There are a number of good Web sites for the U2K and NexStar scopes in general and for astrophotography using the Fastar and a CCD camera. Here’s a list to get you started (also click on the buttons above):
Celestron U2K & NexStar Sites - equipment information:
Tom Stamm’s Macintosh/Celestron Ultima 2000 Information Page
Len Benschop's Amateur Astronomy Resource Site
Mike Riffle's Astronomy Site (back on-line!)
Eric Greene's Unofficial C-8 Site (for the Celestron C-8 but the information is useful for the U2K)
Mike Swanson’s NexStar Resource Site, which includes the NexStar Observer List (NSOL) software
Matthias Bopp’s Astronomy Site - Matthias lives in Germany and offers a somewhat different and
refreshing view of equipment options, than is common in North America.
(For equipment vendor links see the SCT Tips page)
The Yahoo SCT-Users Group contains discussions among SCT users (typically more Celestron
than Meade SCTs) and is worth joining. There are NexStar Groups in Yahoo as well.
I have accumulated the U2K-related entries from some Yahoo Groups into a file you can
download - click here to jump to that page on my site.
The Meade Advanced Products Users Group (MAPUG) has information on Meade cassegrain
scopes such as the LX scopes.
John Mahony's LX-10 web site has tips on using and aligning a Meade LX-10.
Janet Miller’s Jan’s LX-90 web site has tips on using, balancing, and maintaining a Meade LX-90.
Links on Observing:
A general site on Astronomy and Meteorology
, which provides a monthly planisphere that includes lists of objects visible with the naked
eye, binoculars, and telescopes.
In the Sky Tonight, at Orion Telescope, summarizing sky events for the current month
Heavens - Above, another monthly planisphere site
Bob Riddle's Qué Tal in the Current Skies
The Abrams Planetarium’s Skywatcher's Diary
Attilla Danko’s Clear Sky Clock site, containing night sky seeing condition forecasts (!) for many
locations, based on models from the Canadian Meteorological Centre - really cool.
The Griffith Observatory Site, especially the Star Awards page which lists some of the best
astronomy sites on the Web (including this one <grin>)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon
Mark Fisher’s The Electronic Sky - a rich compendium of information on astronomical objects; a good reference site.
Anthony Seal's Solar Web page for an overview of the features of the sun visible through telescopes
Satellite Passes Over North American Cities (a complex but interesting site)
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Calendar of Events in the sky
The Saguaro Astronomy Club (in Phoenix) has a number of good observing lists in their Archives section, as well as other good information. Note that you can download a copy of their list of “The Best Deep Sky Objects Not in the NGC” as a zipped Excel spreadsheet file (rather than their text file) on my Visual Observing page here.
Bill Ferris' Cosmic Voyage
The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS)
The Belmont Society - information for beginning amateur astronomers
The Open Directory Project’s Telescope Owner Resources list of links.
Astrophotography with a Celestron 8” SCT (using a U2K or C8 & Fastar):
Richard Beaty's Arizona Sky Site
Christopher Anderson's Darklight Imagery Site (in their two-page ad in Sky & Telescope,
SBIG uses one of Chris Anderson’s photos as an example of the ST-237’s capabilities)
Len Benschop's Amateur Astronomy Resource Site (using a U2K with a Starlight Express MX7C)
Russ Lund's Cool Observatory Site (using a Celestron C-8;
Russ created a do-it-yourself liquid cooling system for his CCD camera!)
Steve Dodder’s Astroman Site (using a Celestron C-8 and 35mm film)
Robert Berta’s photos at the SFAA Site
Tad Denton's Carpe Noctum Site (a great name for a site - the opposite of Carpe Diem)
Karl Kramer's Astrophotography in Alice Springs, Australia (using a Celestron C8 and the
older PixCel/SBIG 255 CCD camera)
Larry McHenry’s Big Woodchuck Weekend Solar Observatory (solar photography using a
U2K and a Lumicon H-Alpha solar filter to reveal prominences and detail on the Sun)
Rob MacKay's DarkHorizons Site (using a Celestron C8 with an ST-237 and film, but with
a more expensive [William Optics] mount than the standard Celestron mount)
Matt BenDaniel’s Starmatt site (most of his excellent photos were taken with refractors but the
photos of NGC 1977, the Crab Nebula, M 15, and M51 were taken with a C8 on a
Losmandy GM-8 mount using an Olympus OM-1 camera and an SBIG ST-4 autoguider)
Forrest Egan’s Digital Astro web site (using a digicam and stacked images).
Paul Cournoyer's Site (using a U2K with Starlight Express MX716 and SBIG ST-237 cameras).
Frank Barrett’s Celestial Wonders site (using a C8 on a Losmandy G11 mount, with film, an SBIG
ST-7E, and a Phillips ToUCam Pro)
Jason Hissong’s Astrophotography, using a U2K and both a Nikon D70 and an SBIG ST-7E.
Bud Guinn’s Astrophotography, using a C8 with and without Fastar, a Televue NP101 refractor, and
Starlight Express cameras.
David Haworth’s Observational Astronomy web site, using a C8 with Fastar and an SBIG ST-237
Astrophotography with a larger Celestron (just to see what’s possible with more light-gathering power):
Tony Boucher's Small Scope Images (using 8" and 11" Celestron SCTs with a 35mm camera
camera as well as ccd cameras)
Pedro Re’s CCD Imaging Site (a marine biologist in Portugal using a Celestron 14” scope with an
ST-7 camera - high-end equipment in the hands of someone who knows how to use it.)
Ed Grafton's CCD Astro-imaging Page (using a Celestron 14” scope with an ST-6 camera -
planets are really impressive with a light bucket)
Dale Mais' CCD Spectroscopy Site (using a Celestron 14" SCT with an SBIG ST-8 camera
and an SBIG spectrometer - one of the few amateur astronomers posting spectrometer work.
Check out the CCD images page as well as the spectroscopy results.)
Eddie Trimarchi's Astroshed site (using an 11" Celestron SCT with an SBIG ST10)
Jose Suro’s Amateur Astronomy Pages site (using an 11” NexStar with digital cameras and film)
Stephen Macmillan's Astro Pages, an Australian using an 11” NexStar with Hyperstar and an
Other Astrophotography Sites:
Jason Ware's Astrophotography (he uses a Meade 6” refractor, 16” LX200, and the 12"/16"
Schmidt Camera with 120-format film and is widely regarded as producing some of the best
astrophotographs anywhere using some of the best equipment available for amateurs.)
Kunihiko Okano's Digital Astronomy Gallery (using a 12" Newtonian with SBIG cameras -
Alan Chen’s Heavenly View Site (using a Meade 12" LX200 with a Starlight Express MX7C)
John Boudreau's Space Scenes Astrophotography (using a Meade 12" LX200 and a variety of
CCD Astrophotography Webring (the quality of work among these Sites varies a lot, but it’s
worth perusing these CCD astrophotography sites to see what folks are doing.)
Other Interesting Links:
There are a lot of astronomy Web sites. Here are a few
I find really interesting:
NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day
NASA's International Space Station Site (the ISS is
shown here on the right, in an artist’s rendering of
what it will look like when fully configured)
Hubble Telescope's Greatest Hits and/or
The Best of the Hubble Space Telescope
Ask an Astronomer
Bill Arnett’s compendium of Astronomy Software
Digitized Sky Survey (photos of astral objects from the Palomar and UK Schmidt Telescopes)
Jeff Medkeff’s Optical Definitions & Comments page. His definitions are helpful, although his
comments aren’t always on the mark (e.g. there are no prism diagonals that match the light
transmissivity of the best mirror diagonals, although the best prism diagonals can come close).
Lisa J. Emerson's Astronomy Pronunciations site
Personal Home Pages of Astronomers list
The U.S. Census’ Tiger Map Server (gives you location coordinates for observing sites)
My astronomy club (for Sedona, Arizona) is the Sirius Lookers club.
This Web site is designed and maintained with NetObjects Fusion.
On a completely different subject, Dr. Guang Yue, a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation's Lerner Research Institute found that subjects of an experiment in which they thought about exercising, actually
increased their muscle strength substantially. Read about it in the Seattle Times, News About Health &
Medicine, 12/30/01 (bottom of that page). When this starts a totally new fitness craze, remember that you heard it here first!
And finally, a necessary link for all Web surfers is: LastPage