There is seemingly a magazine devoted to every niche possible. The subject of astronomy is no different, with more than one astronomy magazine to be found when looking in the right places. Granted, an astronomy magazine may not be found in the magazine section at the local grocery store or Wal-Mart, but most booksellers have at least one magazine devoted to astronomy among the myriad of subjects on the racks.
Perhaps the most popular and well known among magazines devoted to astronomy is the aptly titled, Astronomy Magazine. Aside from being the most popular astronomy magazine in the world, this publication has also found new life through the internet, with a website as expansive and informational as any self-proclaimed astronomy freak could hope for.
Another popular astronomy magazine is Sky And Telescope. The title evokes similar special-interest magazines such as Field And Stream or Car and Driver. This magazine has also found a new home online, with sections devoted to amateur astronomy, blogs, and photo galleries.
It makes sense that some of the more popular magazines devoted to astronomy would naturally evolve into online communities that end up greater than the initial magazine itself. Space is an ever-changing medium. Stars, planets, and moons are constantly revolving and we must keep up with them. It is only natural that something as freewheeling as space can only be properly documented by something as similarly evolving as the internet. A monthly publication might have been fine a decade or more ago, but today it can hardly do justice to the skies the way an online magazine can.
This is not to say that an astronomy magazine or book is inferior to the internet when it comes to gazing at the stars. The stars and constellations themselves are eons old, and there is much to be learned about them in any book devoted to the subject. In some ways, a book or magazine may be more helpful and useful than a website when it comes to observing celestial bodies. A stargazer can bring a small booklet of constellations or planets out into the field with him. He can observe stars and refer to them in real time with a handy book. In order to do the same thing with an online magazine, one would either need a laptop, which may not have the battery life necessary to sustain a night of gazing at the stars, or a rather extensive amount of extension cord. Clearly, there is room for both online and tangible magazines to coexist in the world of astronomy.