Tombstone Sky
Dark-Site Observatory

Tombstone Observatory Astronomy About This Site


So - What Next?

If you think stargazing is something you'd like to continue doing, there are two things, neither very expensive, that will be a great help to you.

The Stars: A New Way to See Them

First, get a copy of the book "The Stars: A New Way To See Them" by H.A. Rey. This book has been around for more than 50 years and has outlived its author. Yet, it keeps going into reprints because it is, bar none, the best introductory stargazing book ever written. Although categorized as a children's book (and it's excellent in that regard), it contains information, figures and examples suitable for all kids, no matter how old they are. The last I checked, Amazon had this fantastic book, new, at less than 10 bucks. This book, unfortunately, has gone out of print, but even a used copy will do fine. And if you can't find that one, "Find the Constellations", also by H.A. Rey is also a good choice.


This is a FREE software program that will show you the layout of the night sky in a real-time basis at your current location, or at any location and date/time you pick. It's an excellent program, and the first choice of most backyard astronomers who want to go the software route. There's a PDF User's Guide, and you need to read it. This program is more powerful than what appears at initial-start. Find it It's a 42MB download, but well worth the bandwidth.

Starry Night

Better - but at a cost - is Starry Night software. The Starry Night Enthusiast costs about $70, and Starry Night Pro about $150. But you can get an awful lot of use out of this thing, and if you have a portable PC, you can even take it out with you. All of the sky-shots in the "picks" section of this website were from Starry Night Pro.

Even if you get the software, you absolutely must get H.A. Rey's book. Stargazing has been around a lot longer than PC's, and this book has been the mainstay of beginning stargazers for as long as it's been available, and that's not likely to change anytime soon.