The Observer's Page

Observing Comet Hale Bopp 1997, picture by Astra

The feature image of the observer's page was taken during observations of Comet Hale-Bopp. The dark shadow of a telescope with a camera mounted on it is highlighted in the vanishing twilight. The blue component of the comet's tail is cropped off the image.

Whats Up in the Night Sky?  is a monthly almanac for Northern American astronomers

What's Up?

"What's Up in the Night Sky?" is Astra's monthly almanac! Find out what's up in the sky this month. Monthly features cover constellations or other astronomical topics of interest. The almanac was original written by the Star Geezer, Ron Leeseberg who retired in December 2011. Bookmark this page to find out what to look for this month by reading the latest issue.

Find out more about this feature by clicking on the home page, "What's Up? home".

The Observer's Page offers advice to newbies, stargazers, amateur astronomers and astronomy clubs. Welcome to the new Observer's Page!

Assistance for Beginners

Stargazing Basics - from Sky and Telescope
Astra's Guide to Commercial Vendors - Just links, no endorsements, find the equipment you need to get started.
Observational Astronomy - from David Haworth
Suzieastro presents Starry Trails - local observational help

Almanacs and Observing Aids

What's Up in the Night Sky? - Astra's montly almanac at the 'Gate
Check Abram's Sky Calender for monthly sample
Astronomy Center - at the Old Farmer's Almanac (eclipse and weather info available)
NGC/IC Observing List Generator - Professionals and Amateurs working together
The Interactive NGC Catalog Online -
Sky Insight Online Observing List and Catalog Cross Reference
It's About Time ! - An observing article from By John A. Morris
Astra's Celestial Challenge: Star Associations Group

Online Planetarium Programs and Free Downloads

Observing Constellations

The 88 Constellations and Their Brightest Stars - Sleeopolis
Learn the constellations - Astronomy Magazine
Aboriginal Star Knowledge - how native Americans see the night sky

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Observing Solar System Objects

Astra's Celestial Challenge: Naked Eye Group of Objects
Learn Naked Eye Astronomy with Aboriginal Star Knowledge - Native American Indian
International Space Station Visibility - and other spacecraft on NASA's Sightings Page!
Learn your way around the Moon - pdf from
Don't forget the King of the Naked Eye Observers The Star Hustler
Check out *MeteorObs* an internet discussion group for meteor astronomy and observing.

Dawn's Tips on Observing Jupiter
Astra's Celestial Challenge: Solar System Group of Objects
Astra's 3 Faces of Mars Page
Astra's Guide to the Total Solar Eclipse 2017 - Get eclipsed all across the U.S.A.
Astra's 1998 Total Eclipse page - and - Totally Eclipsed Astra's personal experience
1994 Annular Eclipse Astra's article in the A.B. from 1994
1991 Eclipse -Astras's journey to the 1991 Eclipse from Baja California
NASA's August 11, 1999 eclipse page toc - and -
Sun Earth Day 2008 - some interesting information about eclipses from NASA
NASA Info on July 11, 2010 eclipse
Eclipse Home Page - by Fred Espenak
NASA Predictions for Solar Eclipses
NASA site on the August 21, 2017 eclipse
The Winter Solar Observatory--check out the ICStars home world while you're there! Total Lunar Eclipse December 20-21, 2010
Lunar Eclipse January 2000- Images page from ICStars !
April 3, 1996 Lunar Eclipse - from Cleveland, Ohio
Lunar Eclipse Observer -- Home Page
Inconsistant Moon - The Moon at Apogee and Perigee by John Walker
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Comets! (Astra's Page)

This is a short list of the many comet sources that are out on the www. The first goes to an article written a few years ago. By clicking the title of this section, the browswer will go to the main comet page at Astra's Star Gate

Observing Deep Sky Objects

Notes from my lecture on April 20, 1996, at The Peach State Star Gaze
Astra's Celestial Challenge: Binocular Group of Objects
The Binocular Messier Catalog - Donald L. Baker
Holding a Messier Marathon - advice from Astra
Messier Marathon Sequence - Use this list for your Marathon Observations
The Binocular Messier Catalog - Donald L. Baker
Mel Bartel's Messier Observations
SEDS - The Grandaddy of Messier Links

Galaxies - At Last!

Earth Sky Stuff

Astra's Information for Astronomy Clubs

Link to the Astronomical League's Observing Notes

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Astra's Pages

What's Up?
This Month's Sky

Astra's Celestial Challenge

Guide to Commercial Astronomical Equipment - just links no endorsements

Dawn's Tips for Observing Jupiter

ATM - Astra's Telescope Making Page

Comets! - Read Astra's Comet Article