Do you live in a main city where you are inundated with light pollution? Are you constantly wanting to drive for over an hour to view the awesome sky above? Does your telescope take forever to assemble?
This was the predicament we faced. We are based in Sydney and used to constantly drive to the blue mountains to go telescoping (we had kids hence the "used to" bit). We often used Skippysky and 7timer to figure out if we should go telescoping or not. As awesome as the data is, we found it was sometimes hard to read and not very mobile friendly. Being geeks we decided to use the 7timer api (thank you for the api!) and present the data in a way that was easier to understand. Having said that, we take no responsibility if the data is incorrect. Astro Surf is a free service
We have a telescope icon for each time section, if it is red, based on the data we are receiving we think you shouldn't bother going telescoping. If it is amber, we aren't sure. You might be able to so best to check a few other sites, or if you are at the site, perhaps just look up. Green generally means it is safe to go telescoping. We look at the cloud cover, precipitation, wind to work it out.
We also display astronomical seeing and transparency. This is more useful for those who do astrophotography. I'd like to give more information about it but every time I went to research it, I didn't understand much. Basically the better the seeing, the more crisp everything may look. Astro geeks, if you have a better way of explaining this please contact me.
We still have more features we want to add. Some of them are
Provide lat long information in the URL so that you can share the data for that location
We have an issue with the timezones. Basically if you are in Australia and you click in Armenia, you apparently never have daytime. We know why this is happening and have a solution that we are currently working on. Basically choose a location in your current timezone if you want accurate information for now.
We will be implementing lunar phases. The API's are too expensive so Anthony will be coding this from scratch on the server side. We will always turn ideal green telescopes to amber for full moon.
Wikipedia has a list of known observatories. Claudia is compiling a list with latitude and longitude, address and url for all these locations. This will take time (so boring). We will return observatories closest to your latitude and longitude. We will also make this API publicly available for non commercial use.
We will add links to the sky above your lat long and also what is ahead in terms of satellites etc. We were kinda hoping some of this data was available via json but it isn't :( will be either linking it in or iframing it. Totez lame.
Again we take no responsibility for incorrect data.