The following configuration form is broken down into an observing section and a miscellaneous section. The observing section lets you specify your location. The miscellaneous section is for such features as night vision mode.

To configure/customize this web site, fill out the following form and press [Submit]. The [Submit] button will create a new web address that includes your changes. You'll then need to save this new web address in your browser's "favorite places/address" folder.

To see how it works, here is a list of web site hyperlinks customized to specific locations.

Note: Information about form parameters is provided below.

--- Observing Section ---
Latitude (DD.DDDD) (+N/-S)
Longitude (DD.DDDD) (+E/-W)
Time Zone Offset (HH) east   west of Greenwich
Daylight Savings Time (HH) subtract   add to time zone
Altitude (meters)
City Name
Zip Code (99999)
Location Description
Clear Sky Clock Web Page
--- Miscellaneous Section ---
Cascading Style Sheet main (default)
print (printer friendly)
night (night vision mode)
night0 (original starry background)
night1 (cute starry background)
night2 (blinking starry background)
night3 (blinking starry background #2)
Home Page Size detect size (default)

Hint: Visitors often press [Submit], then log onto our web site the next day and wonder what happened to their changes. Remember [Submit] only creates a new web address. You need to save this new address, so you can use it to log onto our web site.

Observing Section


Features on this web site, such as sun/moon rise/set times and the Night Sky hyperlinks, require the user's latitude and longitude. The Latitude and Longitude fields are in decimal degrees. If blank, the latitude field will default to +43.263611and the longitude field will default to -86.023611 (Muskegon, Michigan U.S.A.).

The following are a few web sites to help determine your latitude/longitude coordinates:

This web page uses decimal degrees. Want to use hours/minutes/seconds? No problem! Just click here to change this configuration form to handle hours/minutes/seconds.

Note: This configuration form shows your current latitude/longitude. You can also see your location by hovering the mouse cursor over the date/time text box.

Time Zone

Many features on this web site need a time zone. The time zone is the number of hours west/east of Greenwich Mean Time. The default is 5 hours west, the current time zone for Muskegon, MI. U.S.A.

A time such as "15:30pm",indicate an incorrect time zone for the current latitude/longitude coordinates. For a simple city listing, click here. You could also try the time zone map.

Note: The default for the time zone used to come from your browser (). To keep calculations correct for Muskegon, MI., however, the time zone now defaults to 5 hours west. Just remember, when you change your latitude and longitude, also change your time zone.

Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time is the number of hours to subtract from your time zone. If left blank, the default is to the time zone. Daylight savings time is normally derived from your browser.

Eastern Standard Time: time zone = 5, daylight savings time = 0
Eastern Daylight Time: time zone = 5, daylight savings time = -1
Central Standard Time: time zone = 6, daylight savings time = 0
Central Daylight Time: time zone = 6, daylight savings time = -1


The satellite hyperlink needs to know your altitude, in meters. If blank, the altitude field will default to 208.

City Name/State/Zip Code/Country

The weather hyperlinks requires either a 5-digit zip code or your city/state/country. If blank, the city field will default to "Muskegon", the state field will default to "MI", the zip code field will default to 49442, and the country field will default to "US" (country only used in

Note: If you do not know your zip code, leave it blank. Instead, just fill in the city name field and either the state or country fields. Oh, you only need to select a state or zip code if the country is "US".


To really customize, you can specify your observatory location description. If blank, the location field defaults to "M.A.S. Facility". And yes, now you can include spaces (example: "Allen Observatory").

Clear Sky Clock

The clear sky clock web page found on provides 48 hour forecast of cloudiness, seeing, and transparency conditions for your location. The default is the web page for Muskegon, Michigan U.S.A., but you can define this web page to any clear sky clock available. To find a clear sky clock near you, visit

Note: If you cannot find such a hyperlink, simply leave this field blank. When the home page is reloaded, the "Clear Sky Clock" hyperlink will disappear.

Note: The entire Clear Sky Clock web address is no longer saved, just the web page. If you have a previous custom link with a Clear Sky Clock parameter, you'll need to rerun this configuration form.

Miscellaneous Section

Cascading Style Sheet

A cascading style sheet determines the look of a web site. For browsers that can handle dynamic style sheets, this web site offers a variety of style sheets. Remember night vision mode? That's a style sheet. Recently we had the W. Tirion Sky Atlas deluxe edition look. That's the printer friendly style sheet.

Each sheet offers a different background image. Most sheets have white foreground and black background text.  The night vision sheet uses dark red foreground and black background text. The printer friendly sheet uses black foreground and white background text. Oh, and the printer friendly sheet is always used in printing, regardless of the current sheet.

Home Page Size

Our web site's home page will detect the browser window size and adjust the display. For an ipad or iphone, the home page will display just the sun/moon and current time (minimum). For a regular browser, it will display the latest club images as well as a brief introduction (maximum). This behavior can be overwritten with this option.

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Copyright 2005 Muskegon Astronomical Society, Inc.

This web page was last updated 01/02/21