John Wonderlin of Spike-a, an astronomy products company which sells Bahtinov masks, flat field panels and more, has released the lasted version of his free AstroGadgets software which was first released in 2011.
AstroGadgets is a free Windows desktop program for amateur astronomers that gathers information from various astronomy websites, provides a concise display of essential information and provides pop-up, audible, email or SMS (text message) alerts for events such as International Space Station passes and Planetary KP Index levels (conditions favoring aurora).
The latest version has some significant improvements which include adding NOAA current weather conditions and 48 hour forecast toolbars. Also added were refresh and visit AstroGadgets’ web page options in the pop-up menu and improved logging and bug fixes.
The AstroGadgets’ tool resides on your Windows desktop (there isn’t a Mac version) and provides quick access to the following information.
– Current SOHO white light image of the sun with other bandwidths accessible via keyboard arrow keys
– Current lunar phase
– Astronomical twilight end/begin (when it is completely dark for astronomy purposes)
– Current local weather conditions
– Bright planet visibility
– Clear Sky Chart
– Clear Outside Forecast
– NOAA 48 hour weather forecast
– International Space Station passes
– Planetary KP Index
– Meteor Shower daily ZHR
You can learn more at Spika-a’s website.
And if you are into astroimaging, there is a new version of APT, which stands for “AstroPhotography Tool” and it is like Swiss army knife for your astro imaging sessions. No matter what you are imaging with – Canon EOS, Nikon, CCD or CMOS astro camera – APT has the right tool for planning, collimating, aligning, focusing, framing, controlling/tethering, imaging, synchronizing, scheduling, meridian flipping, analyzing and monitoring.