Club member Denis Williamson gives a well received lecture on Astronomy 101
Getting started in astronomy
Some free and paid resources on telescope selection, astronomy software and tutorials for the beginner and intermediate astronomer.
- Stellarium – Free; an outstanding planetarium program for simulating the sky, it can also control a computerized telescope.
- Cartes du Ciel – Free
- Celestia – Free; unlike most programs, Celestia allows you to leave Earth and visit other planets, (even imaginary ones)
Smartphones & Tablets
- Sky Safari – Depends on version ($2.99 – $39.99); available for both iPhone and Android devices. Can control a computerized telescope.
Books (these are some of our favorites – there are hundreds more)
- Nightwatch – A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe, by Terence Dickinson ($25)
- Celestial Sampler, by Sue French – both this and Deep Sky Wonders are devoted to particularly interesting and/or beautiful objects.
- Deep Sky Wonders, by Sue French
- The Backyard Astronomers’ Guide, by Terence Dickinson & Alan Dyer – covers all aspects of amateur astronomy; more detailed than Nightwatch.
- The Stars, by H. A. Rey – a wonderful introduction to naked-eye astronomy, by the author of the Curious George books.
- Turn Left at Orion – Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope, by Guy Consolmagno & Dan Davis ($24) – covers some of the same ground as Sue French’s books; well organized and easy to use.
Articles & Podcasts