This is our go-to page for all astronomy resources for backyard astronomer. If there’s a good resource you know of that will help your fellow astronomers, email Adam@LovetheNightSky.com.
We don’t cover much on the subject on Love the Night Sky, but we do have a guide to photographing the night sky and a guide to the best astrophotography telescopes. For more specialist coverage, try these sites:
- Amateur Astrophotography Magazine: A monthly online magazine with lots of useful guides
- Cloudy Nights Astrophotography: A group of forums (fora?) dedicated to imaging the night sky from beginner to pro
- AstroBin: The place to host your images
- The Deep Sky Imaging Primer (2nd Ed.): Everything you need to develop (ha ha) your astrophotography skills
There aren’t hundreds of astronomy blogs out there, but the best are those which have been around for years and are still updated regularly. Here’s our pick of the bunch:
- Astronomy Links: It is not clean or pretty, but it is the most comprehensive list of astronomy links on the net
- Astroblog: Ian Musgrave expert astronomy writings. Based in Australia, this is a ‘must visit’ for southern hemisphere observers
- The Space Writer: Carolyn Collins Petersen has been writing on this blog for many years and has regular updates a few times each month
- Sky-Lights: A blog by Dan Heim about astronomy, meteorology, and earth science, posted every Monday since 2005
Unlike blogs, there are hundreds of astronomy books available. Rather than bombard you with options, here are just a few of our favorites. The links click through to Amazon, where you can buy a copy.
- Turn Left at Orion: An absolute ‘must have’ guide for all astronomers, whether brand new or with years of experience
- 2019: An Astronomical Year: We use this book for its wealth of facts and figures covering every week of the year
- 2019 Guide to The Night Sky: This alternative is much easier to digest, with more graphics and fewer tables
- Sky & Telescope’s Pocket Sky Atlas: Incredibly useful, spiral-bound map of the night sky
Astronomy clubs are a great way to meet fellow stargazers and learn more about the night sky. We have information on physical and virtual clubs.
- US Astronomy Clubs: Find a club near you by state (US only)
- Virtual Astronomy Club: Our sister site, hosting online astronomy guides
- Cloudy Nights: The biggest astronomy forum on the Web, for when a physical club is just not practical
- Astronomical League: Umbrella organisation for clubs and societies in the US. You can also become a ‘member at large’ outside the US
- Astronomical Society of the Pacific: Their mission is to make astronomy more easily accessible to the public
There are a few decent titles to choose from (see why we recommend Sky & Telescope). Click on the links to see current subscription prices on Amazon.
- Sky & Telescope Magazine: In our view, this is the best magazine for pure backyard astronomy
- Astronomy Magazine: The biggest and most popular astronomy magazine on the planet
- Sky at Night Magazine: From the BBC in the UK
- All About Space: More expensive, but well loved for big issues and making content accessible to a younger audience
Dan Heim has kindly provided a comprehensive pdf document to help us all with pronouncing astronomy terms the correct way.
We only recommend two different pieces of astronomy software, one is free and the other paid.
- Stellarium: Free astronomy software you download to your computer. It is comprehensive if not always the easiest to use
- Sky Safari 6: This software is paid for but offers much easier user controls, has more detail available and has greater scope in what it can be used for
- Sky & Telescope: Have a guide to the night sky in the week ahead