Useful Websites

There are many different websites you can use to plan your night photos. I describe some that I frequently use below.

Weather Forecasts
Forecast Advisor
Forecast Advisor can tell you how various weather forecasting sites have been over the past month and the past year for any location in the U.S.
Weather Underground
This weather site has a lot of useful information for night photographers. It has cloud cover maps and predictions and also includes an astronomy section.
AccuWeather is another good weather forecasting site.
National Weather Service
This is the U.S. government's forecasting site and the data it generates is used by many ofhter weather sites. The future cloud cover map is useful for night photography.
Clear Dark Sky
This site is used to predict astronomical observing conditions. The cloud cover predictions can be especially useful for night photographers.

Astronomy Calendars
Astronomy Calendar
This site lists the major astronomical events of the year, including dates of meteor showers and eclipses.
Meteor Shower Calendar
A list of upcoming meteor showers.
Solar and Lunar Eclipses
A list of upcoming eclipses.
Moon & Planet Conjunctions
List of dates when planets and/or the moon will appear very close to each other in the sky.
Heavens Above tells you when certain satellites will be overhead and when you can expect to see iridium flares from their attenas.

Northern Lights Forecast
Geophyscial Institute Forecast
This site has an easily understandable northern lights forecasts. It rates the intensity of the lights on a scale of 1 to 9 and shows where you can likely see them.
NOAA's Space Weather Forecast
This site has more detailed forecasts on the northern lights, but it can also be more difficult to interpet.

Camera Equipment Tests & Reviews
DxOMark Equipment Reviews
DxOMark provides very thorough testing and reviews of cameras and lenses.
DPReview Image Comparison
This site lets you compare test images taken with many different cameras.

Miscellaneous Sites
Light Pollution Map
This atlas has a colored-coded map of light pollution. Ideally, you'll want to shoot from a location that isn't colored, or at least try to get to a green or purple shaded area.
Depth of Field Calculator
This calculator can tell you what parts of your shot will be in focus with different camera settings (though you'll probably want one of the iPhone or Android apps to do these calculations in the field.
Volcano Discovery
This website has detailed information on current volcano activity throughout the world.
Tides Online
This site may be useful if you'll be photographing on the beach and need to know the tides.
How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse
I've provided an instructional article on photographing a solar eclipse.

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