Software for Observing / Imaging Planning
Stellarium – http://stellarium.org/
Downloadable free planetarium for your computer. Learn the sky, plan your observing sessions, calculate you eyepiece or camera field of view and lots more.
Virtual Moon – http://sourceforge.net/projects/virtualmoon/
Downloadable free detailed Moon map. Information on phases, craters and plains, etc., to help you identify features and plan observing and imaging sessions.
Planet Orbit Positions – http://12dstring.me.uk/planetorbits.htm
Check the positions of the planet orbits for the Solar System, today, tomorrow or any date past or future.
Jupiter GRS Transit Times – http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/planets/3304091.html?page=1&c=y
Find out when the Great Red Spot is due to appear on Jupiter’s disc.
Jupiter Moon Positions – http://12dstring.me.uk/jovianmoons.htm
Jupiter’s four big “Galilean moons” are easy to see, even with binoculars, but which ones are they. Find out here.
A number of the larger moons of Saturn can be seen in modest sized telescopes. Find out their positions here.
Sun Spot Info – http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/sunspots/
Check on Sun spot activity and find their identities
Sun Ha Network – http://halpha.nso.edu/
A network of telescopes, studying the Sun in Hydrogen Alpha wavelengths of light. Check for flares and other interesting features visible in Ha light.
Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/
The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is the first mission to be launched for NASA’s Living With a Star (LWS) Program, a program designed to understand the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth.
Space Weather – http://www.spaceweather.com/
Latest news on Sun spots, flares, coronal mass ejections, comets, asteroids and more
Jetstream Forecast – http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=jetstream%3Bsess%3D
The Jetstream position can have a huge effect on the quality of observing and imaging conditions. Check its position and forecast here.
Latest Supernovae – http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/supernova.html
If you like hunting for the latest Supernovae, check here.
ISS & Satellite Predictions – http://www.heavens-above.com
For any satellite, you can now get a list of upcoming close encounters with other objects for the next 7 days.
Software for Imaging and Processing
PixInsight – http://pixinsight.com
Very powerful / advanced image processing software for Astrophotography.
Deep Sky Stacker – http://deepskystacker.free.fr/english/index.html
Downloadable free software for stacking/processing Deep Sky and Comet images.
PIPP ( Planetary Imaging PreProcessor ) – https://sites.google.com/site/astropipp/home
Downloadable free software for pre-processing of planetary videos to crop and quality refine which saves time and processing power compared to the original file. However, there’s much more to it than just that.
Sharpcap – http://www.sharpcap.co.uk/
Downloadable free software for camera control of planetary, solar and lunar videos
Registax – http://www.astronomie.be/registax/
Downloadable free software for stacking and processing planetary, solar and lunar videos.
Auto-Stakkert – http://www.autostakkert.com/
Downloadable free software for stacking planetary, solar and lunar videos.
PHD Guiding and DSLR Shutter – http://www.stark-labs.com/
PHD – Downloadable free software for controlling your guide camera and telescope mount for long exposure imaging. DSLR Shutter – Downloadable free software for controlling the exposure time of your DSLR camera, along with number of exposures, and pauses prior to and following each exposure.
Weather Forecasts – Astronomy Seeing
For Astronomy Seeing, select “Charts & Tools” – Miscellaneous – Astronomy Seeing on website.
For good seeing conditions look for dark blue colors in the cloud cover and green values in the Seeing Indices and Jet Stream in the table.
For further information on the table see the following instructions and tips link.
Be aware values in table may not reflect precisely reality, as information is based upon in-house climatic forecast models.
Met office – www.metoffice.gov.uk
Based on 5 day forecast (Mon – Fri) – Cloud cover (Radio button) can be accurate, based upon current/forecast radar data.
Universe Today – http://www.universetoday.com/
Astronomy news from creator of Astronomy cast.
Science Daily (Astronomy) – http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/space_time/astronomy/
Your source for latest research news.
A selection UK & US based astronomy magazine links.
Sky at Night – http://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/
Astronomy Now – http://www.astronomynow.com/
Sky & Telescope – http://www.skyandtelescope.com/
Astronomy – http://www.astronomy.com/
Astronomy Blogs & Podcasts
Astronomy cast – http://www.astronomycast.com/
Astronomy Cast takes a fact-based journey through the cosmos as it offers listeners weekly discussions on astronomical topics ranging from planets to cosmology. Hosted by Fraser Cain (Universe Today) and Dr. Pamela L. Gay (SIUE).