Astronomy Calculator Reasons and Goals

Astronomy Calculator was an inspiration.  Unfortunately, I get remember the exact circumstances for that inspiration.

One part probably has to do when I was brainstorming about building mobile astronomy apps and realized it would be cool to display the time of sunset.  I did some Google searching and couldn’t find a service that I could use.  So, I thought I would probably have to build my own.  I did some research and found a few books on astronomical calculations.  Thus, Astronomy Calculator was born.

The second part had to do with theory and thus math.  In my daydreaming about astronomy, I realized that predominately I wanted to look up at the sky.  But, then I figured I would want to know why.  So, I did some research into astronomical theory and found a book.  However, I quickly learned that my math skills were rusty so more books where needed as a refresher.

My goals for Astronomy Calculator are two-fold.  First, I want to create a series of astronomical calculations to ask questions about astronomy, the stars, the moon, the planets, and the sun.  I want these calculations to be easy and straightforward.  Secondly, I was learn how to do web programming to put this all online.  If you are interesting in the technical details, I am blogging at ML2 Solutions on these topics.

Night Sky Magazine

When I subscribed to Sky & Telescope, I signed up for their email newsletter which also included ads for their store.  One of the items caught my eye.  It was a DVD of past issue of something called Night Sky magazine.  It was a magazine for the entry-level stargazer and exactly what I want to do with Clear Sky Tonight.  I ordered the DVD and will go through the back issues in the future.

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