Here’s what you’ll find in the February 2020 issue of Australian Sky & Telescope magazine — on sale January 16 at your local newsagent, or you can subscribe to the print or digital edition.


  • Photo finish — All the best shots from the Auckland Astronomical Society’s annual astrophotography competition, capturing the essence of our marvellous southern skies.
  • The Martian underground — Discoveries of life deep beneath Earth’s surface are making scientists wonder what might hide in the subsurface zones of Mars.
  • Dwarf carbon stars — Stars that shouldn’t even exist may soon offer new clues to both the ancient universe and our galaxy’s birth.
  • Spitzer’s legacy — NASA’s premier eye on the infrared sky is shutting down after operating more than three times longer than designed.
  • Hobby killers — Here are our tips for how to avoid an expensive mistake when buying your first telescope.


  • Binocular highlight — Spot the ‘fertile crescent’ in Monoceros.
  • Under the stars — It’s the season for seeing open star clusters.
  • The planets — Venus shines in the night, but all the action is in the morning sky.
  • Meteor showers — The conditions are right to see the Gamma Normids.
  • Comets — The incredible tale of comets that change their tails.
  • Variable stars — Catch a binary star in outburst.
  • Deep sky — What’s the farthest star you can see?
  • The Solar System — Searching for the Kordylewski Clouds.
  • Observing challenge — Don’t miss asteroid 37 Fides’ encounter with M22.


  • Observing logbook — Explore the Orion–Eridanus Superbubble region, sketch pad at the ready.
  • Telescope tips — An easy-to-assemble imaging aid can take the guesswork out of focusing.
  • Test report — Meade’s LX85 ACF package offers performance and portability.
  • Astronomer’s workbench — How to revive and old telescope by building a new mount
  • Night life — Events and activities for astronomy enthusiasts

…and much more.

Click here to subscribe to the print edition, or here to subscribe to the digital edition.