Astronomy forums can be helpful as finding information online can be a challenge, particularly if you are looking for something specific like astronomy. Sure, there is a ton of easy to access information, but it never seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. After looking around for a couple of years and participating on many astronomy forums I decided I would share a little of my impressions with some of what I see as the better online forums dedicated to astronomy. Here you can not only read tons of static information, but also ask specific questions and get direct answers from people who have “been there and done that”.
Stargazers Lounge is my favorite general astronomy forums with tons of friendly and knowledgeable people ready to help. As one of the largest astronomy forums online (over two million posts and 1,500 unique visitors a day) you are sure to find tons of valuable information and some wonderful astrophotography as well. They round out the information in the forums with tons of user blogs and a wonderful calendar showing celestial events as well as meetings and events local to England and surrounding areas. If I could only pick one place to hang out, shoot the breeze and learn something at the same time this would be my choice.
Cloudy Nights has quite a lot of great information and some excellent reviews but also has a reputation for being a little more abrasive than other astronomy forums. Although no one has ever been rude to me in any way, I have seen a few rather heated conversations. That aside, no forum I have found has anywhere near the quantity and quality of product reviews these astronomy forums have. There are also some very knowledgeable people here so there is always great information to be had. In addition to the forums they have the excellent Cloudy Nights classifieds section with tons of items and a nice articles section with what looks like over a hundred how-to articles. If I wanted one place to learn as much as possible, and didn’t mind watching my Ps and Qs, this would be the astronomy forums for me.
Astromart is well known in astronomy circles as the place to find used astronomy equipment online. What they don’t tell you is that they have a pretty nice little set of astronomy forums there as well although it is primarily aimed at equipment information and discussion. If you have any questions such as what part fits this, or what adapters you need to mount this on that, then I would recommend trying here.
Ice In Space is a fairly good sized forum primarily aimed at Australia but still contains some excellent information for anyone. Add to that a friendly mix of people and some high quality astrophotography and it is a very nice destination. For me, this forum presents a nice change of pace since it is in the Southern Hemisphere so I get to see astrophotography that I will probably never get to shoot myself.
The Astronomy Shed is another one of those places that is well known for something other than its astronomy forums, in this case it is some excellent video tutorials. If you like video tutorials, particularly ones dealing with do-it-yourself projects, this is a great place to spend some quality time.
Hope to see you on the astronomy forums!
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