The Other Stuff

Shoestring Astronomy by Doug Anderson


  • I am a proud member of the Ames Area Amateur Astronomers. This is a great club to belong to. The people are wonderful, they have a fine observatory, and they do a marvelous job of putting on programs for the public.
  • Free Planetarium Software - Cartes du Ciel is the best free software I have found for exploring the heavens on your computer.
  • Free Lunar Atlas Software - Virtual Moon Atlas is a nice companion for exploring our nearest heavenly neighbor.
  • Ames Clear Sky Clock - This site is very good at predicting the observing conditions for the next few days. This link is for Ames, Iowa, but you can select from many other locations throughout North America.
  • CalSky - This is an excellent source for a wealth of information. It includes on-line star charts, calculators to show the positions of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and much, much more.
  • Satellites from Nevada, Iowa - Find out when and where to look for the International Space Station, Iridium flares, and other man-made satellites. This link works for Nevada, Iowa, but you can select other cities throughout the world, or type in your own latitude and longitude.
  • Current Comets - You can find a list of all the comets currently visible here. Click on any comet in the list to see a track of it's position versus time. Keep in mind that most of these comets are quite dim.
  • Latest Solar Images - This site shows what the sun looks like in near real-time.
  • Geomagnetic Activity - Will there be Northern Lights tonight? This site may help.
  • Great tutorials on astrophotography and photographing the Milky Way.

  • Quotes

  • Job 9:7-10 "If he commands it, the sun won't rise and the stars won't shine. He alone has spread out the heavens and marches on the waves of the sea. He made all the stars--the Bear, Orion, the Pleiades, and the constellations of the southern sky. His great works are too marvelous to understand. He performs miracles without number." --New Living Translation (NLT)
  • He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead. --Albert Einstein
  • I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day. -- Vincent Van Gogh
  • God is infinite, so His universe must be too. Thus is the excellence of God magnified and the greatness of His kingdom made manifest; He is glorified not in one, but in countless suns; not in a single earth, a single world, but in a thousand thousand, I say in an infinity of worlds. -- Giordana Bruno, On the Infinite Universe and Worlds, 1584