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Astronomy Yearbook 2017

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D A Dunn's picture
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Astronomy Yearbook 2017

Hi all,

Is it my imagination that the 2017 Astronomy Yearbook - Moore/Mason is late in publishing? Will it be published at all?

I hope its just late as this series of books are well loved friends.

Does anyone have any news?

Regards

David

Martin Mobberley's picture
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Astronomy Yearbook 2017

Hello David,

Sadly, MacMillan informed John earlier this year that they no longer wanted to publish the Yearbook. There had been worries about it continuing, ever since 2013, but John managed to keep it going. John and others (including myself) had written our 2017 contributions before the plug was pulled and John tried to save it, but to no avail.......The end of an era sadly......

Regards,

Martin

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2017 YEARBOOK OF ASTRONOMY

That is bad news that publication is ended. I have all the volumes from 1962 to 2016. There are some great articles amongst them. Would it be possible to produce a PDF version with a fee to download it from a link with a password. That way the production and printing costs would be minimal and committed readers would still get the product they want. Perhaps the BAA could take this on as a service to members and a memorial to Patrick Moore. With the material already written for 2017 it would be worth a try to see how it worked out for one year. How about it BAA?

Martin Mobberley's picture
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2017 Yearbook of Astronomy

Hello Denis,

A nice idea....If only things in life, and publishing, were that simple; but they never are! John did endeavour to find another solution, such as a lower cost slimmed down version with MacMillan. He was also investigating other publishers, but clearly no viable solution emerged. In addition, any use of Patrick's name on a product needs approval from his executors, so a 'Patrick Moore Yearbook' by anyone other than MacMillan would not be legal. The Yearbooks involved a *massive* amount of work from John as Editor and while I had completed my sections and others had almost finished theirs, much had not been written, because the plug was pulled in January (a couple of months before the usual deadline).

Outside the context of the proper paper book there is no way that everyone involved would be able to muster the enthusiasm to generate a pdf, which would look nothing like the classic Patrick Moore Yearbook. The main content and editing tasks alone would require many man-weeks of hard graft from John, for a pdf product that would be a very poor shadow of the old Yearbook.....and, no payment either.

I am happy to e-mail anyone the Word document and 24 jpeg figures for my Comets, Eclipses and Minor Planets sections for 2017....but they are just that...a Word document and jpegs......

Regards,
Martin

D A Dunn's picture
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Yearbook

Martin,

A sad end to an era. I will have nothing to do on Christmas day this year!

As I live in France I had a subscription to the Astronomie magasine. That also stopped publication this year. I can't believe there is a lack of demand for astronomy products.

All the best

David

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Looking forward

Very sad news. I wonder how something good can be rescued from this.

I don't think the BAA could commission something like the Yearbook, but we do already have our Handbook, and maybe that could be expanded, with the cooperation of some of the people who were contributing to the Yearbook, to include some of the most useful material from the Yearbook that it does not already cover. We could make the Handbook more pictorial and diagrammatic, market it more outside the Association, and charge an appropriate price to non-members. Maybe we could also pay something to contributors. However, that would require detailed consideration.

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Astronomy Yearbook 2017

Very sad news, I have copies of all books from 1965 (the year I was born) to 2016 (plus many duplicates). The end of an era.

James

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Are there any worthwhile

Are there any worthwhile alternatives available?

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Yearbook

Perhaps time to move on from the Patrick Moore cult?

Owen

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More advanced publications for some amatuers needed

It would be nice to have regular publication that either lifted the level of "expertise/difficulty" or included more sophisticated  articles. The level of a great deal  of much  amateur work  is on a par with some of the lesser funded, smaller university projects.

I have subscribed to a number of monthly popular astronomy magazines and find that I skim read through them once and rarely return for further reading.    I've stopped taking Sky and Telescope recently and should have done so some years ago.

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Magazine Yearbooks

Does anyone have any opinions on the Astronomy Now or Sky at Night magazine Yearbooks for example?

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Might there be hope for the
Martin Mobberley's picture
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Patrick Moore Yearbook

Hello James,

To be a continuation of Patrick's Yearbook it would have to be called 'Patrick Moore's Yearbook of Astronomy' and to be called that it would have to have written permission from Patrick's solicitor. Following Patrick's death 4 years ago it was not until March 2013 that his solicitor gave MacMillan permission to proceed with more 'Patrick Moore' Yearbooks. Clearly this newcomer is *A* proposed Yearbook but not *THE* Patrick Moore Yearbook! Without that name, and without John Mason editing the Yearbook (which would have been Patrick's wish) this is an entirely different proposed publication. There are plenty of other Yearbooks around with a proven quality. The best selling of these is the Couper/Henbest Philip's 'Month-by-Month Stargazing' which, at £5, is hard to beat in terms of value for money. Indeed, it has outsold Patrick's Yearbook for many years. Another low-priced Yearbook is the Dunlop/Tirion Collins' Guide to the Night Sky, again, well-established names with good sales....
Both of these publishers, especially Philip's, have massive 'clout' when it comes to placing books in highstreet shops and online. They can print thousands of books and know that they will sell them all. Any newcomer, if it succeeds, will be a digital or print-on-demand publication and, being realistic here, will probably sell less than a hundred paper copies unless the
price is just a few quid. To be viable, a newcomer would have to be affordable and/or have a huge name associated with it, such as Brian Cox or Stephen Hawking.
A number of regular Patrick Yearbook contributors had already written their 2017 contributions for Patrick's Yearbook. Myself, and Richard Baum.... and Dave Rothery had almost completed an article about Pluto & Charon. The BAA Comet Section recently put my 2017 Comet ramblings online. I cannot see any link at all between this proposed new publication and Patrick's Yearbook.

It's just, potentially, yet another 2017 observing guide with no connection to the much loved Patrick/John Mason edited books.

On a related topic, I was amused to see a reference to Patrick in the latest edition of Amazon Prime's Clarkson, Hammond & May 'Grand Tour' episode, streamed yesterday! Jeremy Clarkson attempted to carry out star recognition in Namibia to get them through the desert, to which Hammond quipped 'we are trusting our lives to an Orangutan who thinks he's Patrick Moore!' Hilarious!

Regards,
Martin

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Yearbook of Astronomy 2017 (and 2018 onwards)

For all those who were under the impression that the Yearbook of Astronomy was no more, I am delighted to confirm that this iconic publication is well and truly up-and-running again. An edition for 2017 has been produced (a self-published but high-quality volume which has received praise from all who have received a copy so far) and which is available at http://www.starlight-nights.co.uk/subscriber-2017-yearbook-astronomy/   The 2018 edition will be published in November of this year and can be pre-ordered on Amazon - search 'Yearbook of Astronomy 2018'. While maintaining the appeal of earlier editions, the Yearbook of Astronomy has evolved, and will continue to evolve, to meet the ever-changing needs of today's backyard astronomers. We are confident that the 2018 edition will be well received by anyone who reads it . . .

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Yearbook of Astronomy 2017 (and 2018 onwards)

I have been asked if the Yearbook of Astronomy ceased to be the Yearbook of Astronomy with the 2010 edition which, unlike its predecessors (which were simply called Yearbook of Astronomy along with the year), was titled 'Patrick Moore's 2010 Yearbook of Astronomy. I am keen to get an answer on this as I have been asked . . .