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Sky Maps and Applications

There are a lot of planetarium programs out there and they all do basically the same thing - show you what the sky looks like where you are. Some are 100% free, some are free but unlock more features if you buy, and a few are fee based only. A few popular ones with our members:
Google SkyGoogle Sky Map is a free planetarium and sky map for your Desktop/Laptop or Android devices.
SatTrackReveals Iridium flares and satelittes (including ISS, HST) passing by at your location. Android devices only. Free.
SkEyeOne of the best planetarium apps for an Android device. Free or fee based.
SkySafariA high-end, fee based planetarium app for iPhone or Android.
Star ChartStar Chart is free for iPhone/iPad, fee based for Android devices.
Starry NightA high-end, fee based planetarium app for Desktop/Laptop.
StellariumStellarium is free desktop application which renders realistic skies in real time.
TheSkyXA high-end, fee based planetarium app for Desktop/Laptop.

Choosing a Telescope

Not just for beginners.... here is an explanation of the different types of telescopes and mounts that are available plus the capabilities of each.

Vic Menard's observing list

The intro paragraph: The following list is a result of too many nights racing through Messier marathons, wandering through the Herschel 400, scanning the southern horizon for unexpected treasures, star-hopping for invisible faint fuzzies, and finally, finding myself at the helm of a 22-inch Go-To telescope, not knowing what to look at next! Youll no doubt recognize many of the objects Ive included. Many are the finest, most visited, destinations in the night sky. Some are the best in their class, although they may still seem a challenge with apertures under 20 inches. A few will make you yearn for your old 3-inch refractor, or dark skies from your earliest deep sky memories.

Double Star observing list

The intro paragraph: All objects are listed in Right Ascension order so that you can view them as they rise, and so that you can properly plan your observing sessions to make the most of your time. Information provided on each object includes: a check box, object to be observed, Right Ascension, Declination, magnitudes of the component stars, separation, and position angle from the primary star in the double or multiple system.

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