as i
>>seem to have missed the first one
>
>Issue one was released on the 24th June Clive. I would be surprised
>if they have all gone!

Argh - 24th of May not June!!!

Robin Leadbeater

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May 27, 2005, 7:26:48 PM5/27/05
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"Pete Lawrence" <pete.lawre...@pbl33.co.uk> wrote in message
news:gr2f91pmmn1lhi7d3...@4ax.com...

> On Fri, 27 May 2005 21:41:40 +0100, Clive <nos...@thankyou.com> wrote:
>
> >When is the next issue out? i would like to get hold of a copy as i
> >seem to have missed the first one
>
> Issue one was released on the 24th June Clive. I would be surprised
> if they have all gone!
> --

Gave up waiting for the complementary copy ;-) and got one from WH Smiths in
Carlisle today. Selling like hot cakes apparently. I got the last one but
they were expecting to get more in.

Robin


Roger Steer

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May 28, 2005, 9:26:16 AM5/28/05
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'Chef' wrote

Got any evidence of that?

His treatment and knowledge of deep-sky observing and objects has
always
been cursory at best and nothing shows this better than the obscenity
that
goes by the name of the Caldwell catalogue.


And of course, there are shedloads of US amateurs that would put him to

shame, given half a chance and probably more than a few UK ones come to

that.


Regards,
Chef!


I'm sure that there are plenty of people who know more about astronomy
than him, but few who have done so much to popularise it, both in this
country and throughout the world.

As to the Caldwell Catalogue - 'obscenity'? What strange area,
detached from the real universe, does this comment come from? It is a
list - good, bad or indifferent - nothing else. I really, really wish
that the standard of the Caldwell Catalogue was the biggest problem I
had.

Do you notice how people who write this sort of stuff are too cowardly
to use their real names?


Roger

Clive

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May 28, 2005, 10:58:21 AM5/28/05
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On Fri, 27 May 2005 22:06:35 +0100, Pete Lawrence
<pete.lawre...@pbl33.co.uk> wrote:

>On Fri, 27 May 2005 22:05:52 +0100, Pete Lawrence
><pete.lawre...@pbl33.co.uk> wrote:
>
>>On Fri, 27 May 2005 21:41:40 +0100, Clive <nos...@thankyou.com> wrote:
>>
>>>When is the next issue out? i would like to get hold of a copy as i
>>>seem to have missed the first one
>>
>>Issue one was released on the 24th June Clive. I would be surprised
>>if they have all gone!
>
>Argh - 24th of May not June!!!

thx david and pete, i was was wondering how david said issue 2 was out
on the 28th june and you said issue 1 was out on the 24th june :)
if thats the case i`ll go have a look round thanks again

Pete Lawrence

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May 28, 2005, 11:15:38 AM5/28/05
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On Fri, 27 May 2005 20:46:18 GMT, "Chef!"
<prdeant...@ntlworld.com> wrote:

>Ian Sharp wrote:
>> This comes from having the best all round knowledge of
>> astronomy of anyone living...
>
>Got any evidence of that?
>
>His treatment and knowledge of deep-sky observing and objects has always
>been cursory at best and nothing shows this better than the obscenity that
>goes by the name of the Caldwell catalogue.

Interesting description of the Caldwell catalogue. Why is it an
obscenity in your opinion? You give me your version and then I'll give
you the version from the horse's mouth so to speak ;-)

Jim

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May 28, 2005, 11:25:14 AM5/28/05
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Robin Leadbeater <robin...@nospamhotmail.com> wrote:

The Smiths in Stafford doesn't seem to have any. I was in a rush so I
couldn't find out if they'd sold out or just didn't have it to begin
with.

Jim
--
Find me at http://www.ursaminorbeta.co.uk AIM/iChatAV: JCAndrew2
"We deal in the moral equivalent of black holes, where the normal
laws of right and wrong break down; beyond those metaphysical
event horizons there exist ... special circumstances" - Use Of Weapons

chr...@mail.dk

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May 28, 2005, 1:57:51 PM5/28/05
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Thanks to Das' glowing online review the S@N Mag Ist Edition and CD are
already changing hands at several thousand dollars on ebay. Non-winning
bidders are already being offered reserve copies. The 2nd, 3rd & 4th
Editions are already available as fileshare-downloads. Several embedded
virii has been detected by Norton and Adaware are said to be working on
a patch to cope with the horrendous number of tracking cookies on the
original CD. A copy has been placed in a time-capsule under the
foundations of the New Hurstmonceux Observatory in Antarctica. Nigerian
businessmen are offering venture capital in the BBC S&N as a holey
owned subsidgary. Nasa has flown the first Edition sans CD to the
ISS/Soyuz breakers yard as recycled toilet paper to make the Russian
cosmonoughts feel really at home. Yahoo UFO "Been There Done That" has
posts claiming Alien workmanship due to the unique numerology used by
the illustrations in the S&N Magazine.

Chris.B

Jim

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May 28, 2005, 2:42:29 PM5/28/05
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<chr...@mail.dk> wrote:

You've been smoking those funny ones again, haven't you?

Jim
--
Find me at http://www.ursaminorbeta.co.uk AIM/iChatAV: JCAndrew2

Lost: Stack Pointer. Small reward offered if found.

David Sewell

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May 28, 2005, 3:03:29 PM5/28/05
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<chr...@mail.dk> wrote in message
news:1117303071.4...@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

Who's been drinking rocket fuel then!!

David


Martin Frey

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May 28, 2005, 3:30:42 PM5/28/05
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chr...@mail.dk wrote:

>holey
>owned subsidgary.

Lucky gary.

chr...@mail.dk

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May 29, 2005, 3:21:50 AM5/29/05
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Just trying to lighten the mood. :-)
I've been a bit depressed since reading Das' editorial broadside.
I thought it was only me who criticised things without buying them.
Wot's wrong with "Astronomy Now" then?
Is there really room for two UK parochial astro ads rags?
Perhaps more importantly: Where can I read these S n'N mags (without
buying them) over here?

Chris.B

Chef!

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May 29, 2005, 7:05:34 AM5/29/05
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Pete Lawrence wrote:
> On Fri, 27 May 2005 20:46:18 GMT, "Chef!"
> <prdeant...@ntlworld.com> wrote:
>
>> Ian Sharp wrote:
>>> This comes from having the best all round knowledge of
>>> astronomy of anyone living...
>>
>> Got any evidence of that?
>>
>> His treatment and knowledge of deep-sky observing and objects has
>> always been cursory at best and nothing shows this better than the
>> obscenity that goes by the name of the Caldwell catalogue.
>
> Interesting description of the Caldwell catalogue. Why is it an
> obscenity in your opinion? You give me your version and then I'll give
> you the version from the horse's mouth so to speak ;-)

It qualifies as an obscentiy in my view, simply because it's a shoddy piece
of work that I find (grossly) offensive. Others may not of course :) As for
why I think it shoddy, there are loads of links out there but
http://members.aol.com/anonglxy/lingmoor.htm is better than most.

G'won then, what's the horses mouth version? What I'm really interested to
know is did he get it peer reviewed prior to publication and if so, who
reviewed it?

Regards,
Chef!


Clive

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May 29, 2005, 11:49:42 AM5/29/05
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do you always try to come across as abusive and aggresive Chef?

Chef!

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May 29, 2005, 3:55:49 PM5/29/05
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Clive wrote:

> do you always try to come across as abusive and aggresive Chef?

No. Next question?

Regards
Chef!


Owen Brazell

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May 30, 2005, 5:32:53 AM5/30/05
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I would have thought perhaps here the most important question is freedom
of opinion. If someone criticises what Patrick says and then all the
acolytes jump in giving the impression he is, like the Pope, infallible,
He is not and never has been. He is a person like anyone else. A cult is
dangerous and that is what we appear to have here. There are valid
criticisms to many of the things he has done, and the Caldwell catalogue
is one.

Like Chef I would like to hear Pete's version of the "true" story :-)

Owen

delradie

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May 30, 2005, 6:03:00 AM5/30/05
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I have to say, other than the cover price being a little bit on the
high side it was a pretty good mag.

It had a fair balance of observational and scientific focus, and I
thought the 'virtual planetarium' on the cd-rom was a brilliant idea,
and the other bits & pieces were interesting too.

The telescope review was particularly interested, and I think I know
whats going on my Christmas list :) (somehow I can't see my wife
getting me it, but hey, you never know)

All in all I'd say worth a look.

As for AN, its been a good few years since I got hold of a copy (no
particular antipathy towards it, just doesn't seem to get stocked
anywhere round here) but I remember it as being a good mag for
observational information, whereas I read S&T as it is a good source
for the 'serious science' side of things. I think basically its a case
of horses for courses.

All the best & Clear Skies

Mark Middlemist
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://groups.msn.com/AmateurAstronomyintheMidlands/

Grumps

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May 30, 2005, 9:27:55 AM5/30/05
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<d...@star.le.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:1117029625....@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Dear all,

>
> Am I the only one disappointed in the new Sky at Night magazine?
>
> For me, the one word that sums it up is: CLUTTERED!
>
>
<snipped the bit where the op said he didn't like the mag>

As a real newbie to astronomy, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Even my 9 year
old picked it up and read it (not just looked at the stunning pictures) for
ages.
I will be subscribing to this so I'll not miss the next issue. Even get PM's
autobiography free too!


Ian Sharp

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May 31, 2005, 3:48:45 AM5/31/05
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>Got any evidence of that?
Yes, plenty. Having known him for 36 years, having observed with him 'at the
telescope' on many occasions, and comparing his knowledge against many
others (also regarded as authorities).

>obscenity that goes by the name of the Caldwell catalogue.

Glad to see you have a sense of humour... otherwise I would have to assume
you were just abusive.

Interested to know if you've ever met the man?

Ian.

"Chef!" <prdeant...@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
news:uGLle.7663$RG2....@newsfe6-gui.ntli.net...

Martin Frey

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May 31, 2005, 5:11:11 AM5/31/05
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"Ian Sharp" <ian....@astro-sharp.com> wrote:

>>Got any evidence of that?
>Yes, plenty. Having known him for 36 years, having observed with him 'at the
>telescope' on many occasions, and comparing his knowledge against many
>others (also regarded as authorities).

There's an interesting, if ambiguous, reference to Patrick, in this
account of the life and death of Robert Burnham Junior.

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/issues/1997-09-25/feature.html/page1.html

Relevant passage is:
<QUOTE with some snipping, refers to events in or before 1966>

Thomas says Burnham was also disappointed by Lowell Observatory's
official position regarding the Handbook.
"The great problem I had with him was his handbooks. I offered to have
the observatory personnel here check what he put into them, but he was
reluctant and would not do that. And for that reason I told him he
could not make it a Lowell Observatory publication," Giclas says.
"We had a great English amateur that published books and stuff, but
the stuff he had in it was wrong. His name was Patrick Moore. In later
years, he learned enough to at least try to put the facts down
straight. But Burnham quoted Moore as many times as he quoted Henry
Norris Russell or some other famous astronomer, you know. And that was
the trouble; Burnham didn't know the difference between someone who
knew something and someone who didn't."
</QUOTE>


Burnham's Celestial Handbook, unrevised since 1977, remains a steady
seller and is essential (and much loved) reading and reference for
astronomers today. Perhaps Burnham did know the difference between
right and wrong but Lowell Observatory did not.

Has anyone bumped into any of the actual references to Patrick in the
Handbook - I haven't.

Roger Steer

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May 31, 2005, 5:22:04 AM5/31/05
to
I think that what Owen says is quite correct. It is ridiculous to
attribute any person with infallibility, and I know that he has grave
reservations about the Caldwell Catalogue.

What I do worry about is the tendency of others (usually anonymous) to
vilify someone (anyone) simply because they are famous.

If the story of this list is as PM states it (and why should I question
it?), then he has made little or nothing from it. Sky publishing has
sold a few laminated cards. To the best of my knowledge, two books:
One poor, one excellent, have been published about it, neither by PM.
Either way as several people have said, it's only a list - end of
story.

I would guess that PM is in great demand to have his name on books
(like the Springer series) and his picture and endorsement on S@N
magazine. Why? Because to the public he IS astronomy, and it is the
general public, not ourselves, who buy the magazines and books in
bulk.

I disagree with PM's political view on every point, but I also abhor
another famous amateur's views on road safety. They are both good
astronomers, so on that front I am right behind them.

Roger

Pete Lawrence

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May 31, 2005, 5:28:50 AM5/31/05
to
On Mon, 30 May 2005 10:32:53 +0100, Owen Brazell
<ow...@online.rednet.co.uk> wrote:

>I would have thought perhaps here the most important question is freedom
>of opinion. If someone criticises what Patrick says and then all the
>acolytes jump in giving the impression he is, like the Pope, infallible,
>He is not and never has been. He is a person like anyone else. A cult is
>dangerous and that is what we appear to have here. There are valid
>criticisms to many of the things he has done, and the Caldwell catalogue
>is one.

Freedom of opinion is essential but it helps if opinion is based on a
degree of truth. It's easy to form a negative opinion about someone
or something if you're detached from that person. I've seen lots of
negative stuff written about PM based on information that is simply
wrong.

>Like Chef I would like to hear Pete's version of the "true" story :-)

Patrick has told me this story a few times but I can't remember the
start (sorry - I'll ask him again when I next see him).

Basically, the C catalogue was put together on a quiet day (I
remember why it was "quiet"). It was then submitted it to a well
known publisher. According to Patrick it wasn't supposed to have been
taken that seriously at all. However, when the publisher got hold of
it the catalogue was rapidly elevated into a position of importance.

There are now people who devote websites to point out that the
catalogue was just Patrick's attempt to muscle in on the scene and try
to become as famous as Messier. If you've ever meet PM and ask him
about the catalogue, it's patently obvious that this is nonsense.

Like Das pointing out that there were lots of PM's photos in the
magazine and hinting that PM is the motivating force behind this - it
just isn't true.


--
Pete
http://www.digitalsky.org.uk

LJS

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May 31, 2005, 3:17:37 PM5/31/05
to
> Interested to know if you've ever met the man?
>
> Ian.

I haven't! I'm sure he's a nice man in person, but I just don't like
watching Sky at Night. I can't give an exact reason either. :)) (Mind you,
the last time I saw it there were two old people standing around a piano,
"singing" the noises that pulsars, black holes etc. make. Things may have
improved since then!!!)

However.... I will admit that whenever someone utters even the slightest
dislike for Patrick, there generally follows a huge barrage of replies
saying how good he is, and how you have no right not to like him. Some like
him, some don't. I guess that's just life. (I can think of lots of people
who don't like me!!!)


Owen Brazell

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May 31, 2005, 4:16:52 PM5/31/05
to
That is close to correct. I spoke with Tim Lyster when he was at S&T at
this time and asked him why they did this. He said they were a bit short
and they asked Patrick for something. Back came a handwritten fax (is
there any other kind from Patrick :-) and it said see what you think of
this. S&T then set Barlow Pepin to rewrite what Patrick had said and
then re-market it. Unfortunately for everybody the way it was marketed
polarised opinions in the deep sky community, some saying it was the
work of the devil and others saying that anything that got people
looking at the sky was a good thing. People fell into one of the two
camps. I know from some fairly brutal and in some cases aggressive
letters from Patrick to me personally where he stood on this discussion.

Owen

Roger Steer

unread,
Jun 1, 2005, 7:23:31 AM6/1/05
to
If what Owen has heard about the origin of the CC is true, then it just
about confirms the story from S&T, PL and PM. So it leads me to say -
what's the big deal? Similarly with PM on TV - there's no one else,
but he is at least doing 'something'. This is not blind defence, but
what I fail to understand is the vilification of someone using words
like 'obsenity' when a simple "I don't think that this is very good"
would do.

PM may not be the best astronomer there ever was, nor even the best
about at the moment. He can however speak coherently to camera (which
I have tried to do and failed miserably)in what many people find an
entertaining way. As a result many are attracted to astronomy and that
can't be a bad thing. As one amateur astronomer (who shall remain
nameless) once said to me on another matter: (to paraphrase) "If you
think you can do any better then you are welcome to try".

The anonymity of 'nicknames' and the fact that insults can be made safe
in the knowledge that one will never have to defend them in person,
leads some people to the sort of childish behaviour exhibited in this
thread. Although I would like to think that someone here would defend
anyone else subject to this sort of attack, like the best treatment for
trolls, I suggest that we refrain from feeding the egos of the
'anonymous attackers'. However, reasoned comment by identified writers
is always worth reading.


Roger

d...@star.le.ac.uk

unread,
Jun 1, 2005, 10:33:31 AM6/1/05
to
> >PM passing of other people's discoveries as his own;

> Got any evidence of that?

A mate of my grandad's discovered a minor planet in the 30's, and asked
PM to verify it. Apparently, he passed it off as his own discovery!


> >I don't believe he wrote a word in the entire
> >magazine, which is possibly unfair.
> Of course it's unfair! (so why say it?).

Because he blaitently knows nothing about a TouCam! So someone else
obviously wrote that bit, and so the story should have be titled "By PM
& A.N.Other"

So how am I suppose to know where PM's input finishes & starts, if
work by A.N.Other is labelled as PM's work?

My favorite example of this is of a hand drawing of the moon. It
says (in big letters) "By PM", and, in much smaller letters, "drawn by
A.N.Other"! So what exactly did PM do, then?!

All I'm saying is credit should be given where it is due, but PM
appears to take credit for everything, and not just the bit's he has
worked on. That smells of politics to me.


I'm sure that is not all PM's fault - i.e. companies want to use his
name - but he could have repeatedly said "Put my name after the guy who
did the majority of the work".

PM also has done nothing/very little in the fight against light
pollution, which grates me.

Das

d...@star.le.ac.uk

unread,
Jun 1, 2005, 10:40:17 AM6/1/05
to
As for the Caldwell catalogue....

I think PM invented that as a list of interesting objects, which is
fair enough. I think private companies, again trying to put PM's name
on everything, are the probable cause of "PM fatigue" which has caused
much of the dislike of the Caldwell catalogue! Especially in the
states!

Das

d...@star.le.ac.uk

unread,
Jun 1, 2005, 10:48:17 AM6/1/05
to
Hold on - there are some good bits to the magazine! (See my original
review)

Although I didn't buy a copy, my house mate did.

As for "Astronomy Now" - I cannot remember why I don't like that
magazine, but I haven't bought it for years. I've always gone for the
pretty pictures & design of the American S&T & Astronomy... and this is
from someone who usually enjoys critising Americans!

This is why I was disappointed with S&T mag - where are all the big
pretty pictures? (Appart from the excellently designed article on
nebulae)

Das

John D. Tanner

unread,
Jun 1, 2005, 12:16:45 PM6/1/05
to
> I'd like to be able to review it myself but I don't seem to be able to
> get hold of a copy :-(
>
> John
> http://physics.open.ac.uk/~jdtanner

Finally I managed to get hold of a copy of the magazine. My comments are
as follows:


1. Price
Quite high for an astronomy magazine.

2. Cover CD
All the content could be on the website. Most (I accept not all) of us
have broadband these days, and the additional cost of distributing a
cover cd could be cut by having online content. Maybe there could be two
versions of the magazine, with and without the cd (computer magazines
used to do this eons ago).

3. Good old PM
There are a lot of pictures of PM, and I get the impression that he
might have written an autobiography ;-) I like the man, and I'm quite
happy to see him in the magazine...although I'd prefer somebody slightly
more female and blonde ;-) I do agree with the comments about PM's name
appearing everywhere, but I guess that is how the BBC wanted it done.

4. Telescope Reviews
Nice...enough said

6. My PhD Topic
What a supprise to see some of the work that I'm *indirectly* involved
with appear in the magazine (the bit about the star with the least
amount of Iron in it). This was a nice touch ;-)

I'll probably buy it again, but it doesn't offer a great deal more to me
that AN (which is cheaper).

All the best,
John
http://physics.open.ac.uk/~jdtanner

astrokid

unread,
Jun 1, 2005, 1:05:21 PM6/1/05
to

A bloody good first attempt! Interesting and informative and hope it
keeps up the good start. I for one will be subscribing as soon as I see
the second issue!

Dave

Tim Auton

unread,
Jun 1, 2005, 3:27:16 PM6/1/05
to
d...@star.le.ac.uk wrote:
[PM]

> PM also has done nothing/very little in the fight against light
>pollution, which grates me.

Oh he has done something. He moved somewhere with sea on 3 sides :)


Tim
--
Don't tell me I'm still on that feckin' island!

Roger Smith

unread,
Jun 2, 2005, 5:45:48 AM6/2/05
to

<d...@star.le.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:1117636411....@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

>> >PM passing of other people's discoveries as his own;
>> Got any evidence of that?
>
> A mate of my grandad's discovered a minor planet in the 30's, and asked
> PM to verify it. Apparently, he passed it off as his own discovery!
>
This sounds like yet another unsubstantiated rumour. PM was only 16 years
old in 1939!

Regards, Roger


Roger Steer

unread,
Jun 2, 2005, 9:44:07 AM6/2/05
to
I agree with my namesake. A terrible accusation if true. Can the
anonymous accuser give us details? What's the asteroid number? Why
ask a teenager to verify your discovery? Should be dead easy to check,
but I bet there won't be any evidence forthcoming!

Roger

Chef!

unread,
Jun 2, 2005, 3:03:30 PM6/2/05
to
Roger Steer wrote:
> ...This is not blind

> defence, but what I fail to understand is the vilification of someone
> using words like 'obsenity' when a simple "I don't think that this is
> very good" would do.

You seem to have formed the impression that I was instigating some sort of
personal attack in my OP. I wasn't. I was specifically disputing Ian's
attribution, 'This comes from having the best all round knowledge of
astronomy of anyone living' - nothing more. PM himself never entered into
it. My subsequent remarks concerned the catalogue *not* the man.

>
> The anonymity of 'nicknames' and the fact that insults can be made
> safe in the knowledge that one will never have to defend them in

> person...
> ...However, reasoned comment by


> identified writers is always worth reading.

I'll rise to the bait...

Your point on nicknames is interesting. For starters, there's nothing in the
Charter (http://www.usenet.org.uk/uk.sci.astronomy.html) that refers to
the use or otherwise of nicknames. There's actually very little mention of
nicknames in any docs I could find regarding Usenet posts in general (see
http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1855.html); what you do find in fact is advice
which specifically warns about the dangers of using your real name.

And of course, there are many reasons for users to adopt nicknames rather
than using their real names (see
http://www.unix.com/archive/index.php/t-14694.html, very few having
anything at all to do with keeping anonymous in order to diss some
unfortunate 3rd party.

Re: 'identified writers' sounds reasonable at first but unfortunately this
cuts
both ways, there's no guarantee that you are actually who you say you are
either. To be honest, I don't really care, neither can I bothered tracking
you
down to confirm it. The point being that I am far more attentive to *what*
you write. Seeing as how neither of us can definitively prove we are who
we say we are, all we need do is review the archives for previous posts
and then come to a view as to whether the other has a genuine interest in
UK astronomy, or not.

Regards
Chef!


Mark McIntyre

unread,
Jun 2, 2005, 5:40:22 PM6/2/05
to
On Thu, 02 Jun 2005 19:03:30 GMT, in uk.sci.astronomy , "Chef!"
<prdeant...@ntlworld.com> wrote:

>Your point on nicknames is interesting. For starters, there's nothing in the
>Charter (http://www.usenet.org.uk/uk.sci.astronomy.html) that refers to
>the use or otherwise of nicknames.

While thats true, its also worth considering that common sense
indicates that if you want to be trusted, posting with a real name is
more likely to engender it.

>And of course, there are many reasons for users to adopt nicknames rather
>than using their real names (see
> http://www.unix.com/archive/index.php/t-14694.html, very few having
>anything at all to do with

the last phrase seems also to describe the relevance of this link to
the question!

>Re: 'identified writers' sounds reasonable at first but unfortunately this
>cuts both ways, there's no guarantee that you are actually who you say you are
>either.

This is true, but I refer you to my first point.

>Chef!

And of course, there's nothing to stop you posting with a nic as your
from and reply-to address, but posting a real name in your sig.


--
Mark McIntyre
CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
CLC readme: <http://www.ungerhu.com/jxh/clc.welcome.txt>

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Nick Mason

unread,
Jun 2, 2005, 7:18:46 PM6/2/05
to
In article <6KIne.16143$RG2....@newsfe6-gui.ntli.net>,
prdeant...@ntlworld.com says...

> Roger Steer wrote:
> > ...This is not blind
> > defence, but what I fail to understand is the vilification of someone
> > using words like 'obsenity' when a simple "I don't think that this is
> > very good" would do.
>
> You seem to have formed the impression that I was instigating some sort of
> personal attack in my OP. I wasn't. I was specifically disputing Ian's
> attribution, 'This comes from having the best all round knowledge of
> astronomy of anyone living' - nothing more. PM himself never entered into
> it. My subsequent remarks concerned the catalogue *not* the man.
>
> >
> > The anonymity of 'nicknames' and the fact that insults can be made
> > safe in the knowledge that one will never have to defend them in
> > person...
> > ...However, reasoned comment by
> > identified writers is always worth reading.
>
> I'll rise to the bait...
>
> Your point on nicknames is interesting. For starters, there's nothing in the
> Charter (http://www.usenet.org.uk/uk.sci.astronomy.html) that refers to
> the use or otherwise of nicknames. There's actually very little mention of
> nicknames in any docs I could find regarding Usenet posts in general (see
> http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1855.html); what you do find in fact is advice
> which specifically warns about the dangers of using your real name.

Peter Dean?
--
Regards

Nick

dylan

unread,
Jun 4, 2005, 4:43:01 PM6/4/05
to

<d...@star.le.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:1117029625....@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Dear all,
>
> Am I the only one disappointed in the new Sky at Night magazine?
>
> For me, the one word that sums it up is: CLUTTERED!
>
>
> 1 - The article about nebulae.... PERFECT! Nice stunning photos of
> nebulae that dominate the page - why not do the entire magazine like
> that, then? S@N has about 5 photos per page average. Look at the Sky
> & Telescope - 2 large photos per page. Astronomy IS big fantastic
> photo's - not clutter. This particularly annoyed me on the readers
> gallery pages, where the photo's were not done any justice at all
> (again, compare with S&T).
>
>
> 2 - It may suprise you to learn that research astronomy is done in the
> UK! To me, the British magazine should be SHOUTING at what wonderful
> science is done in the uk, not leaving them as footnotes half way
> through a story. Sorry, but I find it annoying when I see NASA getting
> credit where you could equally credit European & UK astronomers, if not
> moreso. e.g. I'd title the story about La Palma + WHT something like
> "Big British 'scopes"! (Or something like that!)
>
>
> 3 - Telescope tests - excellent. Nice and clear, no clutter. I look
> forward to the bigger toys in up and coming reviews.
>
>
> 4 - It started badly - 12 photos of Patric Moore in the first 5 pages.
> I'm not a fan! reasons include PM passing of other people's
> discoveries as his own; people writing books & articles for him and PM
> passes them off as his (what does he know about TouCams?! Since I know
> PM didn't write that sentance, I don't believe he wrote a word in the
> entire magazine, which is possibly unfair. But he does "cry wolf" too
> much, and so is doing himself an injustice); and the general public
> think that all astronomers are old men;...
> I know people will totally disagree with me, and fair enough, as long
> as you understand my PoV on PM!
>
>
> 5 - Sky@Night episode bit. I'm sure they could find nice photos of
> PeteL et al, without taking an excessive number of stills from the
> video of people in mid sentance - Chris looks like he's just about eat
> a fly, and Pete has his eyes closed! Could/should do better!
>
>
> 6 - I've not seen the CD-Rom myself... but I've been told not to
> bother, since it pops up in a tiny sub-screen!
>
>
> I could go on, but life is short.
>
>
> Basically, I'll continue to be buying Sky & Telescope, mainly because
> it is much better designed - clear & without clutter. (e.g. 2 columns
> per page, not 4 column per page and columns that last for just 1 inch
> before going to another column - that *is* dumb!)
>
> I'm just glad I looked at someone elses and didn't buy it!
>
> The only advantage in the S@N is that you get UK prices - although a
> quick comparison between S&T & S@N confirms John's suspicions... Just
> swap the dollar sign for a pound sign!
>
>
>
>
> These may sound like an unnessesary rant - but I'm just hoping that
> the magazine read this and so improve. I sooooo wanted to buy a good
> british magazine, but I feel I've been let down. The content may be
> good - but good content must be presented well, or I will just find an
> equally good content on a better designed web page. Infact, a good
> astro mag should be "pretty-pictures" driven, since the content can all
> be found on the web, but hard copy glossy images cannot.
>
> Any thoughts, comments? I hope the S@N team take on board some of
> these critisms.
>
> Das
>

Finally got hold of a copy today. Print quality and photos excellent, some
interesting articles.
I was a bit disappointed with the equipment reviews though, the DSI
'in-depth' look wasn't exactly that, more a list of features I could have
got off the meade site, most of the article taken up by a photo of it, not a
picture produced by it in sight. The Group test of the beginners telescopes
was a bit light on technical details, not too much explaining the scores
achieved. Maybe I expect too much as I find a lot of magazines these days
tend to lack full tests.
Overall worth buying again to see how it goes.


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