University Lowbrow Astronomers

E-Astronomy or Arm-Chair Astronomy for the 21st Century.

by Mark S Deprest
Printed in Reflections: June, 2009.

Hello all, over the years I have written numerous articles asking you all to get outside and do real “at the Eyepiece” astronomy.My opinion on this subject has not changed, I still want to see more of you “getting out” and “looking up!”

Speaking of that, here is a little side story; A few month’s ago Doug Scobel and his wife Deb and my wife Terri and I were out at a social function that had nothing to do with astronomy. As we got out of the car to go into the function we were attending, I did, like I always do... look up to see how clear the sky was. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed Doug doing the same. I didn’t think any more of it until later on when we left the function and we were walking back to the car, and my wife noticed both Doug and myself doing it again. She noticed us doing it again when we got to the restaurant for coffee and dessert; it was at that point that she mentioned that both Doug and I were hopeless cases. I had to agree with her, I am a hopeless “Visual Astronomer” and so was Doug. I wonder how many other amateur & professional astronomers look up every time they walk outside.

All that aside, this article is about E-Astronomy that is astronomy related stuff you can do at the computer. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m going stop bugging you to get outside, but there are a lot of very interesting astronomy related programs and websites that you can use to keep you involved in astronomy even when your in the house. Now on my computer I have a dozen observational planning & logging programs, countless lists of stuff to observe, and 3 dozen websites that strictly deal with astronomy bookmarked in “My Favorites.” I have a MP3 player that contains a whole section of the New Age genre “Space Music” and 6 different “Podcasts” that I subscribe to, which are astronomy related. I get email alerts from “Space Weather.com” when the likelihood of Auroras is high. The “Clear Sky Clock” sends me email when conditions are good for visual observing. I belong to 3 “Yahoo” groups related to comet observing, imaging and reporting, which I get daily updates from. I also, have two remote telescope observing/imaging systems that I purchase telescope/imaging time from. There I think I scratched the surface a little, I don’t know if my list is typical or not, and that really doesn’t make any difference, my point is that there are a lot of ways to stay active in astronomy even when the weather doesn’t co-operate for outside observing.

The rest of this article will be filled a list and description of some of the E-Astronomy things that are my personal choices and why I like them.

Observational Planning & Logging Programs

Telescope & Astronomy Technical Programs

Lists of Objects to Observe

I think this is enough for the first part of this article and next month I’ll provide a small list of websites I like and why, and a few more eclectic astronomy related things like “Space Music”, Podcasts and Remote Astronomy & Astrophotography.

If you would like more info on any of the things in this article, you can “Google Search” any of the titles listed above. I hope you liked this little glimpse into my “E-Astronomy” world.

Links

Copyright Info

Copyright © 2013, the University Lowbrow Astronomers. (The University Lowbrow Astronomers are an amateur astronomy club based in Ann Arbor, Michigan).
This page originally appeared in Reflections of the University Lowbrow Astronomers (the club newsletter).
This page revised Sunday, March 9, 2014 4:30 PM.
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