Amateur astronomy is one of those hobbies in which I participated avidly for about five years while in the U.S.
Air Force and for a couple years after separating. During that time I observed as often as time and atmospheric
conditions permitted. While at Robins AFB, in Warner Robins, Georgia, I belonged to the Macon Amateur Astronomy
club and spent quite a few Friday evenings operating the museum's/club's 8", 10" and 14" Celestron telescopes both
for private observation and for assisting the public after the planetarium show. The club took a couple trips to
the Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta and got to look through
their 32" reflector, which at the time (circa 1980) was the largest reflecting telescope in the southeast.
Today, of course, private 30" Dobsonians are as affordable as motorcycles. A picture of me and my 8" Newtonian
reflector is given below. I ended up selling it after getting married to help pay the mortgage (sold all the R/C
stuff, too). Only naked-eye (no longer anywhere near my former 20/15 vision) and my trusty binoculars remain for
observing over the past 20 years. Recently, have I begun reacquiring some of my "toys" from yesteryear. I have not
purchased another telescope yet, but the good thing is that now the state of the art is orders of magnitude better
than where I left off.
Amateur Astronomy Books
Amateur Astronomy Manufacturers & Services
I am (Kirt Blattenberger, webmaster) with my 8" Newtonian reflector, circa 1982. It was purchased used from an astronomy
shop in Baltimore, MD. After struggling with dragging out the tripod and doing polar alignments night after night,
I finally got smart and built this concrete block pier and ran 120 VAC to it for the clock drive. Observation nights
were greatly increased in number after doing so. The finder is a piggybacked 2" refractor. I made a remote focusing
mount for the eyepiece using a servo from one of my other hobbies -
R/C aircraft. Soon, I will scan and post some of the photos I took with it using my Minolta SLR. There were
no digital cameras in those days.
ADC for Amateur Astronomers | adc.gsfc.nasa.gov/adc/adc_amateurs.html | Greenbelt, MD
in archiving and distributing collections of data that have been published by professional astronomers. Most of
these data sets are in the form of computer-readable tables of numbers, rather than images. Amateur astronomers
can find these data collections useful in looking up the properties and locations of celestial objects. This can
help amateurs plan for observing sessions, and help them to better understand what they've observed.
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York | aaa.org | New York, NY
Provides lectures, classes
and observing sessions to better enjoy astronomy, whether intellectually, aesthetically, or both.
Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton | princetonastronomy.org | Princeton, NJ
astronomy-related activities for members and non-members, novice to expert. A wide spectrum of astronomy interests
are explored at the AAAP through regular meetings, workshops, use of the two club observatories, public outreach
and regional star parties.
Amateur Astronomers' Inc (AAI) | asterism.org | 908-276-2730 | Cranford, NJ
Club info &
Amateur Astronomer's Notebook | rocketroberts.com/astro/aan.htm
Joint effort by two amateur
astronomers, Joe Roberts and Peter Chapin, includes information on a variety of topics that may be of interest to
both casual star watchers as well as experienced amateurs.
Amateur Astronomical Observatories | obs.nineplanets.org/obs/obslist.html
Large list of links
to observatories & observatory vendors.
Amateur Astronomy Observers Log | lies.com/aaol
This site lets amateur astronomers share
their observations with each other.
Amateur Astronomy & Space Website | astronomer.org.uk/home.htm | UK
Amateur CCD Astronomy | azastronomy.com/index.html
This webpage is devoted to showing examples
of astrophotography that this author, an amateur astrophotographer, has taken with the CCD - Richard Jacobs, M.D.
The American Association of Amateur Astronomers | astromax.com | Dallas, TX
Astronomy to the World.
Ames Area Amateur Astronomers | amesastronomers.org | Ames, IA
Club information & links.
Astronomes Amateurs du Luxembourg | aal.lu | Luxembourg
Club information & links.
Astronomy Boy | astronomyboy.com | New Hampshire
Resources & tutorials for amateur astronomers.
Astronomy Cafe | astronomycafe.net
Astronomy articles, links, & information, by Dr. Sten
Astronomy Software | astro.nineplanets.org/astrosoftware.html
Links to planetarium and sky
Backyard Astronomy for Amateur Astronomers | backyard-astro.com | The Netherlands
Cedar Amateur Astronomers, Inc | cedar-astronomers.org | Cedar Rapids, IA
Promotes the study
and interest in astronomical topics within the membership and among the public via dissemination of knowledge and
ideas through lectures, meetings, presentations, displays, discussions, and outdoor activities, are a member society
of the Astronomical League & operates Palisades-Dows Observatory in cooperation with the Linn County Conservation
Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club | charlotteastronomers.org | Charlotte, NC
Club news &
Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers | dvaa.org/php/page.php?body=Home | Philadelphia, PA
Club info & links.
Edward R. Zane Planetarium | natsci.org/planetar/planetar.htm | Greensboro, NC
in Natural Science Center of Greensboro.
Estimating Limiting Magnitude | obs.nineplanets.org/lm/rjm.html
An easy method of determining
how clear your sky is by Veikko Makela.
Extreme Stargazing | davidpaulgreen.com/extremestargazing.html
Article by David H. Freedman.
Hamilton Amateur Astronomers | amateurastronomy.org | Canada
A group of individuals dedicated
to the enjoyment and advancement of astronomy.
Ford Amateur Astronomy Club | boonhill.net/faac | Dearborn, MI
Club info & links.
FotoSearch Astronomy Image Library | fotosearch.com/photos-images/galaxy.html | Waukesha, WI
A massive collection of astronomy images from, galaxies to planets to NASA images and much more. View world-class
photography and art free of charge. It is the digital, online equivalent of a massive image library. Browsing through
the library is free, and there are no access charges, registration requirements, or usage limits.
Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association | graaa.org | 616-897-7065 | Lowell, MI
in public education activities, comet watches, meteor observing, as well as opening the observatory to the public
two nights per month. Besides the public education programs, members involve themselves in many other pursuits from
observing programs to astrophotography and CCD imaging.
The Isle of Man Astronomical Society | iomastronomy.org
Isle of Man
Promotes amateur astronomy.
Kennedy Space Center Amateur Astronomers | 4saleusa.net/kscaa | Florida
Dedicated to the
Understanding and Knowledge of the Heavens God Made for Us to Observe.
Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society | lvaas.org | 610-797-3476 | Allentown PA
LVAAS is a public-oriented nonprofit educational organization dedicated to serving the interests of the community
in astronomy and related fields. For both professionals and amateurs alike, LVAAS has much to offer through our
many programs and observing facilities.
Messier Objects | astro.nineplanets.org/dssm/messier.html
Images from the Digitized Sky Survey
as posted on alt.binaries.pictures.astro by Richard Bright.
Mount Wilson Tower Cam | astro.ucla.edu/~obs/towercam.htm | Mt. Wilson, CA
From the Mount
Wilson Observatory, Department of Physics & Astronomy, UCLA.
NASA's World Wind Satellite Imagery | worldwind.arc.nasa.gov
World Wind lets you zoom from
satellite altitude into any place on Earth. Leveraging Landsat satellite imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
data, World Wind lets you experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if you were really there.
visit any place in the world. Look across the Andes, into the Grand Canyon, over the Alps, or along the African
The Nine Planets | nineplanets.org
A Multimedia Tour of the Solar System: describes the history,
mythology and current scientific knowledge of each of the planets and moons and other objects in our solar system.
In addition to the usual pictures, there are also sounds, an occasional movie and many links to other net resources.
The text is written for a general audience not necessarily knowledgeable in astronomy; technical terms are linked
to an extensive glossary by Bill Arnett.
NGC Images Archive | astro.nineplanets.org/gco/intro.html
From the Grove Creek Observatory.
North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club | nsaac.org | Massachusetts
Two of the principal goals
of the NSAAC are to promote a wider appreciation of astronomy and to help people choose the most appropriate telescope
or binocular for their interest and budget.
obs.nineplanets.org | obs.nineplanets.org
Various astronomy links.
Piedmont Amateur Astronomers | piedmontamateurastronomers.com | Statesville, NC
A group of
individuals who meet to share an interest in astronomy and to promote astronomy education.
Prairie Astronomy Club | prairieastronomyclub.org | Lincoln, NE
Dedicated to encouraging
the study of Astronomy and related subjects for the benefit of its members and the general public.
Ptolemy's Cafe | obs.nineplanets.org/obs/obs.html
Bill Arnett's backyard observatory.
Ptolemy's Supper Club | obs.nineplanets.org/psc/psc.html
A group of avid amateur astronomers.
Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Association | holland-saaa.org | Holland, MI
organization created for the purpose of furthering the enjoyment of amateur astronomy.
Singularity Scientific | singularsci.com
Personal site by Rick Boozer, whose intent is to
promote interest in astronomy, space, and science education in general.
South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association | sfaaa.com | Sunrise, FL
A registered non-profit
educational amateur astronomy society.
Spitzer Space Telescope | spitzer.caltech.edu | 818-354-4200 | Pasadena, CA
The Spitzer Space
Telescope (formerly SIRTF, the Space Infrared Telescope Facility) was launched into space by a Delta rocket from
Cape Canaveral on 25 August 2003. Spitzer will obtain images and spectra by detecting the infrared energy, or heat,
radiated by objects in space between wavelengths of 3 and 180 microns (1 micron is one-millionth of a meter). Consisting
of a 0.85-meter telescope and three cryogenically-cooled science instruments, Spitzer is the largest infrared telescope
ever launched into space.
Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA) | physics.usyd.edu.au/sifa/
A leading centre for astrophysical
research in Australia, at The University of Sydney.
Transit of Venus | venus.nineplanets.org/photo/tov/index.html
A brief report on our viewing
of the 2004 transit of Venus from Bill Arnett.
Tri-Valley Stargazers | trivalleystargazers.org
Tri-Valley Stargazers (TVS) is a registered
non-profit astronomy club serving the areas in and around Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, Fremont, and Tracy, California.
Public outreach and astronomy education are promoted collectively by the club and individually by members who
present public programs and monthly meetings. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in astronomy. Amateurs
and professionals are equally welcome.
Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association | tucsonastronomy.org | Tucson, AZ
A resource for anyone
interested in Astronomy. Our mission is to nurture a person's natural curiosity about the night sky. By giving people
a knowledge and understanding of Astronomy, we enhance their enjoyment of the solar system beyond. Through our public
activities and school evening observing sessions, we bring Astronomy to persons of all ages. Our regular meetings
and observing sessions offer members a forum to meet others with similar interests and experiences and to learn
from one another.
Twin City Amateur Astronomers | twincityamateurastronomers.org | 309-438-2496 | Normal, IL
Club info & links.
Umbraphilia | obs.nineplanets.org/tse98/tse98.html
A full report on a trip to the 1998 solar
eclipse in the Caribbean.
The Web Nebulae | astro.nineplanets.org/twn/top.html
Pictures and a bit of explanation of
a couple dozen of the more spectacular nebulae in the night sky.
Westchester Amateur Astronomers | westchesterastronomers.org | Valhalla, NY
organization open to people of all ages with the desire to learn more about astronomy and who share an interest
in viewing the universe. We range from enthusiastic amateurs and educators to casual stargazers and families.
Wollongong Amateur Astronomy Club | users.bigpond.com/paul.b | Australia
Club info &
World's Largest Optical Telescopes | astro.nineplanets.org/bigeyes.html
Lists all the major
optical observatories in the world today.