Exmoor National Park is home to some of the darkest skies in the country so it's a great place to gaze at the stars. Good spots are Holdstone Hill, County Gate, Brendon Two Gates, Webbers Post, Anstey Gate, Haddon Hill and Wimbleball Lake. On a clear night the night sky of Exmoor is simply stunning when many astronomical sights can be seen through the naked eye and even more can be discovered through a telescope or binoculars.
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is a United States-based non-profit organization incorporated in 1988 by founders David Crawford, a professional astronomer, and Tim Hunter, a physician/amateur astronomer. The mission of the IDA is "to preserve and protect the night time environment and our heritage of dark skies through quality outdoor lighting." Light pollution is the result of outdoor lighting that is not properly shielded, allowing light to be directed into the eyes and the night sky. Light that shines into the eyes is called glare and light shining into the night sky above the horizon causes skyglow. Lighting can also cause light trespass when it is directed into areas that it is not wanted, e.g., a neighbor's yard and windows. IDA was the first organization in the dark-sky movement, and is currently the largest.[wikipedia]
Formed in 1890, the British Astronomical Association has an international reputation for the quality of its observational and scientific work. Membership is open to all persons interested in astronomy.
Formed in 1974, the Federation of Astronomical Societies was conceived as a sort of union of astronomical societies, groups, and individuals, liasing together, where practicable, for their mutual benefit. A list of federation aims was drawn up which included such items as the compilation of lists of people prepared to give talks, the encouragement of the teaching of astronomy in educational establishments, the giving of advice on problems commonly encountered by astronomical societies, and so on.
SAGAS was established in 1973 to provide a forum where Astronomical Societies across the South of England can meet to share ideas as well as discuss issues and concerns of mutual interest. By sharing ideas and experiences societies are able to inform, support and inspire each other, and further the astronomical interests of their own members.
The European Space Agency (ESA) 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 and the world.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the United States government agency responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
This is the home of the ASCOM Initiative, a loosely-knit group of astronomy software developers and astronomy device manufacturers devoted to vendor-independent plug-and-play control. ASCOM is a many-to-many and language-independent architecture, supported by most astronomy devices which connect to Windows computers.
Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.
Professional standard planetarium software with telescope control. A very comprehensive package with various levels of features and expense.
MaxIm DL is the complete integrated solution for all of your astronomical imaging needs. Whether you are collecting and analyzing science data or making beautiful portraits of the night sky, MaxIm DL includes all the tools you need.
PHD2 is telescope guiding software that simplifies the process of tracking a guide star, letting you concentrate on other aspects of deep-sky imaging or spectroscopy.
FocusMax was designed to aid astronomers in the difficult task of focusing CCD-based telescopes. FocusMax is routinely used worldwide with unattended, all-night robotic-telescope operations including, asteroid and supernova searches, astrometry, photometry, astro- imaging, and more. With the availability of motorized focusing hardware, astronomers now have the opportunity to fully automate their focusing operation.
Registax software for alignment/stacking & processing of images.
DeepSkyStacker is a freeware for astrophotographers that simplifies all the pre-processing steps of deep sky pictures. Registering, Stacking, Simple post-stacking processes to quickly view the final result, Saving the resulting image to a TIFF or FITS file (16 or 32 bit)
After a shooting night you give all your pictures (light frames, darks frames, offset/bias frames, flat frames) to DeepSkyStacker and you go to bed. The next morning (or is it afternoon?) you can see the result and start post-processing.
Photoshop is a sophisticated image processing package that is widely used. It is also used for astronomical image processing with great effect, there are plugins specifically for astro imaging.
PixInsight is an advanced image processing software platform. It has been designed specifically for astrophotography and other technical imaging fields. PixInsight is a modular, open-architecture system where the entire processing and file handling capabilities are implemented as external installable modules.
Celestron: manufacture's web site. A very comprensive range of telescopes, mounts and accessories.
Meade Instruments: manufacture's web site. A very comprensive range of telescopes, mounts and accessories.
Sky-Watcher: manufacture's web site. A very comprensive range of telescopes, mounts and accessories.