A suburban observatory in Worcestershire, UK based on a metal garden shed

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Lists of hyperlinks to observatory sites.

   Bill Arnett's Amateur astronomical observatories list

   Stewart Walters - more amateur observatories



Other roll-off roof observatories based on commercial metal garden sheds

   Claines Top Observatory
   Putlands Observatory
   The Linnhe Observatory
   Birch Tree Observatory

   Doug Crenshaw's Observatory
   STI Observatory
   Star Trails Observatory
   Starlight Cascade Observatory  

   Hunters Hill Observatory
   The Tin Shed Observatory

   Bizibilder's Observatory



Pier construction

   Pier Design Fundamentals

   A Backyard Pier

   Kalfaoglu Pier



Internet forums relating to amateur observatories


   Yahoo - Roll-off roof observatories forum

   Yahoo - Homemade astronomical observatories forum

   Cloudy Nights Observatories forum

   Stargazers' Lounge DIY Observatories forum



Free and low cost software I use in my observatory


NiteView - Turns your computer screen red, with suppress taskbar and desktop options. (Freeware)


Astroplanner - Very comprehensive program for observation planning and logging.  Includes features such as when an object will be visible, what it should look like in a range of eyepieces, an observation logging system, and GOTO telescope control. Registration is cheap and brings with it an enormous range of extra catalogues and great technical support. (Shareware)

Sky Charts - Cartes Du Ciel - Impressively powerful planetarium software with telescope control and editable custom horizon.   You can download numerous catalogues and extras from the Web. (Freeware)

Stellarium  - Visually stunning planetarium software with gorgeous horizon graphics.  No extensive deep sky catalogues yet and no print of save functions.  I'd keep and eye on this one because, if they add the catalogues and look and feel customisation of Sky Charts, this will be awesome. (Freeware)


Virtual Moon Atlas - Very good moon mapping program giving a wealth of information about interesting features to be seen on any day and detailed photographs of each feature. (Freeware)

Mars Previewer 2.01 - Shows what Mars will look like through a telescope to help identify major features.   Note:-Take care when downloading from other sources as some known to be infected with a virus. (Freeware)

NightCal - Provides a handy printable night-by-night monthly calendar with Sun rise and set, twilight, Moon rise and set, and lunar phase, age and point of libration.  Also gives a résumé of planetary conjunctions and the visibility of the inferior planets.  Co-authored by yours truly. (Freeware)

The Planets - A great little program that predicts and animates transits, shadow transits, eclipses, and occultations of Jupiter's Galilean moons. Also shows the position of Saturn's moons. Can be run from the web or downloaded. (Freeware)

Planet Visibility - Shows how high above the horizon any planet will be at any time and date. Also gives a good display of how large the planet will appear.  (Freeware)

Scope Control - Small telescope control program for Meade LX200 telescopes that includes neat spiral search facility . (Freeware)

WebCamScheinern - Great webcam/DSI-based software for easy accurate polar drift alignment.  (Commercial software with time-limited demo)

Digital Imaging

CCDCalc - Neat little program which shows the user the field of view of different web cam CCD chip and telescope combinations,  Very handy. (Freeware)

PHD Guiding - Nice little piece of autoguiding software for web cams and CCD cameras. (Freeware)

QC Focus - Neat program to help with focussing web cams and CCD cameras. Front page and software are in French.  However, if you read the English Documentation, it shows you how to get the program to display in English. (Freeware)

K3CCDTools - Simply the best webcam image capture software out there. Reduced feature freeware version or full-featured paid for version.  (Freeware or commercial software with time-limited demo)


WcCtrl - Simply add-on for all versions of K3CCDTools that provides more precise control of webcam exposure settings. (Freeware)


Astrosnap - Very good webcam image capture software includes very useful options such as focus assistance, autofocus and automated mosaic capture along with real time image stacking and integration.  Reduced feature freeware version or full-featured paid for version.  (Freeware or commercial software with time-limited demo)

Virtual Dub - AVI video file editing software.  Useful when web cam imaging. (Freeware)

PCFE  - Neat piece of software for pre-sorting and cropping planetary image captures prior to stacking in Registax. (Freeware)

Deep Sky Stacker - Pretty easy to use software for aligning and stacking DSLR inages.  Handles darks, flats and bias frames realtively easily.  (Freeware)

Iris - Superb multi-featured astro-image processing software.  Near vertical learning curve due to multitude of features and inconsistent and quirky  interface. (Freeware)

Registax - The bees knees for stacking and image processing of web cam images.  Very powerful, but a pretty steep learning curve. (Freeware)

Avistack - New AVI stacking program designed especially for lunar images.  Very powerful and possibly better than Registax for lunar images. (Freeware)

Focusmagic - Very powerful deconvolution and sharpening tool that works very well on lunar and planetary images (Freeware).  Works best as an add-in to Photoshop. (Commercial Software)


Please let me know if any of these links stops working.  You can contact me at:


Last updated - 31st October 2009

Copyright© 2006-2009 Michael Morris