Milton Keynes Astronomical Society

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Useful Online Astronomy Related Resources

(Please note that Milton Keynes Astronomical Society is not responsible for the content found in sites listed below)

Pierre's top tips
Don't be surprised tonight.  An essential site to log on before your observing session.  It gives levels of alert in both hemispheres.
Who's luckier than YOU tonight? Choice of charts in Watervapor and Infrared.  Download your local map from one of the thumbnails and pray for grey tonight (clear skies)
Find out how the Sun looks today.  
To check out those suspicious images you acquired before the cloud rolled in.  The DSS images will confirm whether you've got something unusual in the bag.
Observing meteors, results from past showers and links.
Observe the Sun in different modes.  See what stars, comets are the backdrop today.  LASCO images are large but fantastic (go for blue).
An interesting theory linking the orbital period of Jupiter with the sunspot rhythm.

Juniors Astronomers - Kids Corner
Resource guide to help you find an appropriate, affordable telescope and to teach your kids how to use it
Includes a range of space and planet wall decals suitable for children's bedrooms along with a wide range of other subjects.

Near Space
Part of the international programme to protect the Earth from collisions
The Sun-Earth environment, Meteors & news
Loads of lunar info
A lunar slide rule ?
For a change - a look at the Earth from Space.

Spitzer is the final element in NASA's Great Observatories Program.  Formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility
A 2.0 metre fully robotic telescope at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma, Spain
Needs no introduction...
Subaru is an 8.2 meter optical-infrared telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)
A telescope so big, that if you fell off it you might break your leg !
Bruce now concentrates the web site on his 22-inch (!) Binocular
Interesting conical cross-section mirrors
A research class telescope for Schools & Colleges

The IoA is a department of the University of Cambridge and is engaged in teaching and research in the fields of theoretical and observational Astronomy.
The national center for ground-based nighttime astronomy in the United States

Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC Emeritus
Atmospheric Optics

Advancing Astronomy and Geophysics
Britains BRIGHTEST Astronomical Society
An international society of amateur and professional astronomers specialising in the observation of double stars and 'deep sky' objects.
The Federation Of Astronomical Societies
The Astronomy section of the Northamptonshire Natural History Society

Recommended by ChrisN - "It's pretty accurate and a quick way to get a 'go' / 'no go' for the nights observing session..."

Commercial Links
We have been selling a wide variety of astronomy goods since 2009 and pride ourselves on providing advice and lifetime technical support on all the goods we sell
A free PDF to download - scroll to the end of the page
Telescopes and Binoculars from one of the UK'S premier specialists
Astronomy Posters and many more categories too.
A range of scopes, including those suitable for beginners and those who are more experienced, as well as accessories, memory cards and digital photography accessories
Cardboard kits of scientific instruments, models, gadgets, and optical components for experiments, education, and astronomy.
Astronomical telescope and binocular website, official suppliers of Konus, Meade, Celestron and Sky Watcher.
Foto Search Image Library offers over 5 million images in its extensive online archive in many, many categories including Astronomy.
Sister site to the above Foto Search Image Library.
Go Graph Stock Photography - search from more than 5 million images including over 13,000 astronomy related images!
The UK's Trading Place for Used Telescopes and Accessories
Green Witch of Cambridge have a facility in Arizona...
Bespoke Astronomical engineering here in Milton Keynes
Starting in July 2008. A range of other things to do as well as Astronomy

Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration
A large range of subjects on matters Astronomical and otherwise
Another legend

Planetarium/ Sky Map/ Sky Chart Software
Cartes du Ciel is a free app to create sky charts, It uses data in many catalogs of stars and nebulae. In addition the position of planets, asteroids and comets are shown
Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.
This app allows inspectiion of the Moon surface for every date & hour and pilot computerized telescopes on the Moon surface. It permits also to study lunar formations with unique database of images
StarCalc is the fastest professional astronomy planetarium & star mapping program for Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP. It is also Free!

Image Capture Software
SharpCap is a free easy-to-use but powerful Astronomy camera capture tool. It can be used with dedicated astronomy cameras, webcams and USB frame grabbers.
It is suitable for many types of astro-imaging including Planetary, Lunar, Solar & Deep Sky
FireCapture is another popular Astronomy Capture Freeware especially useful for planetary imaging. It support a range of astronomy cameras.
APT is like Swiss army knife for your astro imaging sessions for a range of cameras including Canon EOS DSLR, Nikon DSLR and CCD

Image Processing Software
DeepSkyStacker is a freeware for astrophotographers. It simplifies the pre-processing of deep sky images.
It registers, stacks & generates a TIFF file for post processing in other software such as RegiStax or PhotoShop
Extracts the sharpest portions out of a large sequence of video frames of the planets, moon or sun, and combines them in such a way that you end up with asingle sharp image where atmospheric distortions have been minimized. This image can then be used for post processing in other software such as RegiStax or PhotoShop
PIPP is designed for pre-processing planetary images before stacking them with image stacking software such as Registax.
It's main purpose is to crop each image frame and select only the best quality frames to reduce the memory and processing requirements of the stacking software.
WinJUPOS can be used to de-rotate planetary images. This is useful when processing long videos or multiple videos
Process astronomical Video files and Still image files. RegiStax helps bring out and sharpen the detail in these images. For more see

Other Software for Guiding, Controlling, Etc.
PHD2 is telescope guiding software that simplifies the process of tracking a guide star, letting you concentrate on other aspects of deep-sky imaging or spectroscopy.
ASCOM is a set of vendor-independent & language-independent interface standards for drivers that provide plug-and-play control of astronomical instruments and related devices
For example you can use ASCOM drivers to control many brands of mounts, cameras, Filter wheels, etc. Most major Astronomy vendors support ASCOM standards.
A useful program for astronomers having a PC next to their telescope. It makes the computer screen red, keeping your eyes adapted in the darkness, since the red color does not disturb astronomic observations.

Useful online Astronomy tools
Online Planetarium/ Sky Map/ Sky Chart
Online planetarium website from Google
interactive planetarium of the Web. The sky map shows the entire sky as viewed from a given location at a specified time and date.
Tools to assist with planning Deep Sky Object (DSO) observing and imaging sessions
A bag of Interactive astronomical tools from Sky & Telescope Magazine to see whats up. Sky Chart; Astronomical Almanac; Moon Phases, GRS forecasts, etc.
Details of upcoming Comets: When and where to find them!
Plan observations of the Solar System objects visible tonight from your location. key information, position data and sky charts for Planets, Asteroids, Comets, Interplanetary Probes.
Messier Objects: Guide to the Bright Galaxies, Nebulae and Clusters Listed in the Messier Catalogue
Interactive searchable Catalogs of Planets, Constellations, Messier objects, NGC Objects, etc.
Predictions for when the International Space Station, Iridium 'Flaring' satellites and other Satellite will pass over your location
Other astronomical related Tools
Tool for determining the area of sky that will be framed using particular DSLR/telescope combinations.
Also provide the approximate magnification of an object with your DSLR and telescope at prime focus
Shows what you will observe/ image when looking at a range of astronomical objects using different telescope, eyepiece & camera combinations
Converts celestial coordinates of right ascension and declination into horizon coordinates of altitude and azimuth
Load a reasonable quality image of the night sky & this app will tell you which astronomical object(s) you are looking at. Great for AstroPhotographers

The impact of Light Pollution
You can use this tool to check out the impact of light pollution where you are. Simply use the search box to enter your location
They were supposed to bring about an energy revolution; but the popularity of LED lights is driving an increase in light pollution worldwide
Find dark skies in the UK near where you live, if you can get away from bright lights such as street lighting.
A video on the hidden costs of light pollution, but surprisingly, from an insurance company
Good information and resources on how light pollution effects us and other animals (Thanks to Hayley Ross)
House of Commons: Science and Technology Committee - Inquiry into Light Pollution and Astronomy

Local Links

Various documents
[PDF Document]
[PDF Document]

The Society is a long-time participant in National Science week. Here is the latest certificate.

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