These are a variety of astronomy links I've found useful, along with quick reviews. Let me know if you know of any great sites I should add.
Recently added sites are marked with a icon.
Updated November 7, 2012
Contents Cool Site of the Moment: Check out the online skymap at www.skymaponline.net! A clever idea, well executed, and must have taken quite a bit of coding. Creator Ciprian Boboc describes it as follows: An interactive online planetarium software showing stars up to magnitude 12, Messier catalog and solar system objects. It works on multiple browsers and platforms (including iPhone and Android). SkyMap Online features an interactive zoom feature, printer friendly maps, drag and drop support, object information (set and rise times, objects magnitude), etc. Special Recommendation: Check out DarkAdapted (formerly NightVision) software. This cool piece of software is cross-platform for Mac OS9/OSX and Windows. It is also FREE! It changes the gamma settings for your monitor to preserve your dark adaptation (i.e., it turns your computer display red), and is the perfect companion for people who want to run my logs on their laptops while observing. Check them out by clicking here. jNOVAS 3.1 is a java wrapper for library developed and distributed by The United States Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC) with included JPL planetary and lunar ephemeris DE421 binary file published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Wrapper contains methods for transformation of catalog entries, for computation of the virtual, astrometric, local and topometric positions for stars and solar system bodies and for transformation of topocentric right ascension and declination to zenith distance and azimuth. Both are brough to you by Cloudmakers. Questo luogo italiano ed inglese bilingue contiene le immagini, le tecniche, l' Info tecnico e l' altro Info di interesse al astrophotographer del CCD.
Local Southern California Web Cams/Weather
Miscellaneous & Personal Pages
Other Clubs & Regional Sites
Southern California Societies & Groups
Click here for my multi-cam window.
Mount Pinos Webcam
One of the best star gazing sites in all of Southern California.
Mount Pinos (Frazier Park) Weather
Get the latest forecast for Frazier Park, or your own city, from The Weather Channel.
Mount Wilson Towercam
Site of the world-famous Mount Wilson Observatory and nearby viewing areas.
Bright Lights, Big Galaxy
A really good article from Westways magazine (Automobile Club of Southern California) about stargazing in So Cal.
This is a truly excellent article about the Messier Marathon that was published in the March 2000 Atlantic Monthly. I have obtained permission from the author, David H. Freeman, to reprint it here.
SR Education Group Guide to Astronomy Careers
If you or a student you know has ever considered a career in astronomy, this article is worth a read!
TeleVue: A Historical Perspective
A fascinating article about the development of one of the premier manufacturers in amateur astronomy today. Although on a retailer's site (Company7), this is reasonably objective and not too fluffy.
FOV Simulator and jNOVAS 3.1 Library
FOV Simulater is a free telescope and camera field-of-view simulator that runs in your Web browser.It's nicely programmed and cool to play with.
SkyMap for Windows Phone 7
From the SkyMap site: SkyMap provides interactive sky maps for any time, viewpoint and location on Earth. It shows the different names, coordinates, magnitude, astronomical rise and set times plus additional information for over 110000 stars, messier objects, planets, sun and the moon
From their site: "SkyORB is more than a simple star map, it's a collection of 6 tools including a 3D star map, 3D planetarium, ephemeris, search engine, sun clock and more." There are both free and premium versions of this app.
Astronomy is one of the premiere astronomy magazines, and a worthwhile resource for any amateur astronomer.
A useful site about all aspects of space, not just astronomy. This site accompanies a new magazine that is not only well-written, but beautifully produced.
This is the site for Sky and Telescope, my personal favorite of the astronomy magazines. The site has a lot of good info, too.
Sky Spot Publishing
This publisher of Brent Watson's invaluable Telrad finder charts sells some of the most useful astronomy books around. Printed on extra-heavy coated stock and spiral bound, these are the books I take with me on every stargazing excursion. And now, you can buy them directly from the publisher!
Star Ware (and More!) Home Page
Phil Harrington, the author of the Very Useful Book, "Starware," promotes that book and a few others here.
American Dream Partnership
I definitely like the spirit of this site! Free, cross-platform astronomy software, as well as some you have to pay for. The DarkAdapted (formerly NightVision) program, which lets you turn your computer monitor red to help preserve your dark adaptation, is the perfect companion for people who want to use my software while observing.
This company makes the Spectra Sundial, "a unique custom timepiece that creates brilliant beams of color as it marks the passing hours." I know it's not quite "astronomy" as such, but I appreciate the craftsmanship and care that has gone into making a different kind of optical device that enables us to appreciate heavenly objects.
Astro Custom Cases
Astro Custom Cases builds some of the nicest scope and accessory cases you will ever see. I own one of these works of functional art, and it is a real thing of beauty. Choose between birch, walnut or cherry ply, and they will build a case especially for you.
Astro-Physics is widely considered to be the Mercedes-Benz of telescope manufacturers. Their optical quality is legendary, and their prices -- though reasonable for what you get -- are beyond the reach of the average stargazer. But, oh, the beauty of their instruments!
One of the biggest and best known of telescope manufacturers worldwide.
Mag 1 Instruments
The Portaball is, as its manufacturer calls it, "the next step in alt-azimuth design." And I must admit, they do look cooler than the average Dob. Powered by legendary Zambuto optics, this is a scope you must consider if you are looking for one of the best.
One of the biggest and best known telescope manufacturers worldwide.
Coulter was a very inexpensive, quality manufacturer of Dobsonian telescopes. They had a virtual cult following prior to their demise in the mid-'90s. Murnaghan is a well-known manufacturer of quality optics that purchased the Coulter name and continues to sell good scopes for low prices.
Nightfire Scientific is a manufacturer and distributor of telescopes located in Milan, Ohio. They claim to be the fastest growing equipment supplier on the Web, and are attempting to fill a niche by providing quality equipment priced somewhere between department store optics and expensive specialty scopes.
Novosibirsk Instument-Making Plant
Russian optics are reputed to be of excellent quality, and with the exchange rate and other factors, Russian astronomy gear can be quite affordable. The site for the Novosibirsk Instrument-Making Plant simply looks cool. Although I haven't bought anything from them (yet), I got a few kicks just looking at the sturdy and well-designed equipment on this site. I mean, they have an 8" Maksutov-Cassegrain for just $830, including a bunch of accessories, equatorial mount and pier!
Obssession may be to reflectors what Astro-Physics is to refractors: the Acme, the top, the best. This is the scope I want to retire with! Considered one of the top manufacturers of large Dobsonian reflectors.
Orion Telescopes & Binoculars USA
Bothe a vendor and a manufacturer, Orion has quickly become one of the largest telescope retailers in the U.S., and is considered by some to have turned the "Big Two" (Meade and Celestron) into the Big Three. Definitely worth considering if you are looking for a mass-market scope or binoculars at reasonable prices. Their customer service is excellent -- which, unfortunately, it needs to be, as they can be a bit "sloppy" in their order fulfillment.
Orion Telescopes UK
Unrelated, so far as I can tell, to the US Orion, this company seems to have a good reputation in the UK. They seem to specialize in Vixen optics, but unfortunately cannot sell them outside the UK.
For years, I made my own red LED flashlights by replacing the bulb of a regular flashlight with a bright LED from Radio Shack. Then I saw a Rigel Systems Starlight flashlight. Wow, there is nothing like a simple product done right. Rigel also makes the QuikFinder, a reflex sight that is 1/10 the size and weight of a Telrad, and includes dimming and pulsing at the base price. Good quality stuff, all of it... often "knocked off" with much lower quality by the competition.
Singularity Scientific is a small vendor that specializes in low-cost Barlow lenses. I have not done business with them personally, but their Web site offers three Barlows, none of which is more than $50. (The cheapest is $10!) If you order from them, let me know what you think.
Starmaster is a high quality manufacturer of portable, large-aperature Dobsonian scopes. Considered one of the top manufacturers of large Dobsonian reflectors.
Considered one of the top manufacturers of large Dobsonian reflectors. My primary scope is a Starsplitter, and despite some minor balance and collimation problems, I am quite happy with it. Perhaps not as "perfect" a scope as some of the other top scopes, but considerably less pricy.
Takahashi Telescopes are a premiere manufacturer of premium quality scopes and mounts. If you can check out this site without a pang of equipment envy, you are either a "dob snob," an Astro-Physics owner, or a stronger person than I! (This site is actually run by Land, Sea & Sky/Texas Nautical Repair.)
This is the first scope I've seen in a long time that made me thwack my head, sit back in awe, and drool. Teleport gives the other big Dob makers a run for their money in terms of quality, beauty, portability and price. Wow!I bought the 14" scope back in 2005 and I love it. If you must have the ultimate, you'll have to check out these scopes. Check out the reviews at Cloudynights.com and Todd Gross' site.
TeleVue is well known as a premier manufacturer of telescopes and eyepieces, exemplifed by their "Nagler" line (designed by Al Nagler). Affectionately called "hand grenades" by those who use them, these one- to two-pound barrels of optic delight with 82° fields of view are every reflector owner's dream. The TeleVue refractors are great scopes as well, and the envy of any star party.
With the demise of Virgo Astronomics, Universal Astronomics has become the leader in the field for binocular mounts. They also make and sell a variety of telescope mounts, tripods, optics and other accessories.
UO is a manufacturer of really cool, but inexpensive quality eyepieces. If you are yearning for a TeleVue, but don't have the cash, check out their Konig line of 1-1/4" and 2" eyepieces with 70 degree fields of view for under $200.
Their ads read, "Forget everything you know about value and quality." Hmm... there are several different ways to take that! As far as I can tell from their Web site, William Optics seem to offer quality, low-priced semi-APO refractors and accessories. I've never seen one of their instruments in the field, but I've been told they are good.
Adorama is a popular retailer that has been around for a long time. I purchased an eyepiece from them recently, and was quite pleased when it arrived ahead of when it was promised. Their prices seem to be lower than most. Click on the "Binoculars/Scopes" link to see their telescope equipment. (I didn't notice this link when I first visited the site, and was frustrated when I couldn't find any telescope supplies!)
I've ordered one of the inexpensive camera adapters this site offers, and the service was fast and personable, and the adaptor of good quality. (But came without instructions! I guess you have to know what you're doing...) They also offer affordable Baader solar filters, eyepiece bolt cases, accessory shelves for telescope tripods/piers, camera adapters for astrophotography, bargain books, and other astronomical accessories. FREE shipping on everything (except books) in the U.S. They are based in Naperville, IL, USA.
Anacortes Telescope and Wild Bird
This is a fairly popular retailer with a good reputation. I've done business with them once, and the service was prompt and professional. They seem to carry almost everything.
Astronomics & Christophers, Ltd.: Astronomical Telescopes & Birdwatching Binoculars
I've never done business with this company, but they are reputable and have a nice selection.
Can Stock Photo
Need some astronomy images for a presentation, wallpaper or even advertising? This company sells royalty-free stock photography and images for as little as $1. Perfect the next time you need a good picture of the moon for a Powerpoint background.
This company calls itself "a resource for the international professional and amateur astronomical community." In other words, they are "high end." Their credits include support of mission critical aspects for NASA missions.
Another well-known retailer that I haven't done business with.
This company makes great tee shirts and a very spiffy-looking map light... I haven't done business with them yet, but the products seem good.
Foto Search Image Library
Looking for astro images? Check out this site. From their description: "Foto Search Image Library offers over 1 million images in its extensive online archive, including Art, photography, clipart, illustrations, footage, and maps. It offers your users the opportunity to view world-class photography and art free of charge. It is the digital, online equivalent of a conventional art museum. Browsing through the library is free, and there are no access charges, registration requirements, or usage limits." Note, however, that purchasing these images can cost as much several hundred dollars, depending on the resolution!
International Telescope Exchange
This company specializes in Russian-made optics, but also has a pretty cool 100mm German optics refractor kit here.
Oceanside Photo & Telescope
Located just outside San Diego, CA, OPT is known as a reputable and enthusiastic participant in the astronomy community. They even hold monthly star parties at a great site out in the Anza Borrega desert.
A retailer with educational and fun items from many fields, including astronomy.
Orion Telescopes & Binoculars USA
Both a manufacturer and a vendor, Orion has quickly become one of the largest telescope retailers in the U.S., and is considered by some to have turned the "Big Two" (Meade and Celestron) into the Big Three. Definitely worth considering if you are looking for a mass-market scope or binoculars at reasonable prices. Their customer service is excellent -- which, unfortunately, it needs to be, as they can be a bit "sloppy" in their order fulfillment. Don't miss their Web specials here, or their clearance center, here.
OZ Scopes calls themselves "The Australian Telescope Experts" and although I've never shopped with them, their site seems like a useful resource for astronomers Down Under.
This dealer is local to me, and I've shopped there for years. The manager (owner?) of the Sherman Oaks, CA, store is very patient and knowledgeable, and I have recommended several satisfied friends there. Their prices are pretty much the same as everyone else's, but I find it is worth shopping at Scope City for the friendly service. My only minor gripe, if you can call it that, is that as an exclusive dealer for Parks Optics, is that they tend to "promote" that manufacturer over others for some things. But every dealer has favorites, so it's no big deal, right?
This idea is a little "out-there," but it is kind of cool... a screen saver that lets you write messages in the stars for others to see when they look at your computer screen. Unfortunately, I think this is not available for Mac computers. The site is run by Michael Ioannides, a man who like me, enjoys cashews and Ouzo. (An astronomy teacher once told me that the reason the ancient Greeks were able to pick out the shapes of the constellations was due to imbibing Ouzo. I think every astronomer owes it to him- or herself to do some empirical research.) Michael also runs the MoonPhases.info site mentioned below.
Not to be confused with telescope.com (Orion Telescopes), this site says of itself, "One of the leading Internet retailers of telescopes and optical equipment for a number of years. We also provide telescope and optics information, including one of the most comprehensive Telescope glossaries on the web." I haven't done business with them, but their site looks pretty complete, with a nice selection of instruments and accessories.
Telescopes Direct is an Australian retailer specializing in "quality telescopes at a very affordable price to the Australian public."
Triton Fun is a new local online retailer located in La Canada-Flintridge, California. They offer unique products and gifts for the science and astronomy fan in your family, including gifts, hats, T-shirts, jewelry, housewares, and other products with astronomical or space themes. Help support a fellow astronomer and check out the site!
Think of Astromart as E-Bay for astronomers. This used to be one of my favorite sites, and I have bought and sold much gear here. The general honesty and decency of the absolute strangers you will do business with here is refreshingly heartwarming. UPDATE: Astromart has been sold to Anacortes Telescope & Wild Bird and now requires advertisers it perceives to be businesses to become sponsors. Frankly, I don't like the way it works as much as when it was less commercial, but it is still a useful resource. (Disclosure: They will not allow me to "advertise" my free software on their site!)
This site attempts to be the be-all, end-all site of astronomy links, and they may just be that. Wow. They even sent me a report telling me they had linked to my site and how many times people had clicked through to my site. Very professional, and very commercial in the best sort of way.
Similar to Astromart, this classified ad listing is a good place to look for used equipment. They also contain a HUGE link list of astro-related links. If my own humble list is not enough for you, you will find links to virtually every telescope-related manufacturer and retailer here. Site owner Mark Wagner promises this site will be all-free, always. It is quickly becoming my favorite classified site for astronomy equipment. It may not have as many ads as Astromart, but the ads are posted unfiltered, which means they appear almost instantaneously.
Antelope Valley Astronomy Club
I don't know why it took me so long to find out about these friendly people, right in my backyard. Members of the Astronomical League, their frequent star parties take place at several locations in their area.
The Local Group Astronomy Club of Santa Clarita Valley
These are my astronomy "homies." A great bunch of people who are interested in astronomy not only as a science, but a social cause.
Los Angeles Astronomical Society
A huge astronomy group, with their own private observing site in California's Lockwood Valley about an hour north of downtown L.A.
Orange County Astronomers
I met some really cool people from OCA out in the Anza Borrego desert on a star party. A few even make it up to Mount Piños occasionally. Though I don't know much about the group, if you live in the area, you should check them out.
Riverside Astronomical Society
One of the better Web sites of the So Cal groups, from a group that has been around since 1958.
The San Diego Astronomy Association
This organization is one of the largest in the US, with over 500 registered members. And no wonder, with several great dark sky sites nearby and the world-famous Palomar telescope in its back yard.
Arizona Dark Sky Sites
This site, by Tom Polakis, gives great detail about 12 prime observing sites used by Phoenix amateur astronomers. Includes a contour map and directions to each site.
What a great idea! “The International Astronomy and Space Forum Community, Where Astronomers and Space-Minded Enthusiasts Meet.”
Astronomical League Home Page
The Astronomical League is composed of more than 245 local amateur astronomical societies from all across the United States. These organizations, along with their members-at-large, patrons, and supporting members, form the largest amateur astronomical organization in the world.
Astronomical Society of Victoria
The Astronomical Society of Victoria, Inc., is based in Melbourne, Australia, (but with many country members), attracting and catering for people with a wide range of ages, abilities and interests. Commenced in 1922, it has a membership approaching 1000 - the largest in Australia - and (they say) the world.
An Internet Resource for Northern California Astronomers searching for dark skies. This site is maintained by Robert MacKay, who has done an impressive job detailing nine dark sky sites, and has important observing and etiquette tips useful for any astronomer.
Mike Hampton's site is dedicated mainly to astronomy software, screen savers, etc. It's a good site, and best of all, he's moved to a new host with no pop-up windows!
Mike Salway's site for amateur astronomers from Australia and New Zealand. Very nicely done, and with discussion forums!
N.E.F.A.S - Northeast Florida Astronomical Society
Wow... this may be the best-designed club site I've come across. A little slow to load, perhaps, but super-professionally designed and THOROUGH. A useful collection of information and links for astronomers anywhere in the world.
Southern Astronomy Web site
Dedicated to all those who practice astronomy "down under." (Not just Australia, but anywhere in the southern hemisphere.) A nice site with good beginners' tips.
100 Best Non-Messier Objects
A pretty cool list, nominated by participants in the sci.astro.amateur Usenet newsgroup. Compiled by Karl Hutchings with data added by Jeff DeTray
Thomas Ash's "Ash Observatory" site
This site is "too cool for school": very nice instructions on how to build your own personal observatory - or at least, how Thomas built his. Astronomer's spouses will NOT like this site!
A pretty straightforward site, nicely done and simple, that features (among other things) recent astronomy news and a sky map.
The Astro Note
A nicely done blog featuring, "Astronomy news updates from reliable sources."
This is Phil Plait's "Bad Astronomy" site, not to be confused with the Lucille Miller Observatory's site, below. These nicely done pages are devoted to airing out myths and misconceptions in astronomy and related topics.
Mike Boschat's Astronomy Page
Mike is a Canadian planetary observer and comet hunter with a huge page of links.
Cloudy Night's Telescope Reviews
An excellent, very thorough site with lots of well-written equipment reviews.
Cosmic Voyage: The Online Resource for Amateur Astronomers
This really excellent site from Bill Ferris covers many subjects of interest for amateur astronomers. Bill's Deep-sky Tour page is a useful resource.
Doug Green's Sun & Moon Calculator
Doug Green (no relation) has created something that really appeals to me as a photographer and astronomer: A piece of software that will help you figure out the angle of the sun and moon from any location at any time. As his site says, "Sunset or moonrise over the Taj Mahal anyone?" Pretty cool, though as a Mac user, I have not personally tried this piece of Windows software...
An easy-to-use online planetary ephemeris, and a downloadable library of JPL's ephemeris data. (An ephemeris is, "An almanac of the daily motions of the planets and stars.")
Eyepieces - Voting/Ratings
If you have ever asked the question, "What kind of eyepiece should I buy?" this is the page for you. An unbelievable list of user-rated eyepieces of every type from every manufacturer. Holy smokes! You have to check this page out. (More ratings listed here.)
Full Moon Info
This is not the sort of site I would normally post here, but everyone appreciates a little fun, right? Full Moon Info is all about the phase of the moon most loved by non-astronomers. Whether you are a nighttime photographer, a wanna-be werewolf or vampire, or just like the look of a big, beautiful full moon, this site will give you the "magic." The site also features poems, experiences, and e-cards.
This is a first for me: An astronomy-related real estate site! Specializing in vacation rentals. I haven't tried them yet, but if you are looking for an astronomy related vacation, check it out and let me know how it works for you.
Greg's astronomy site
Greg Granville is a Pennsylvanian astronomer and amateur scope builder with a nice personal page.
John Black's Telescope Reviews
John was kind enough to send me a list of the broken links on this page. Thanks! So, here is a link to his site, which includes his reviews of several brands of scopes.
MapMuse.com has added nationwide maps of Observatories, Planeteriums and Astronomy Clubs to its services. The idea is for astronomy enthusiasts to build upon what they have started by correcting/editing and adding observatories, planetariums, and astronomy clubs to the maps themselves (currently they have over 175 observatories, 125 planeteriums and 115 astronomy clubs listed on their maps).
Michael Ioannides has put together a site that is all about our nearest celetial neighbor.
Paul Green Home Page
A quicky selection of links and stuff from a guy whose name overlaps mine. I've linked to his astro images link page, but he has other stuff on his site as well.
Chuck Ayoub has put together this nice (and growing) site about the Earth and its eight neighbors. The site contains some basic info, nice pictures and a comparitive, color picture of planetary sizes.
Florent Poiget's Astrophotography Page
Monsieur Poiget, a quite accomplished astrophotographer, asked if I would modify The Simple Observing Log to accomodate more robust CCD photo data. His gallery of stunning astrophotos is definitely worth a visit.
A pretty neat site, run by Hrvoje Horvat in Croatia. Of particular interest is their list of free astronomy software.
Telescope Sale: Get the right telescope
A straightforward site by Paul Rumsby with information on how to choose a telescope.
Todd Gross' Weather/Astronomy Page
Todd Gross is a Boston meteorologist who is very well known in the astronomical community for his passion for cool equipment. This site contains tons of great info, including Todd's reviews of telescopes and eyepieces.
Jeff Whisenant's M27 Awards for Bad Astronomy
The Lucille Miller M27 Awards are apparently gone, but this site offers a similar reference to "Gleanings of Astronomical Stupidity, Ignorance, Faux Pas, Bad Astronomy, and General BS Culled from the Tabloids, Government, Media, and the General Public." Named after M27: The Dumbbell Nebula.
Emil Neata's Night Sky Info page
Newly updated and really well done. Weekly information about the night sky, astronomy articles and observations. Deep-Sky observing notes, sketches, and much more. A nice personal site with the basics of observing objects outside our solar system, as well as comets and meteors. Also worthwhile site to visit for anyone who is curious about observing in Romania.
New Jersey Night Sky
Geared towards New Jersey amateurs, but with lot of information for everyone, this site by Jim Mills has lots of info and links.
Don't let the overly busy design of this site turn you off... There is some incredible, unique advice here! Learn how to find Pluto, even in a small-aperture scope. Discover the risks of LASIK surgery to amateur astronomers. There is a lot of good info here, even if you have to dig a bit to find what you want. It's sort of like a supermarket: By the time you walk through the aisles to find what you want, you'll probably pick up a few other things too.
Enrico Prosperi's Astronomical CCD Imaging site
This bilingual Italian and English site contains images, techniques, technical info and other info of interest to the CCD astrophotographer.
Holy smokes! This site lists just about every possible link of interest to astronomers, and then some. It puts this list to shame. It even includes an astronomy quiz, just for fun. Great work from Pat Curran or Ireland.
Terry's Hunt of the Month
This monthly observing list site is designed to help amateur astronomers put a little more structure into their observing time, through the use of helpful lists. The site is well-laid out and has some good tools that I've never encountered before, but needs a little bit of proofreading in places.
Gadi Eidelheit has put together a nice, personal blog about the June 6, 2012 Venus Transit.
Weasner's Mighty ETX Site
The "mighty" in this site's name is supposed to refer to the Meade ETX scope, but it may as well refer to the site too. Holy smoke! What a great and thorough site Mike Weasner has put together. Chock full of everything you might want to know about the ETX and then some, plus a lot of other not-necessarily-ETX stuff that anyone will enjoy.
3d Galaxy Map
This is a pretty cool Java application that displays an interactive map of the galaxy. If you've ever wanted to grab an arm of our galaxy and give it a spin, then check this out!
For those of us who don't live in Michigan, the Abrams Planetarium is best known for its Sky Calendar, monthly pages (mailed quarterly) that contain info on what you can see in the sky of interest on every night of the year. It's awesome, a great gift, and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for astronomers of all levels. Check them out, only $10!
Amateur Telescope Optics
A well-written and informative site on the history and science of telescope optics. A fantastic reference for someone who wants to understand what makes their telescope work and what all of the scientific terms regarding optics mean. Encycolpedic in its depth, but friendly in its approach, with clear illustrations. If site this was a book, I'd probably buy it.
A really good page written by Brian Tung. It began as a beginner's page, but grew to include some more advanced, scientific stuff, including "Astronomical Games" some really well-written and thought-provoking puzzles. This site is also home to several other cool pages, including the Palm Atlas Home Page, a very nice sky atlas for the Palm.
The Astronomy Expert
This site contains "over 70 articles written by ... experts who continually update and add new content." It is non-profit and definitely worth checking out for some well-written stories.
Astrosights - The Directory for Astronomers
A Yahoo-like Web directory especially for astronomy.
The ATM Page
Want to build your own telescope? The ATM Page is intended as a resource for both beginning and advanced Amateur Telescope Making. Very nice!
Dedicated to helping beginning astronomers, this varied site has plenty of stuff of interest to intermediate and advanced astronomer as well. I found the section containing pictures of double stars to be very cool, and different from the usual deep-sky site stuff.
All Best Binoculars
A site created by "Erica," who wrote me, "The site was born out of my passion for writing and for helping people determine the best binocular for their needs. I noticed there weren't many good resources on the web, so I decided to make the best one!" She is still working on it, but with a charter like that, I wish her the best of luck.
The Binocular Site
This site touts itself as "an independent guide for all things related to the world of binoculars." They are pretty thorough! The primary aim of the site is, "to help you learn about the best buys, best practices and best sets of binoculars to match your needs." As most serious astronomers know, binoculars are the best tool for beginning stargazers, and they often remain popular and useful for serious astronomers doing casual observing from dark sky sites.
Cosmic Voyage: The Online Resource for Amateur Astronomers
An all-round site from astronomer Bill Ferris, with information about virtually every aspect of amateur astronomy. Another real labor of love.
Free Astronomy Software
Some great software... I should know, I wrote them myself! Seriously, these are some freeware programs for Macs and PCs, where you can log your search for Messier and other deep-sky objects. You can't go wrong for the price!
Griffith Park Observatory
Los Angeles' famous observatory, featured in movies, is also a very real place, with an educational Web site worth checking out. Whenever I need quick astronomical info geared for Southern California observers, this is where I check first.
Heretic's Telescope Guide
An aptly named site from Michael J. Edelman, the Heretic's Guide is an opinionated guide to help you pick out a decent scope. If you have trouble picking out what's good among all the politically correct, polite information out there, this is where you'll get the straight dope.
International Dark Sky Organization
A non-profit organization founded to "preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through quality outdoor lighting." The site includes aides to finding dark skies in your area, as well as educational links on finding good lighting fixtures, etc.
A site set up by experts on space, volunteering their time to provide astronomical info for kids. Simple and straightforward.
Moon Phases Info
I wish I'd thought of this.... a simple, straight-forward site where you can go to get information about the current state of the moon, as well as basic information about lunar phases. See also the StarMessage screensaver site, mentioned above, which is run by the same person.
Mount Wilson Observatory Association
Web site for the non-profit organization that allows individuals to participate in the Mount Wilson Observatory.
NASA's Total Solar Eclipse Info
Where better to go for astronomical info than NASA? Before you make plans to see the 2001 eclipse, check here.
Northern Hemisphere Enlarged View
Huh? This is the page to see what's going on with the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis. If you want to get an idea of your chances of seeing the aurora in your location, check here first.
sci.astro.amateur via Deja.com
If you don't know how to access Usenet newsgroups, this may be the only way you'll be able to read sci.astro.amateur, a place where thousands of amateur astronomers share their opinions daily. This link lets you browse the group via Deja.com. Learn to use their power search feature to look for specific information.
SEDS - List of Messier Goodies
SEDS -- the Students and Educators for the Discovery of Space -- is an incredible organization that is trying to help teach people about all things astronomical. This link in particular has all sorts of info about Messier objects. Click here to see the main site.
SEDS Messier database, Indexes
This link to SEDS takes you directly to the SEDS Messier database of information and images.
Space Science News
A simple, yet very nice page providing the latest news in "space science." Makes a very nice home page for your Web browser.
Here is a pretty cool site with videos about astronomy and other topics. There is an entire series of brief clips hosted by Sir Patrick Moore. Worth checking out!
The AccuWeather service is making a move to provide astronomy-related weather forecasts. As a start, they provide lunar phases, planet rise and set, sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, and "Star Tales." It's a little hard to find, buried in their site. You have to enter the "Outdoor" area of the site by entering your zip code, then click on the "Astronomy" tab under the Outdoor Living header.
A weather site dedicated exclusively to astronomers. This site features "Clear Sky Clocks... based on a numerical weather model, Clear Sky Clocks are perhaps the most accurate and the most usable forecasters of astronomical observing conditions for over 950 observatories and observing sites in North America." They also host a North American Seeing Observations Database. Cool stuff!
They bill themselves as "Weather for Active Lives," and they feature a Star Gazing section that shows weather for your viewing site, highlights of tonight's night sky, an article on dew, and other articles, and an Aurora forecaster! Very thorough... Bookmark this page to use on observing nights.
National Weather Service, Los Angeles & Oxnard
For real weather buffs, weather maps, forecasts and predictions for the Southern California region.
National Weather Service - U.S.
For real weather buffs, weather maps, forecasts and predictions for the entire U.S. Find your regional office here.
"Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment." Get the lowdown on the "weather" in space, with info on solar activity such as sun spots, solar winds, etc.
The Weather Channel
Find weather just about anywhere in the U.S. or around the world, by U.S. ZIP code or city name.
Cool Site of the Moment: Check out the online skymap at www.skymaponline.net! A clever idea, well executed, and must have taken quite a bit of coding. Creator Ciprian Boboc describes it as follows: An interactive online planetarium software showing stars up to magnitude 12, Messier catalog and solar system objects. It works on multiple browsers and platforms (including iPhone and Android). SkyMap Online features an interactive zoom feature, printer friendly maps, drag and drop support, object information (set and rise times, objects magnitude), etc.
Special Recommendation: Check out DarkAdapted (formerly NightVision) software. This cool piece of software is cross-platform for Mac OS9/OSX and Windows. It is also FREE! It changes the gamma settings for your monitor to preserve your dark adaptation (i.e., it turns your computer display red), and is the perfect companion for people who want to run my logs on their laptops while observing. Check them out by clicking here.
jNOVAS 3.1 is a java wrapper for library developed and distributed by The United States Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC) with included JPL planetary and lunar ephemeris DE421 binary file published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Wrapper contains methods for transformation of catalog entries, for computation of the virtual, astrometric, local and topometric positions for stars and solar system bodies and for transformation of topocentric right ascension and declination to zenith distance and azimuth.
Both are brough to you by Cloudmakers.
Questo luogo italiano ed inglese bilingue contiene le immagini, le tecniche, l' Info tecnico e l' altro Info di interesse al astrophotographer del CCD.