atssThe Astrotron is the result of an initial small bit of inspiration, followed by lots of feature additions, and then finally conversion into something that I can share with other dark-sky enthusiasts.

Basically, the Astrotron tells you what you need to know about the sky for shooting deep space objects (photos, I mean) or making telescopic observations – how dark is it, really, and is the weather co-operating – as well as providing considerable insight into the northern auroral conditions. You can take a look at the prototype here.

The project is as portable as I have been able to make it so far (if you have suggestions to improve this, by all means, send them to me – see the readme file.) However, you’ll still need some skills to get a local version running. You need to be able to create cron table entries; you’ll need either an OS X system or a Linux system hosting a webserver, and last (but certainly not least) you’ll need to be able to follow the instructions in the install file.

Please read the readme and install files before you download the project. Make sure you really want to do this and can dedicate some time to it; I can’t walk you through it — you’re going to need some skills and some competence. I will answer emails about it, but again… tips are one thing, I can’t “be there” to help you, I’ve huge demands on my time as it is. Thanks for looking!