Welcome to DeepSkies!

Welcome to my website! My name is Rick Towns and I am an amateur astronomer who lives in Canada. This website will become a collection of information and articles that reflect my interests: astronomy, biology, physics, computer programming, Buddhism as well as other topics.

My latest project is to build an electronic star atlas. I have a beta of one up on my Star Atlas page, but I am interested in building something more robust and full-featured. Also, the beta is built using VB4 as the language, and I would prefer to make my atlas in C, C# or C++. Stay tuned!

You can check out my telescopes page to see my long, winding history with optical magnification devices. My current rig is a 8 inch Schmidt Cassegrain that is mounted on an EQ-5 mount. It is just the right balance between aperture and portability - I take it everywhere with me and it provides me with lovely views of the heavens. When the weather is bad, I switch gears and use my microscope to take a peek at tiny organisms like tardigrades, rotifers and spirogyra!

Do you like books? Here are some of my favourites:

Book: Backyard Astronomer's Guide
Backyard Astronomer's Guide by Terrance Dickinson
Book: Burnham's Celestial Handbook (3 volumes)
Burham's Celestial Handbook (3 vols)
Book: C Programming Language (2nd Edition)
C Programming
Book: Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation
Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation

Book: MiG Pilot by John Barron
MiG Pilot by John Barron
Book: Cosmos by Carl Sagan
Cosmos by Carl Sagan
Book: Cambridge Star Atlas by Wil Tirion
Cambridge Star Atlas by Wil Tirion
Book: Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen
Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen