Useful links

Astronomy and space related websites

National Societies

For general information on a variety of astronomical topics visit the home pages of the societies listed below:

Local & other Societies

UK Telescope Dealers

The Norwich Astronomical Society has no affiliation with any profit making organisation astronomical or otherwise. Neither does it have commercial sponsorship for any of its activities or events. It is always very grateful to receive support from such organisations but this in no way infers exclusivity or special relationship.

Cleyspy is a local retailer on the North Norfolk coast.

Astro Buy and Sell is a UK trading place for used telescopes and accessories

Altair Astro – Aylsham, Norwich – 5% discount for NAS members.

London Camera Exchange (Norwich), Timberhill. NR1 3LB

The Widescreen centre Based at Sutton nr. Ely, Cambridgeshire

Tring Astro – Based in Herts, supplies many of our members with equipment.

Rother Valley Optics – Kiveton, Rotherham

Warehouse Express – Hellesdon Park Industrial Estate, Norwich

First Light Optics – Exeter, Devon

UK Camera Dealers

Atik Cameras

Starlight Xpress


NASA’s home page is at Theoretically you should be able to get to what you want from here but NASA has an enormous amount of data on the web and has many sites. If you don’t find what you are looking for try their search engine.


Jodrell Bank Observatory is part of the University of Manchester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Their web site lets you find out what goes on at JBO by taking an on-line guided tour of the observatory or read about the history of Jodrell Bank. You may also visit the Jodrell Bank Science Centre & Arboretum or simply learn about what’s happening in the sky this month. Research at Jodrell Bank includes studies of stars, pulsars, galaxies, quasars, gravitational lenses, CMB and SETI. There is an archive of pictures and photographs.

The Lowell Observatory has an extensive range of information and resources.

Bradford Robotic Observatory is a 46cm totally autonomous telescope located high on the moors in West Yorkshire. It decides when conditions are good enough to observe and then works through a schedule of tasks. Anyone on the Internet may register and ask the telescope to look at anything in the northern night sky.

The European Space Agency is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe.

Ask the Astronomer

There are various web sites that offer an “Ask the Astronomer” facility where you can browse the archive of past questions, but if you don’t find what you need to know, you can submit your question for an answer later. Here is a list of a few of them:-

News, Events and Publications

Sky & Telescope, the magazine, hosts a web site. While not an online version of the magazine it covers news and events, what to see in the sky, product specs and reviews, advice on telescopes, etc. They also issue a newsletter which you can subcribe to.

The Astronomer Online is the web site for The Astronomer magazine.

Astronomy Now is the website for the Astronomy Now magazine

Sky at Night Magazine – now published by Immediate media.

Places of interest

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF, (tel 020 8858 4422) is part of the National Maritime Museum (tel 020 8312 6557) which is renowned for the sections on time. There is a planetarium, open daily to the public and for educational presentations. Opening times are 10am-5pm daily, (closed 24-26th December). There is a charge for admission. For further information see the Royal Observatory Greenwich

Les Granges – Astronomy B + B in the South of France. With an extensive arrangement of telescopes, training and advice available and facilities catering for astronomy or just a nice holiday.

AstroFarm France – Fly from Stansted / Gatwick to Limoges and stay at the Astrofarm in Confolens near Limoges.

Image collections and Astrophotography

The Hubble Telescope pictures can be found at The Hubble Site which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), on behalf of NASA, under contract with the Goddard Space Flight Center.

Astronomy Picture Of the Day – Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

The Digitized Sky Survey, (DSS), comprises a set of all-sky photographic surveys in E, V, J, R, and N bands conducted with the Palomar and UK Schmidt telescopes.

The Deep Near Infrared Survey of the Southern Sky, (DENIS), is a deep astronomical survey of the Southern Sky in two near-infrared bands (J at 1.25 µ and K at 2.16 µ) and one optical band (I at 0.8 µ) simultaneously, conducted by a European consortium.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey, (SDSS) at Apache Point Observatory will map in detail one-quarter of the entire sky, determining the positions and absolute brightnesses of more than 100 million celestial objects. It will also measure the distances to more than a million galaxies and quasars.

Atmospheric Optics – Light playing on water drops, dust or ice crystals in the atmosphere produces a host of visual spectacles – rainbows, halos, glories, coronas and many more. Some can be seen almost every day or so, some are once in a lifetime sights. Find out where to see them and how they form. Then seek and enjoy them outdoors.

Solar System

The IMO, International Meteor Organisation is worth a visit too.

Both the BAA and SPA have specialised observing sections for solar system objects. The SPA has one section for planets but the BAA has seperate sections for each main planet.



Solar Solar
Observing sections Planets
Lunar Lunar
Comets Comets
Meteor Meteor
Deep Sky Deep sky
Aurora Aurora
Minor planets and Asteroids Occultations
Variable Star Variable Star

For information about the Solar system as a whole, have a look at Solar System Live.

The Nine Planets is a multimedia tour and overview of the solar system by Bill Arnett.

Among the Solar Observatories with a web presence are The National Solar Observatory which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) at Sacramento Peak, New Mexico and Kitt Peak, Arizona. The Solar Group of the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii at CEK Mees Solar Observatory, located on Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii. An archive of solar data can be found at The ARTHEMIS Solar Data Archive.

Comets Orbit ephemeris can be found at JPL. Press the [Select Target Body] button and enter the Comet (or Asteroid) name under the Small Body section. There is a good source of resources for Asteroid observation at Lowell.

Artificial Satellites

Artificial Satellite orbit predictions for various satellites (weather, communication, HAM, Iridium and the ISS) can be checked at They also have a FAQ page and can produce sky charts tailored for your location. If you do not know your Lat/Long you can look them up in their data base. Once these have been entered, book mark the index page and it will retain them for you.

The Remote Imaging Group‘s web site caters for everyone interested in remote imaging from satellites. They have a membership of nearly 2,500 spread around the world.

Weather Services

Space Weather gives information about the sun-earth environment which includes sun activity, meteor showers, near-earth asteroids.

Metoffice – The Uks National weather service.

A five day forecast for your area can be obtained from the BBC weather site by entering your postcode in the search box.

A five and 3 day forecast, infrared satellite of europe and weather charts are obtained from the ITV weather site.

Metcheck has the latest 1-14 day and night forecast. Also cloudcast that predicts the amount of low, medium and high cloud cover for a 24 hr period.


Guide by Project Pluto is for the serious astronomer.

Stellarium – Free Planetarium Software.

Home Planet is Freeware, see under his Astronomy section.

Aladin. This is a Java based interactive software sky atlas allowing the user to visualize digitized images of any part of the sky, to superimpose entries from astronomical catalogs or personal, user data files, and to interactively access related data and information from the Simbad database and Vizier service for all known objects in the field.


Campaign for Dark Skies, (CfDS – A Joint Commission of the BAA and the IDA) is a society with the aim of reversing the trend of wasting energy by lighting up the sky to the annoyance of those of us trying to do astronomy. As they say, “The light from the rest of the Universe takes hundreds, thousands or millions of years to reach our eyes. What a pity to lose it on the last moment of its journey!”.

UKSEDS – Students for the exploration and development of space. Is an international organisation dedicated to raising awareness of space education and space related issues in society. is a scientific experiment that harnesses spare CPU cycles on hundreds of thousands of Internet-connected computers (PCs and servers) in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data (collected in piggy back style while the Aricebo telescope is making normal observations). There’s a small possibility that you could be the one to detect the faint murmur of a civilization beyond Earth.

Sky Maps has a free detailed map of the sky for Northern or Southern Hemisphere with a list of objects observable with naked eye, binoculars and telescopes.

Sleeping under stars and planets is an excellent blog post on naplab for junior astronomers, full of links to great resources.

Last, but by no means least, there is even a page dedicated to Solar Sails. It is amazing what you can find on the web.