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Getting Started
Technical Data
Messier Objects
Tips and Advice
Site Information

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Too Cloudy?  Too Windy?  For observations??  Check out these topics...

When you're starting out with your new german equatorially-mounted telescope, getting the telescope aligned, it may be challenging to get a picture in your mind of how the alignment works.  I've recently expanded the Polar Alignment section with Q&A that I've had over the last six months.


Listen to astronomy!  The wonderful "Astronomy Cast" Podcast - Frazier Cain and Dr. Pamela Gay. Click below or search iTunes.  http://www.astronomycast.com/mp3.xml


Why are there Time Zones around the World?  Information on astronomical terms, sun calculators, solar energy information, moon phases, etc.

The Starhopper's Guide to the Herschel 400

An excellent tool for the deep sky enthusiast and a must-have for those attempting the Astronomical League's Herschel 400 Observe Program.  Click Here for Ordering info.  James was at RTMC as a vendor.  Great to meet you face-to-face James!

The "Intro to Amateur Astronomy Classes" now contain 6 videos on amateur astronomy subjects from Planispheres to Which Telescope to Buy.  Enjoy!  Check them out here.

These are links where I have found amateur astronomy related items. I'm not recommending site one over another.


Teleport telescopes




Orion Telescopes & Binoculars


Sky and Telescope


The Astronomy Store


The American Association of Amateur Astronomers


For more links, visit Here.

Binocular Parallelogram Mount

Rick Miseroy's famous binomount has added new features.  Check them out here.


Setting Circles Explained


Do you have binoculars? Here's a website dedicated to observing the night sky with regular binoculars.  You'll be surprised how much you can see!  Give it a try!  There are also three dedicated binocular observing clubs offered by the Astronomical League:


Binocular Messier Club


Deep Sky Binocular Club


Southern Skies Binocular Club


Open Invitation to astro-tom.com users

If you find yourself in the vicinity of Los Angeles or the Mojave "High Desert" around Lancaster, CA, please consider dropping by and observing the stars with the Antelope Valley Astronomy Club.  If you're traveling light, we'll have equipment you can use for free at our star parties (if you'll call ahead of time, we can even reserve a 6", 8" or 10" Dobsonian telescope, 10" Schmitt-Cassegrain telescope, and more for you, with eyepieces!)  Our dark sky parties are a blast and are social as well as astronomical experiences.  You'll never feel like an "outsider" at one of our star parties!  It's a great group of people who would like to meet you and exchange ideas, observing techniques, or just help you pick out the Andromeda Galaxy for the first time. Visit the Antelope Valley Astronomy Club's website for the current calendar and telephone contact info, or you may e-mail me with your questions!  Be sure to tell them "astro-tom" invited you!


What's New...


Hiking Mount Pinos page added.  Before an evening with wonders of the night sky, how about a day filled with the beauty of the forest?



If you're already involved in amateur astronomy community outreach at schools, showing children the sky with your telescope, are you interested in a simple way to "give back" to the to the less fortunate throughout the world?  


Click on this link:



I think that you'll be impressed with the vision of this non-profit foundation.



Q&A Page:  Ask  Astro-Tom

Please E-mail me with your questions.



Would you consider yourself an "advanced beginner"?  If so, there are many other astro-tom.com users who share your level of interest in the night sky and wonder how to use their own eyes to see what they've seen in pictures.   Here are several helpful tips to vastly improve your evening under the stars.



What Can I See Through A Telescope?  A great article by Donald Waid on his website.

Astrophotos by fellow AVAC member Tom Varden  See Tom Varden's Latest Astrophoto's!

Summer Deep Sky Observing

Ask an Astronomer There are answers to many, many amateur astronomy questions here.  Check it out!


Send your site suggestions to: astro-tom


Thank you to Tommy Hodges, for the Astro-Tom.com site logo!




This website has information on hundreds of subjects.  It is roughly divided into major categories:
Getting Started What you should know - This is a great way to spend a cloudy evening.  If it's clear outside, turn off your computer, go outside, and just look up to get started!
Telescopes All about them, from how to buy your first one to how to use one effectively.
Advanced Amateur Astronomy Formulas, specifications, filters, coordinate systems, manufacturer listings, star lists, orbital calculation, deep sky observing, imaging, etc.  A repository of advanced amateur information.
Technical Data Free software downloads, observing lists, etc. - Also several biographies of famous astronomers.
Astro Links Amateur astronomy web links. These are updated regularly.
Antelope Valley Astronomy Club (AVAC) nfo on the club and a resource of all information handout sheets, club calendar,  presentations and the online, "Introduction to the Night Sky" amateur astronomy course.
Site Information The Site Map, Change Log of site changes, About Astro-tom.com, awards the site has won.


Notice:  This information has been assembled from new material,  non-copyrighted material and non-copyrighted public websites.  It is freely presented to increase your enjoyment of amateur astronomy.  Effort has been put into verifying the accuracy of the information contained within these pages.  Please notify me if you find anything incorrect.  I hope that you'll find this site a useful reference. Clear Skies! - astro-tom.com

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