Friday February 12th 2016
Links to websites providing excellent information about astronomical material and software – all free.
- Weatherforecast for Stargazers by AccuWeather. Provides also information about moon and planet rise and set times.
- Intellicast.com Great collection of very useful data including probability of precipitation, dew point and many more
- The Evening Sky Map. Monthly overview from Skymaps.com. Two-pager that shows all visible constellations and provides useful information about current stargazing objects. Northern and Southern edition. Free pdf.
- Basic sky maps by SFA observatory, downloadable pfd. These charts are designed to work anywhere on the Earth.
- Detailed sky maps by IAU and Sky&Telescope. Objects up to magnitude 6, including data of Deep Space Objects (Galaxies, Clusters, Nebulae), downloadable pdf.
- Messier Object Mapping – Messier List of all 110 objects by Custer Observatory. The list includes also constellation maps, downloadable pdf.
- Celestia – Astronomy software, provides photo-realistic, real-time, three-dimensional viewing of the solar system, the galaxy and the universe.
- Stellarium – Open source planetarium software. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.
- Cartes du Ciel – Great planetarium software that runs on virtually all platforms. It allows to drive a GOTO Telescope mount. Additional catalogs for object images and stars up to magnitude 16 are available.
- Deep Sky Stacker– Software for astro-photographers that simplifies all the pre-processing steps of deep sky pictures. Includes: Registering, Stacking, Simple post processing
- GIMP– GNU Image Manipulation Program (8-bit color depth), handles many file formats, great to start astronomy image post-processing.
- Noiseware – Community Edition by Imagenomic. Great noise reduction software, input: jpeg, png, bmp, tiff, output: jpeg (commercial versions also png and tiff).
- RegiStax – Excellent software for alignment, stacking and processing of images. Many features and very powerful post processing toolbox. Runs on many platforms.
- Catching the Light– Great web site on astrophotography with DSLR cameras by Jerry Lodriguss. Tons of tips and techniques, very comprehensive and easy to understand, informative with lots of descriptive images.
- Astrophotogallery – Amazing collection of images taken by amateur astronomers. Most images have descriptions about equipment they were taken with and how they were shot. Inspiring for all levels of star shooters.
- DSLR Astro Image Calculator – Helpful calculator for prime focus astrophotography with DSLRs. Written by Ray Shore. Enter size of celestial object, telescope focal length and sensor size to calculate size occupied on the sensor and image magnification.