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.

Planetarium Software

Mac

Windows

  • 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)

Linux

Smartphones & Tablets

  • Sky Safari – Depends on version ($2.99 – $39.99); available for both iPhone and Android devices.  Can control a computerized telescope.

Tutorials

Websites

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

 

Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club