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Sunday April 20th 2014

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Astro Links

Links to websites providing excellent information about astronomical material and software – all free.

 

Weather 

  • 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

Star maps

  • 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

  • Messier Object Mapping – Messier List of all 110 objects by Custer Observatory. The list includes also constellation maps, downloadable pdf.

Planetarium Software

  • 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. 

Imaging Software

  • Deep Sky Stacker- Software for astrophotographers 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.

Astrophotography

  • Catching the Light- Great web site on astrophotography with DLSR 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. 

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