Useful Links for Amateur Astronomy
Here are a variety of links for everything from star charts to buying telescopes to NASA missions.
Online Maps and Charts
- Sky & Telescope (S&T) Interactive Sky Chart – Easy to use online planetarium software
- Sky View Cafe – Another online planetarium program
- Cartes du Ciel – Feature-rich sky map generator
- SkyMaps – A must-have at any star party, monthly printable SkyMaps are full of information
- Clear Sky Chart – for Glacial Lakes State Park
- Clear Sky Chart – for Villard
- Weather Underground – Weather forecasting website with astronomy-related information
- Sun and Moon Data for a Day – Get Sun and Moon rise and set times and Moon phases for any day of any year. An excellent planning tool
Other Observing and Planning Tools
- Tonight’s Sky – Observing session planning tools
- Moon Phase Calendar – Get moon phases for any month or year
- Heavens Above – Satellite tracker – find out when the International Space Station will be over you!
- S&T Observing Projects – A list of suggested observing projects
- S&T This Week’s Sky at a Glance – Weekly astronomy highlights with informative maps
Telescopes and Equipment
- Orion – Telescope and equipment distributor
- Celestron – Telescope and equipment distributor
- Meade – Telescope and equipment distributor
- Cloudy Nights – Telescope and equipment reviews by and for amateur astronomers
Other Interesting Sites
- Courtesy of Ms. Phillips’ group, this site is a great resource for the beginning astronomer, including links to astrophotography and live web cams of the northern lights and more.
- Glacial Lakes State Park – The host of our monthly star parties
- Friends of Glacial Lakes State Park – This group is invaluable in its support for the park that hosts our star parties
- Astronomy Clubs – There are a number of active astronomy clubs throughout Minnesota. Here is a link to find them
- The Mythology of the Constellations – Learn about the stories behind the constellations and their names
- Stars and Constellations – Highly detailed explanations and information about the stars and constellations
- Astronomical Dictionary – Comprehensive astronomy-oriented dictionary
- Astronomy Picture of the Day – See a different astronomy picture every day – Detailed information about the subject of the picture
- WorldWide Telescope – Microsoft released this in 2008. It’s basically a planetarium software program on steroids! 1000’s of high-resolution images, loads of information on pretty much anything in the sky. The computer hardware requirements for an optimal experience are kind of steep, but it’s still amazing at lower quality.
- NASA Missions
- Cassini-Huygens – Saturn – The Cassini mission has generated fascinating information – and pictures of Saturn and its moons
- Hubble Space Telescope – The telescope that brought all of the famous, gorgeous pictures of planets, nebulae, etc.
- Mars Exploration Rovers – Sprit and Opportunity are still roving the Red Planet – nearly 5 years after the mission was expected to be done!
- Earth and Sky – Astronomy site geared toward the beginner and intermediate level amateur astronomer
- Star Date – Another Astronomy site for the beginner and intermediate amateur astronomers