How to Contribute to the Prime Focus
Submit Your Articles, Photos, Classified Ads and Other Content
As you may know, the Prime Focus is the RAS's monthly newsletter. It is designed by, written by, edited by, and distributed to club members. It is, and has always been, the product of many club members working together. Your contribution is always appreciated!
The Newsletter is created in Microsoft Publisher then distributed as a PDF document. To make compiling the Newsletter a bit easier, the Editor asks that you make your submissions using a Publisher file. Of course, that's not always possible so using Word, Open Office, or just a plain email is perfectly fine.
If you're able to work with MS Publisher or MS Word files, here are some templates you can use:
Where to send your contribution
Below is some basic information for submitting your article, photo or classified ad to the Prime Focus.
Articles should be fairly strongly related to astronomy and related disciplines such as observing, astrophotography, and astronomy outreach. Other appropriate topics include experiences with the RAS, a star party recap (RAS or otherwise), your experience visiting a dark-sky site, an outing with the RAS or another astronomy group, and other similar subjects. Articles that: recount a trip to a professional observatory or astronomy landmark; review an astronomy book or product; or discuss an upcoming astronomical event are all perfectly relevant and welcomed topics. Try to remain on-topic and focused. We ask that you not submit articles that are heavy on politics, religion, personal viewpoints that aren't related to science and/or astronomy, and the like. We highly discourage the direct promotion of businesses and personal for-profit ventures.
Please be sure to proofread your article for spelling and grammar errors before submitting it. Please also try to make sure all names, locations, dates, etc. are correct. Be sure to differentiate between fact and personal opinion when it isn't otherwise obvious.
How to Submit Your Article:
- Microsoft Publisher document: This is the preferred method but it is by no means required. The template can be found at the link above.
- Microsoft Word document: The template can be found at the link above.
- Other word processor document
- Simple email: Sending an email with your article content typed out and photos attached is a perfectly acceptable way to submit your article. Be sure it includes a headline, sub-headline, your name, any photos, and captions for the photos.
Email your contribution to the Prime Focus Editor by .
The Photo Gallery section of the Prime Focus is a great way to share your photos with the club. It also lets other members see what you've been up to and allows you to share some basic photo settings and tips.
How to Submit Your Photo:
- JPG format is preferred.
- Try to keep your photos to a reasonable size, roughly no smaller than 600 pixels in any single axis and no larger than 1800 pixels. These are just guidelines to make it easier to manage the files. We're not strict about it.
- Be sure to include a caption and basic details such as the subject of the photo, the camera, optics, mount/tripod used, exposure length, ISO, filters, and any other pertinent details you wish to share.
Email your photo contribution to the Prime Focus Gallery Editor by .
If you're looking to sell or buy astronomy-related equipment, the Prime Focus's Classified Ads section can facilitate a local sale or purchase.
How to Submit Your Classified Ad:
- Always include basic info such as the item you're selling or wanting to buy, the price, and its condition.
- Photos are very helpful and encouraged if you are attempting to sell an item.
- Your contact info is critical. Be sure to include your first and last name, and either your phone number or email address (both, if possible).
- Be sure to mention any special circumstances such as whether or not you'll consider a trade, if you can hand deliver or meet the buyer/seller at a halfway point (maybe at the next star party or meeting), etc.
- When the reminder comes around for the next Prime Focus, please let the editor know if your item has sold or if you want your ad to continue to appear in the next edition.
Email the details of your classified ad to the Prime Focus Editor by .
Please note that while we attempt to include everyone's contributions, sometimes we simply cannot. There are a number of reasons some material may not be added to the newsletter. Those reasons include but are not limited to: Similarity of articles or photos by different contributors, submitting several photos of the same subject, submitting your material too late, and submitting material that is inappropriate or off-topic.