Welcome to the ROE Information Office

The Information Office is a service provided by the Royal Observatory Trust that aims to provide the public with answers to astronomy related questions. The office is run, day to day, by ourselves - Olivia Johnson and Ian Sheret. We also double as research astronomers working at the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Astronomy. As research astronomers, we spend a fair amount of time travelling to telescopes and conferences and visiting other scientists. When we're away, David Floyd kindly covers for us. If you contacted us in the past, you might have spoken to Michael Campbell, Neil Philips, Rachel Mason, Andrew Digby, Peter Watts or Kenton D'Mellow.

These web pages are simply a carefully chosen collection of our favorite and most useful astronomy links. Please read our disclaimer. We hope that they will be able to help you find the answers to just about any astronomy related query you may have.

We've organised the website into collections of links on a related theme. The categories are as follows:

* Astronomical Databases
A selection of databases aimed at both the professional and amateur astronomer. Some of these links point to other collections of useful astronomy links.
* Cool Sites
A small number of our personal favorite sites.
* Educational Links
Some fascinating sites aimed at the many "kid's homework" type enquiries we get. Also useful for anyone interested in general aspects of the science of astronomy.
* Observatories and Institutions
A collection of important astronomical and space science institutions. Many of these websites have excellent information services.
* Astronomical Societies and Magazines
Amateur astronomy societies and popular astronomy webzines.
* Sunrise and Sunset Times
By far the most common enquiry we have is for the time of sunrise and sunset on a particular day at a particular location. These links point to the sites that we use to obtain this information. We include a brief explanation of how to obtain sunrise/set information from the selected links. These links will also be useful for moon phases, moonrise/set times etc.
* Solar System
More educational links, this time with a "solar system" flavour. Often we get asked technical questions with regards orbital elements of planetary bodies and so on, we hope that some of the links here will address these issues.
* Telescopes
Many of our enquiries are from members of the public interested in building their own telescopes - or simply curious about the workings of such instruments. These links may be useful for answering technical questions.
* Popular Observing
The night sky can be a fascinating place - if you know where and when to look. These links point to pages containing practical and explanatory information about a selection of interesting phenomena: meteors, aurorae and eclipses.
* Calendars and Time
Definitions and explanations of matters concerning time. Also to be found here is information on the construction of calendars, dates of holidays, feast days etc.
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