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© Croydon Astronomical Society 2012 Croydon, Surrey, England. Charity Registered in England and Wales No. 251560


Croydon Astronomical Society
est. 1956

Useful Resources


This page is rather long so here is an index that will allow you to jump to each section.

Have a look at our Friends page as well; there are more links located there.

CAS are not responsible for the content on external sites.


Beginners Start Here

http://www.popastro.com/ The Society for Popular Astronomy has some links to advice for beginners.

http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/public/viewsky.html Advice on starting observing from Jodrell Bank Observatory.

http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/public/viewbinos.html Advice on buying and using binoculars from Jodrell Bank Observatory.

http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/public/viewtels.html Advice on buying and using telescopes from Jodrell Bank Observatory.

http://www.dibonsmith.com/menu.htm Guide for what you can see with the naked eye and binoculars.

http://www.rtgui.com/ Planning Software - Real-Time Interactive Windows Software for Astronomical Observers - gives a list of objects to view and also controls your telescope if your GOTO telescope has a remote control option. New version out soon with more objects and better search facilities - (Added 21/2/2006).

Skylights - Astronomy news.

To find out what is worth viewing tonight there is a sky diary on the SPA site. In addition the Sky Diaries section of this page has several links you may like to investigate.


Astronomy Bookshops

Earth and Sky :- Lots of titles by Mail Order

Waterstone's :-Have a reasonable selection of books but few text books.

Willman Bell (USA) :- Publishers of many specialist astronomy books.

Cambridge University Press :- Publishers of Astronomy Books.

Blackwell's Bookshops -:- London (Charing Cross Road and Oxford)  Oxford has a very good selection.

Dillons the bookstore :-

Astronomy on the Internet :- W H Freeman publishers of the classic textbook 'Universe'.

Amazon.co.uk:-Only 1.5 million books to choose from.


Astronomy Data Sites

Access to the ADC Archives :- Access to Astronomy Data and Catalogues only up to 2002

ADS Astronomy and Astrophysics Abstract Service :-

ADS Astronomy Data- Abstracts Page :-

ADS Astronomy Data - Home Page:-

APS POSS I Catalogue and Database Access :- Minnesota Automated Plate Scanner - MAPS - scans of the National Geographic-Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS I)

Astrophysics Data System :- The Astrophysics Data System (ADS) maintains four bibliographic databases containing more than 4.2 million records: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Instrumentation, Physics and Geophysics, and preprints in Astronomy.

Astro Pre-prints - electronic copies of published papers and pre-prints

Catalogues available at CDS :- (CDS) collects and distributes astronomical data catalogues, related to observations of stars and galaxies, and other galactic and extragalactic objects. Catalogues about the solar system bodies and atomic data are also included

CDROM Astronomical Data Sets  :-   NSSDC CDROM DATA sets catalogues.

CDS, Strasbourg :-

Meteor Showers:- American Meteor Society news and information - professional and amateur observations -historical research

Data Services :- Astronomical Data from the US Navy. Will be moved soon

Dr. Odenwald's ASK THE ASTRONOMER :-

Fundamental Physical Constants :-

Minor Planet Centre - details of Minor Planets and Asteroids.

Welcome to IMPReSS:- (IMage PeRimeters of Sky Surveys) is a graphical interface to astronomical databases that presents the user with plane of the sky outlines or silhouettes of images obtained by space-based telescopes.

NASA Skyview :-  Virtual 'Telescope'

Physical Constants and Astronomical Data :- Includes a JAVA calculator.

Simbad on the Web : Access to a wide range of astronomical data.

Solar System Data :- Nine Planets Website.

The Astronomy Thesaurus:-

USNO-B1 and USNO-A2 catalogs :- Interactive search service on the PMM Image database and the NOMAD, USNO-B1 and USNO-A2 catalogs. This service extracts all the objects within a user specified radius or box around a single point in the sky. The database is some 80GBytes (it is not intended for the whole sky to be download).

VizieR Service:- Search through catalogues for information on a particular object or class of objects.

NED Galactic Data :- NASA / IPAC Extragalactic Database details of extra galactic objects.


Astronomy Shops, Hardware and Holidays

Astronomical Society of the Pacific:- Based in America but has material of interest to everyone.

True Technology  - Supply a wide range of astronomical imaging equipment - Aldermaston Berkshire

Binoculars.com  Has some useful information on Binoculars and Telescopes. Good prices but is based in Canada so the free shipping does not apply. Could not find any UK shipping rates on the web site.

Note the products as with all goods from outside the EU will also be subject to excise duty, import duty and VAT. On top of that the Royal Mail will charge you £8.00 for sorting out the excise duty, import duty and VAT with HM Customs see the Royal Mail Page on Importing Goods. The duties and Taxes will be the same with other carriers but their handling charge may vary.

Broadhurst Clarkson & Fuller - Meade Telescope Distributors :- Now in Tonbridge Kent

BC&F Astro Engineering - manufacturers of a wide range of astronomical accessories and adaptors

COAA Homepage :- Astronomical Holidays in Portugal & Astro Software

David Hinds Ltd - Astronomical Equipment:- mostly Celestron Equipment

Field view Home Page :- Astronomy holidays in one of the darker parts of Norfolk - they also coat telescope mirrors and flats

Fibre Optic Spectrograph  :- Fibre optic spectroscope made in the USA - stops the problem of a heavy spectrograph and camera on the back of the telescope

Herstmonceux Science Centre:- This was the RGO's home in the 1960's now a science centre but you can see and use some of the telescopes

I. R. Poyser :- Makers of brass refracting telescopes in the traditional style, suppliers of optical components and suppliers of Astronomy Kits for GCSE courses

Kay Optical :- Located in Morden Surrey the nearest Astronomy Shop to Croydon

Astronomia: - Surrey's only Astronomy Shop -

Modern Astronomy :- Sells CCD Cameras, Telescopes and Filters - WebShop but items can be collected from their office in Purley

Orion Optics   :-Orion Optics Home Page

SCS Astro - Telescopes, Binocularsand CCD Cameras :-

The Starlight Xpress CCD camera home page  :- As used by the CAS

True Technology :- Binocular and Telescopes

Venturescope Telescopes (Emsworth)  :- Venturescope Telescopes are in Emsworth Hampshire

Widescreen Centre  :- Astronomical Suppliers - Dorset Street London W1 - they now have two web sites at:

    Astronomy & Telescopes - TelescopesDirect

    Photography and 3D - Educational Links

Distance Learning Courses

External Education Courses are on our Education Page use the link to jump there.


IAU Commission 46    Education In Astronomy - Newsletters and details of IAU projects

Telescopes In Education:-

AstroEd: Astronomy Education Resources :- A wide range of resources for all ages and abilities

Hubble Academy -- Top Level Page :- Hubble Space Telescope Outreach Page

Armagh Planetarium Homepage :- A variety of resources including items for sale

Cosmos in a Computer Map :- A map based approach to organising Astronomical Knowledge (Can be a bit out of date - last revised 1995 and knowledge has expanded since then)

Open University:- Astronomy Group :- The World's premier distance learning centre also a major research centre

PROJECT CLEA HOME PAGE  :-  Download software astronomy exercises they are designed for class use but you can use them yourself as well includes the Virtual Educational Observatory

Edexcel Foundation - Home Page:- They organize the GCSE Astronomy Exams

            Link to the Edexcel GCSE Astronomy Paper Specification Page

Board of Continuing Education:- Cambridge University Extra mural classes

Lifelong Learning at Oxford University :-  Astronomy and Cosmology Days, Weekends and Evenings


Imaging Sites

QCUIAG QuickCam (WebCam) and Unconventional Imaging Astronomy Group

C.O.A.A. Homepage :- Have some software for stacking CCTV camera images y

Registax software for stacking planetary images

Deep Sky Stacker - registers and stacks images


Interesting Sites

Astronomy Picture of the Day  :-  A new picture every day with commentary.

Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive  :-  Archive of APOD pictures.

APOD Text Search  :-  Search the APOD archive - many good links to additional information.

Big Bear Solar Observatory WWW Page :-  Look here for Sunspots and lots more on our nearest star.

SOHO - The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory :- See the Sun from a different angle.

Solar Images  :- Another view of the Sun.

 from the Solar Data Analysis Centre.

The NOAA POES satellite web site provides some good images of auroral activity from space.

Also a British site - Aurorawatch UK allows you to view the level of GeoMagnetic activity at Lancaster - This is related to the possibility of Auroral Activity. You can also sign up for EMAIL, SMS or WAP phone alerts.

The Society for the History of Astronomy - research and recording the History of Astronomy - mostly in the UK.



Display the spectral lines of selected elements on your computer. An alternative page is available here. A good way to view what the spectral lines of elements are - you can also download the files so that you can run it locally. JPEG images of the spectrum as well. The spectrum of carbon is shown below. This link will take you to a page with a lot more information on emission lines and spectroscopy.

History of Astronomical Spectroscopy  Look here for some of the history - Don't forget William Huggins did a lot of the work 'just up the road' at Tulse Hill.

Bows, Halos, Dogs, Glories and other atmospheric phenomena.

Atmospheric Halos    - for pictures and simulator for atmospheric phenomena.


Lists of Astronomical Societies and University Departments

FAS web page :- Federation of Astronomical Societies details and links to most of the UK Astronomical Societies.

SAGAS Home Page :- Links to Astronomical Societies in the South of England.


Useful Sites

The Starpages:- Almost all the astronomy links you could ever want.

Yahoo! - Science:Astronomy:-

Astronomical information on the Internet :- Aimed at professionals but is also a good resource if you want details on a star or object.

Astronomy Now On-Line :- The UK Astronomy Magazine.

CCD University :- Help on using CCD cameras.

Webb Society The Webb Society is an international society of amateur and professional astronomers specializing in the observation of double stars and 'deep sky’ objects, founded in 1967.

The Astronomer (The TA) an organisation to support committed observers, they will help check your new Comet or Nova sightings.

SCT Collimation - illustration of how to collimate your Schmitt Cassegrain Telescope - It shows a Meade telescope but we can't all be perfect ! - (Does that explain why the images of the final 'perfect' collimation have a break in the bottom showing a problem with the optics?)

Epsilon Telescope Accessories – look here for camera mounts and other specialised hardware to help your astronomy. They also offer a ‘made to measure’ machining service for that part you always wanted but could not find.


Sky Diaries

The Society of Popular Astronomy provide a detailed  SkyDiary

There is a SkyDiary maintained by The Jodrell Bank Observatory

Sky & Telescope Magazine have a lot of events linked from their home page - beware some such as solar eclipses and occultation's may only be visible from North America and the Meteor Showers may occur in daylight !

This site - Your Sky is a web based planetarium programme that allows you to see what is visible from your location.

This is the US Navy view of the night sky for this week with a USA bias

Finally you can always use an astronomical yearbook or an astronomical almanac or planetarium programme and work it out for yourself..

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