South Cheshire Astronomical Society

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(Page Updated: 26/01/2019 14:30 )



General Information

Local Astro Viewing Conditions [link revised 26/12/2015] - courtesy of '7 Timer'.
See what local viewing conditions are like tonight and the next two nights. The location has been pre-set to the Crewe & Nantwich area in SE Cheshire but you can set your own location if it differs significantly from this.

BBC Science Space portal - A treasure trove of space/astronomy information and links. See in particular:

  • Stargazing LIVE star guide
    Download your free guide to the stars and get the most out of the night sky.
  • The Sky at Night
    Everything from when the next programme is to Guide Packs.
    For practical incentive to find your way round the sky at night follow the link:
    The Moore Winter Marathon The Moore Winter Marathon

    Sir Patrick challenges you to see 50 of his winter night sky objects. There are two lists: naked eye and binocular and telescopic; forms in 'related links'. You can also download: an observing guide to help you find the objects, and an observing form for you to record them, and there are similar links for telescope observation.

Windows to The Universe. An interesting website that will tell you anything you would like to know about everything, at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
(Link provided by SCASTRO committee member Roger Brookes)

For a daily updated gallery of beautiful space photographs visit Wired Science Space Photo of the Day.
(Link provided by SCASTRO committee member Roger Brookes)


Heavens Above - The one stop shop for details of when and where to spot the International Space Station, Iridium Flares, as well as a host of other astronomical sights. Informative & addictive!

SpaceFlightNow - The leading source for online space news.

International Meteor Organisation - Everything you've ever wanted to know (and more) about meteor showers.

Dark Skies - Our ability to enjoy the wonders of the night skies diminishes with each passing year due to the menace of Light Pollution. This site provides background on what could be done to reduce this unnecessary waste.

More Information provided by Friends of SCASTRO

  • Link found by a children’s Earth Science class and sent to SCASTRO enquiries, in March 2016, by their after school mentor Veronica Taylor: -
            What Is Light Pollution? - Del Mar Fans & Lighting

  • In September 2018, from somewhere in the world, Mia emailed us, to pass us some interesting information her young son Jordan would like to share with us, and through us, with friends he made at a summer 2018 astronomy camp. Jordan is fascinated by astronomy and has found a very interesting New York lift company web page which tells of astronomy, and includes promising news of developments in space elevators, a very different technology for getting into space:. To explore for yourself click on the following link:
            Space Elevators and Astronomy - NationwideLifts.

    SCASTRO also recommends that you read the 19779 science fiction novel by Arthur C Clarke - “The Fountains of Paradise”. This brought the idea of space elevators to the wider attention of the public, including engineers and scientists, and so fired research into making the concept a reality. Review Link: The Fountains of Paradise - Wikipedia

    See also: Space elevator - Wikipedia


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For Beginners:

  • Home Science: Backyard Astronomy Basics - HomeAdvisor
    With thanks to Joy who sent us this link found by her keen young daughter Ainsley.
    Thank you Ainsley, we hope you go on to discover more of the wonders of astronomy and science.

  • Amateur Astronomy at Home | Angie's List
    Link provided in January 2019 by Mary Alston of Massachusetts USA, who wrote to us to say that, after the August 2018 solar eclipse, she found herself absolutely consumed in all things space. Consequently, she decided she wanted to take up astronomy. Ii was all new to her and while researching, she came across our SCASTRO links page and says she learned a lot of new things. Besides our page, she found the link, she has shared with us, of great value. Although specifically targeted at beginners, it provides interest for all, including items on: Choosing equipment; Operation of equipment; How to navigate the sky; Light pollution .. ..

    Thank you Mary. It is indeed an excellent link you have sent us.

    Astronomy: Computer Software Games for Kids
    This link was provided by high school tutor, Eva, who has been using our site links as a teaching resource, and has sent us this valuable addition, for which we are very grateful.

  • Star Gazing Live (SGL) Guide to Telescopes (PDF document) [link revised 26/12/2015]
  • Video Beginner's guide to star spotting
  • Links BBC - Universe - Telescopes (pictures, video, facts & news)
  • You Tube How To Photograph Space Yourself - Stargazing Live, Preview - BBC Two
    Note links to other interesting videos at the end.
  • How to collimate your telescope | BBC Sky at Night Magazine

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    Commercial & Software

    The following 2 YouTube videos originate from Skopes'N'Skies who no longer have a website. However, the YouTube videos still exist. [Broken link removed 22/11/2016 after valuable feedback from a viewer]


    UK Astronomy Buy & Sell - UK's Trading Place for New & Used Telescopes and Accessories.

    Stellarium - Probably the best free planetarium software currently available. Feature packed with gorgeous graphics, this Open Source program undergoes continuous development.

    Virtual Moon Atlas - An awesome piece of free software that is virtually indispensable when you're observing the moon.

    Registax - Free software that allows you to align and stack astronomical images to improve resolution

    NEAT Image - Free software for removing noise from digital images

    SkyMaps - Free starcharts, updated each month.

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    Astronomy Pictures & Video

    You Tube - Views of the Universe to Music
    (Link provided by SCASTRO committee member Roger Brookes)

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