Astronomy Books I have read

Many years ago my sister gave me an edition of NightWatch by Terence Dickinson as a birthday present.  It sat on the shelf next to the manual for my ETX.  But, once I started thinking about getting into astronomy as a serious hobby, I finally got around to reading it.

Additionally, I purchase a number of other general astronomy books:

  • The Practical Astronomer
  • The Stars
  • Sky and Telescope’s Pocket Sky Atlas
  • Turn Left at Orion

The Stars was a great primer on the constellations and had a excellent section on the whys and hows of astronomy.  Turn Left at Orion was also excellent for its background knowledge and clear explanation on what you can see in the night sky.


Date to Day Astronomy Calculator

The next Astronomy Calculator I have created is a Date to Day calculator.  This calculator converts a date to the number of days in that year.


Leap Year Astronomy Calculator

I have created the second Astronomy Calculator which is for Leap Year.  The calculations are based on calculations from the book Astronomical Algorithms by Jean Meeus.


Astrophotography Videos by Orion

I received an email about some new videos by Orion.

The videos were titled:

I took away an interesting path on the way to learning more about astrophotography.  The videos suggested to start with iPhone adapter or a point-and-shot camera adapter and then move to a web camera eyepiece.  The next step could be a DSLR adapter and finally a CCD camera.

I hadn’t really thought about using my iPhone but had thought about using my point-and-shot.  I did some research on Orion’s website and found both options.

The Orion SteadyPix Telescope Photo Adapter for iPhone is around $60.  There are two point-and-shot models called the Orion SteadyPix Universal Camera Mount for $30 and the Orion SteadyPix Deluxe Camera Mount for $47.  I like both ideas and may try them along with the web camera I already purchased for the ETX from Meade.


Date of Easter Astronomy Calculator

I have created the first Astronomy Calculator which is the Date of Easter.  The calculations are based on the book Practical Astronomy with you Calculator or Spreadsheet by Peter Duffett-Smith and Jonathan Zwart.

The method the authors showed in their book is based on a method devised in 1876 which was in Butcher’s Ecclesiastical Calendar.  The astronomical calculation is valid for all dates from 1583.


Practical Astronomy with your Calculator or Spreadsheet book

After more searching on Amazon, I found Practical Astronomy with your Calculator or Spreadsheet by Peter Duffett-Smith and Jonathan Zwart.  This will be my guide on my journey to create the Astronomy Calculator.  The fourth edition was published in 2011 so it is current.  It also had a website where you can download the Excel spreadsheet with will greatly help in understanding the formulas and testing my website.

So, I now have all the books I need and finally time to start learning about the formulas and translating them into web programming.  This journey begins….


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