Strongly Celestial

Looking outward; looking backward in time...


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Useful Web Links

I will store here the web links that I have found useful in my journey. I will (try to) periodically check that the links are alive. If you spot a dead one, you can probably find it via a web search (and please send me a note to let me know; thanks!).

Forums to get help

  • Astronomy Forum
    I am a member here and am continually amazed at the level of activity and expertise shared! If you post a question on any subtopic, you will almost invariably get responses within a day. This is a very supportive community!
  • MaxIm DL Forum on Yahoo
    This is another amazingly active forum which is aimed at supporting MaxIm DL (see my "Equipment" page for more info on this). This is a very powerful program but has a steep learning curve. This forum really helps!

Sources of info, such as viewing conditions, how to's, tips, etc.

  • Weather Underground - for weather and astronomy information
    There are lots and lots of weather websites, but this one I have found particularly useful.
    Tip: After entering your location, look for a link called "More Astronomy" on the right side of current conditions. Also, the area map will show cloud cover, so you can easily see what is headed your way!
  • 7Timer! - a handy visual diagram of viewing conditions now and for the next few days
    This link takes you to the "About" page; from there hit "Home" and enter your location. You should see a map with a pin on it; hover over it and select "ASTRO". You will see a graphical chart with a forecast of viewing conditions.
  • Jupiter Great Red Spot Transit Calculator
    A useful web calculator for finding when Jupiter's Great Red Spot is visible. Be sure to change the time zone to your own (vs. UT) to get local times.
  • Dark Sky Finder
    This site displays a map of light pollution, helping you find darkness near you from which to view. Unfortunately, the data this is built on is from 2001, so it is mildly out of date; I have not found a new one. Still, it is a useful guide.
  • Starizona Guide to CCD Imaging
    Sponsored by Starizona, a vendor in Tucson, AZ, this link takes you to one of the best free guides I have found so far on the web. It is filled with information and tutorials covering theory, equipment, accessories, and software.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
    This site, sponsored by NASA and edited by Prof. Robert Nemiroff of Michigan Tech University (see him also on my Education page) and Dr. Jerry Bonnell of NASA, depicts a new - always interesting - image and description daily. Note that there are some handy mobile apps for this; I use the APOD viewer for iPad available on iTunes.
  • NASA's Satellite Sighting Applet
    This website is provided by NASA as a portal to their satellite sighting applet. This tool allows you to enter your longitude and latitude which it uses to predict sighting opportunies for lots of satellites, including the International Space Station. It includes a handy star map to make finding the pass very easy!

Manufacturer/Vendor links

  • Orion Telescopes - No, I am not being paid to direct you there; I just happen to have quite a bit of Orion equipment.
  • Coronado Telescopes (by Meade) - ditto my comment above.
  • Diffraction Limited - for MaxIm DL
  • ScopeStuff - they make TONS of useful pieces, parts and adapters, often for less than the original manufacturers.