Attilla Danko's
Boring Home Page

Just the Links

Clear Sky Charts
Seeing Observations Database
Ottawa Astronomy Weather
How to buy a telescope
The Four Observers
Observing-Expletive Scale
(Not for minors)

Off Site:
Ottawa Astronomy Friends

I'm a retired software weenie, that's the technical term, and an amateur astronomer.

I never had a use for a personal website until I heard about the computer language Python. I figured any language named after Monty Python's Flying Circus had to be cool. But to learn Python, I needed a problem to write code for. I found it tedious to add 5 in my head to convert UTC to EST in using the astronomy forecast maps at CMC, so I started writing code.

Next thing I know, I'm writing optical character recognition code, reverse-engineering map transforms, writing javascripts and web databases, writing failover and load-sharing code for windows and generating Clear Sky Charts. Because of the very cool numerical model Allan Rahill (of CMC) wrote, the Clear Sky Charts turn out to be just about the most accurate forecasting device for astronomers. Then word got around.

I'm generating clear sky charts for >3000+ observatories and observing sites in North America and having an absolute blast. I wish knew how to turn clear sky charts into a livelihood so I could do it full time.

There are a few other things on this website that largely came about from the charts:

  • I wrote the Ottawa Astronomy Weather page to explain to my fellow observers in Ottawa why the local forecasts were so bad and where to get real astronomer's forecasts.

  • I wrote the Seeing Observations Database so Allan Rahill could get real data on astronomical seeing in order to tune his numerical seeing model.

  • I answer a lot of email. In a pitiful attempt to stem the flood, here are some of the questions i've answered:

And then there is just plain sillyness:

  • Many fine nights observing with buddies, who were also Monty Python fans, cause me to write (in a moment of weakness), a translation of the classic monty python sketch, The Four Observers, into the language of amateur astronomers.

  • Many fine nights observing with buddies who like to express themselves led me to realize that one could rate astronomical views by listening to people swear at the eyepiece. In another moment of weakness (is there a pattern here?), I wrote the Expletive Scale (Not suitable for kids) of astronomical observations.

I've come to appreciate the social aspects of the astronomy hobby. So I deliberately created a few places where astronomers could yak:

Click here to tell me exactly how boring you found this.