Michael's Astronomy Page: Additional Resources

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Some Great Resources

There are innumerable resources for astronomers of all types. The first place I would direct you to is your local library. Do a simple search of their catalog and you should be able to find a number of books and or magazines on the subject.

If they lack the resources the staff should be able to get you the books or magazines you need from another branch. You may be saying the library, thatís an antiquated place just full of old books. On the contrary the library is living place full of wonderful and useful information. The added benefit is most libraries have computers with high speed internet access that guests can use for free.

Hopefully you choose to use the library because they should be able to give you access to some really good books on the subject. A few I would recommend are: National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Night Sky, Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe (5th Edition), Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe, Stargazing Basics: Getting Started in Recreational Astronomy, and The Stars: A New Way to See Them.

If, however, you want to skip ahead and only use the internet for your resources I would direct you to the following sites Sky and Telescope and Astronomy . These are two of the best sites for any astronomer. Both sites offer similar content and have numerous guides and articles that are sure to address just about anything you can think of. They also offer free sky charts and related astronomy software.

Another good site for all things related to astronomy is NASA . Their site spans the spectrum offering images, information, and all sorts of astronomy related links.

Some good astronomy software can be found online. In terms of pay for software there are many choices out there. I personally use a version of Software Bisques The Sky that came with my Celestron telescope. This program in its professional version is probably one of the most comprehensive astronomy software packages on the market today. I also have the student edition which is very good as well.

If you do not want to invest a lot of money your new hobby or are looking for free software I recommend either Cartes du Ciel or Celestia . Cartes du Ciel worked better on my PC, however, Celestia is very good as well. Celestia is unique in that unlike other software which offers two dimensional views of the sky, Celestia in the words of its website, "lets you explore our universe in three dimensions." Cartes du Ciel is for PC's running Windows only; however, Celestia works on Windows, Mac OS/X, and on Linux. Whether you choose to buy your software or try one of these free alternatives having astronomy software makes your new hobby even easier.