Amateur Astronomy Under The Big Sky
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  • Resources

    Here we present a collection of tools and resources that we have found useful. Please let us know if you have something to add or if you find anything not working as expected.


    • Stellarium – A wonderful multi-platform, open-source planetarium package.
    • Cartes du Ciel/Sky Charts – An open-source planetarium/charting package.
    • Celestia – The multi-platform space simulator that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions.
    • Virtual Moon Atlas – A Lunar charting package that interoperates with Carte du Ciel.
    • The Full Moon – Another Atlas that lets you get close up and personal with the Moon.
    • Did you know that your Google Earth program has a tab for a sky view, and the Moon and Mars?  Click on the planet on the top tab, a drop down box will give you your options.

    On-line Applications

    Clear Sky Clock

    Special thanks to Attilla Danko of for our clear sky clock.

    The SMAS clear sky clock. SMAS Clear Sky Clock

    Other Clear Sky Clocks in Montana.

    Current Lunar Phase

     Citizen Science

     SOLAR Links:

    Solar Missions: list of past, current and future missions to study the sun

    Solar Missions: List of all NASA solar missions

    Space Weather : Basic information on space weather, auroras and more

    Space Weather Live: More in depth data pertaining to the sun

    Solar Ham : Information from above sites and more

    Ovation Aurora predictions

    The Sun Today: Lots of info and education regarding the sun and missions

    Solar Monitor: Current and past data and pictures of the sun

    Sunspots: Current data on sunspots

    Helioviewer:  Current solar data/images.  Change the parameters (space scopes and wavelength) to make movies and look back at past events

    SOHO website: Info and data from the SOHO mission

    SDO website: info and data from the Solar Dynamic Observatory

    STEREO website: info and data from the STEREO Mission

    IRIS mission: Ties to MSU

    MMS Mission: Ties to MSU

    FIREBIRD Mission: Ties to MSU

    MT Aurora Detection Network : From Dr. Joe Shaw at MSU

    Aurorasaurus: – info on auroras and educational information on what causes the aurora

    ACE website: info and data from the Advanced Composition Explorer

    Heliophysics: resources on missions and education

    Heliophysics educational resources


    Eclipse information:

    NASA Eclipse 2017

    Interactive map

    GLOBE Observer App

    GLOBE Cloud training

    Globe at Night – 2017 Eclipse info and pdf






    SMAS members list of favorites objects to find in the night sky: 

    Planets – depending on the season and which are up.


    M57 – Ring Nebula


    Double cluster

    M51 – Whirlpool Galaxy

    M27 – dumbell