Astronomy via the Internet
There are probably many occasions when a little time on your hands does not necessarily translate into an astronomical viewing opportunity. Maybe the weather is not cooperating; perhaps it is daytime. More likely there is insufficient time to set up your equipment; just finding the energy to go through all that is entailed may seem like too much effort for just a few moments of looking skyward, no matter how great your enthusiasm. And sadly, not too many of us have the luxury of a permanently mounted telescope in some kind of observatory, ready to go at a moment's notice. However, such occasions offer something else instead: let us call it Internet Astronomy. With the current proliferation of Web sites on all aspects of astronomy, there is no shortage of exploration to do. With just a little dabbling, you will be able to discover a whole universe of information, presented as only this new worldwide resource can, as long as you avoid the obviously less than credible sources. It will only add value to your time at the telescope.
Gleaned from professional as well as many amateur observers, these sites feature the results of vast amounts of specific information and research concerning virtually everything in space you might want to see. They include catalogs of all types of objects, almost limitless perspectives gained from multiple sources, imagery from all levels of expertise, along with sites featuring all kinds of assistance for selecting and using equipment. All of this is presented in ways that few people would be able to track down in a library of astronomy books.