These are links to groups, forums, programs and retailers that I belong to or like to use.


Stellarium A basic planetarium program. Beautiful rendering and simple keyboard commands make this a must have for beginners and enthusiasts.

Winstars An intermediate astronomy program with  planetarium and 3D solar system modes. The basic version of this is free.  High res textures and extended star catalogs can be purchased with an upgrade.

Celestia "Space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions." No kidding, this is a real time simulation of  practically everything. The entire messier catalog of objects can be seen from a distance so far as to be a small insignificant clump of stuff. You will need a pretty good computer for this one. There is a website called "Celestia Motherload" with an extensive library of add ons for this program and is linked from their home page as well, of course.

Google Earth

Light pollution overlay for Google Earth 

Weather overlays for Google Earth