WebStars: Astrophysics in Cyberspace
This list of astronomical resource sites is intended as a resource for
users who have a general interest in astronomical topics. For a
translation of any acronyms you may have seen in our pages check out our
In the News
Read the latest NASA news!
The Solar System
- The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has information on missions
around the solar system: past, present, future, and proposed.
The SOHO gallery
- SOHO (the Solar and
Heliospheric Observatory) is a joint NASA/ESA mission to study the Sun during
the quiet portion of the solar cycle. SOHO features twelve instruments
measuring the conditions from the core to the surface of the Sun, as well as
its extended atmosphere and direct sampling of the solar wind. The SOHO gallery
features images and information from each of the instruments.
- Galileo is a space probe to Jupiter, whose mission ended in September 2003.
The Cassini Mission
- Cassini is a space probe to Saturn launched in October, 1997. It arrived at Saturn on July 1, 2004
and the primary mission will continue until June 2008.
The Online Resources include information about the Cassini mission, including
images, status reports, and
press releases about Saturn, its moons (including the Huygens probe of Titan), and the amazing rings.
The Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission will help us understand worlds at the edge of our solar
system by making the first reconnaissance of Pluto and Charon a "double planet"
system and the last in our solar system to be visited by spacecraft. The mission will
then visit one or more Kuiper Belt Objects, in the region beyond Neptune.
The Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission will launch in 2006, fly by Pluto and Charon as early as
2015, and pass the Kuiper Belt Objects by 2026. Sending a spacecraft on this long
journey will help us answer basic questions about these bodies¹ surface properties,
geology, interior makeup, and atmospheres.
Missions to Mars
- The Mars Missions page at JPL includes links to all the current and
near-future NASA missions to Mars. At present, this includes
Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit & Opportunity), and Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter. The site also includes the latest images, news stories, and links to a mirror site near you.
Images Suggest Recent Sources of Liquid Water on Mars
- Gullies seen on martian cliffs and crater walls in a small number
of high-resolution images from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars
Orbiter Camera (MOC) suggest that liquid water has seeped onto the
surface in the geologically recent past.
The Red Planet: A Survey of Mars
- A slide set of images of Mars, this web site has information about a wide
variety of topics as captions for the pictures. This includes images of
landslides, canyons, volcanoes, water erosion features, etc.
Total Solar Eclipse - Exploratorium's Webcast from Turkey
On March 29, 2006, a total solar eclipse occurred when the new moon moved directly between the sun
and the earth. The moon's shadow fell on the eastern tip of Brazil, sped eastward across the
Atlantic, through northern Africa, across the Mediterranean, and into Turkey, where an Exploratorium
team was waiting. The Exploratorium crew transmited a live eclipse Webcast, as well as a
telescope-only feed, from a Roman amphitheater in Side, Turkey. Witness the
spectacular moment of totality, when the moon completely blocks the sun, and the sun's glorious corona
(the outer part of the sun's s atmosphere) is revealed.
Solar Eclipses (2001-2010)
Fred Espenak's extensive listing of solar eclipses includes tables
and maps of the decade's solar eclipses. Eclipses during 2004
include partial solar eclipses on April 19 and October 14..
NASA Eclipse 99
The main NASA page for the 1999 eclipse has a FAQ, an "Ask the
Scientist" area, chat rooms, and facts about a variety of related topics:
eclipses through traditions and cultures, the sun, the moon, eclipses and
math connections, etc. The site includes real-time audio and video, an
exploratorium, and a media area.
Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids
- Deep Impact is a spacecraft that traveled to comet Tempel 1 and released a small
impactor, creating a hole in the side of the comet. The main spacecraft measured
and observed the gas released from the crater, to discover what makes up fresh comet
material, and to understand what's inside a comet. Launched in 2004, the
encounter occurred on July 4, 2005.
University of Arizona's Shoemaker-Levy 9 image collection
- This is perhaps the most comprehensive single site on the collision of
Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter in July, 1994. Highlights include general
information, images of the impact, computer simulations of projected impact
effects, and movies of the impacts.
Much was made of the May 5, 2000 and other planetary alignments.
Doomsday advocates claimed that earthquakes, asteroids, tectonic shifts, or
massive solar flares would destroy the Earth. None of this happened! Find out the
facts! Even with a perfect alignment, the net planetary tide at Earth is
less than one ten-thousanth as strong as the Sun's average tidal
acceleration on Earth and over 20,000 times less than the tidal
acceleration induced twice every day by the Moon.
The Influence of the
This site discusses the influence of the planets on the tides of the Earth
and includes a plot showing the planetary tides from 1980 to 2008 and
clearly shows that May 5, 2000 is nothing special.
Ask an Astrophysicist
The Ask-an-Astonphysicist service has determined the effect of the alignment
using Newton's Law of Gravitation, answering a question that was asked in
Extrasolar Planets (Planets around other stars)
PlanetQuest: The Search for Another Earth
- Missions, news, science, gallery, and an atlas of new worlds make up much of this NASA site.
The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia
- Information is available here on extrasolar planetary
candidates, habitable planets, detection methods, bibliography of
terms, and meetings on extrasolar planets.
EXOPLANETS: The Search for Extrasolar Planets
- A comprehensive review site of all the new discoveries of and
about new extrasolar planets.
THE NASA Astrobiology Institute
- The NASA Astrobiology Institute represents a partnership
between NASA and a number of academic or other research
organizations to promote, conduct, and lead integrated
multidisciplinary astrobiology research and train young
The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute
- The SETI Institute serves as the home for scientific research in
the general field of Life in the Universe with an emphasis on
the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
Astronomy Picture of the Day
- Each day, this site features a different image of an astronomical
object, accompanied by a brief descriptive explanation written by a
professional astronomer. Captions have links to further information on
topics related to the image. An archive of past pictures is also
- The HEASARC's Image and Video archives
- The High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center ( HEASARC) at NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center (GSFC) has several archives of images and video:
Hubble Space Telescope Public Pictures
- The Space Telescope Science Institute's public picture archives
include the latest releases, past releases sorted by year and by subject,
images from Shoemaker-Levy's impact on Jupiter, the first and second
servicing missions, and "Greatest Hits" picture galleries.
Images from the Anglo-Australian Observatory
- The AAO has made available a collection of spectacular color pictures
created by David Malin. The photographs are cataloged by source and by type.
Welcome to the Planets
- A gallery of NASA's best images from their planetary
exploration programs. It has been extracted from the "Welcome to the
Planets" program distributed on the Planetary Data System Educational
The Messier Catalog
- The French astronomer Charles Messier put together a list of fuzzy
objects in the sky which might be mistaken for comets (which he was looking
for), but do not move across the sky as a comet would. His famous catalog
includes many of the most easily observed planetary nebulae, supernova
remnants, galaxies, and star clusters. This collection of pictures with
captions covers all of the 110 objects in the Messier catalog.
Space.com Space Views Image Gallery
- Space.com has a large collection of space images, screen savers,
wallpapers and postcards. You can submit your own images, too.
Space exploration programs
International Space Station / NASA shuttle
- A new combined page of NASA's Space Shuttle and International
Space Station (ISS) information. The site has links to
education and outreach
material. A media
library. And the latest news
about the ISS the shuttle. There is also a
historical look at what
has gone before in the manned space program.
- The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has information on missions
around the solar system: past, present, future, and proposed.
Space Mission Acronym List and Hyperlink Guide
- NASA Headquarters has compiled this list of space missions and their
abbreviated names, with links to sites with information about those
missions. The site also offers links to many alternative sites which may
have more comprehensive lists of particular types of missions and/or
Find out when and where you can see the International Space Stations, the
Shuttle, Iridium satellites or other satellites in the sky.
- Sky Publishing Corporation (publishers of Sky & Telescope
and CCD Astronomy) offers several online services. These include
expert advice for backyard
stargazers, a column of tips on observing the night sky; catalogs of
resources on astronomy; advertising from astronomical product vendors; a
weekly news bulletin;
test reports on new astronomy products; astronomical software reviews;
and a calendar of
astronomy club activities throughout the United States.
- Astronomy.com offers daily astronomy and space news, star charts,
pictures of planets, space missions, eclipse and much more. This site is associated
with Astronomy Magazine.
- The Astronomer magazine provides up-to-date information and
announcements about current events in the sky, such as newly found comets,
novae, eclipses, and variable star activity. The past issues of the magazine
are available, as is information and calls for observation of many celestial
objects. Most items are geared towards moderately experienced amateur
Jonathan's Space Report
- The Space Report is a weekly status update on all space
launches, including piloted missions and automated satellites. Back
issues are available by FTP. The geostationary satellite log is also
The Woman Astronomer
- The Woman Astronomer, published and edited by Debra Davis, is a monthly e-zine
promoting astronomy; it's about the women role-models in astronomy, past and present;
and, it's about the quickly changing science, and hobby, of astronomy.
- Astronomy Now, Britain's best selling astronomy magazine. Contains
information on launch schedules
and an extensive news archive with breaking stories.
The online edition contains a few articles, as well as information on
meetings and events for the European amateur astronomer.
World Wide Web Hypermedia Astronomy textbooks
Astronomy HyperText Book
- Introductory undergraduate level textbook.
The Nine Planets
- A textbook on the Solar System and the spacecraft that have
An astronomy course for middle/high school students
- Each chapter of this textbook is an excellent introduction to the
subject and includes links to more detailed resources. The reading level is
geared towards younger readers, but the author does not skimp on content.
Observing The Night Sky,
A Beginner's Guide to Binoculars & Telescopes, plus lots of pages on
astronomical objects like the Sun, the Moon, stars, galaxies, quasars, and
information on cosmology.
Views of the Solar System
- Views of the Solar System presents a vivid multimedia adventure unfolding the splendor of the Sun, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and more.
Discover the latest scientific information, or study the history of space exploration, rocketry, early astronauts, space missions, spacecraft through a vast
archive of photographs, scientific facts, text, graphics and videos. Views of the Solar System offers enhanced exploration and educational enjoyment of the
solar system and beyond.
History of Astronomy and Astrophysics
4000 years of Women in Science
- Read about the contributions by women to science throughout history.
Information includes biographies, photographs, and references, as well as
introduction to why women's contributions deserve study.
Astronomiae Historia / History of Astronomy
- A site maintained for the
for the History of Astronomy, lists here include links to sites with
a wide variety of historical information, including the history of astronomy,
history of science, and history in general.
History of Astronomy
- A list of sites around the world which have information on a number of
items of historical interest, from Islamic and Greek astronomy to
biographies of influential astronomers through the ages.
A Brief History of Astronomy
- Gene Smith's quick overview of the importance of astronomy to early
agrarian societies, and though history to the discovery of pulsars by
The History of High Energy Astrophysics
- A chronological listing of mission launch and death dates for most
high-energy astrophysics satellites, as well as other significant events in
the history of astronomy. Links are included to information pages for
most individual missions.
Astronomical Organizations and Societies
The American Association of Variable Star Observers
The American Astronomical Society
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific
The International Astronomical Union
The International Dark Sky Association
The International Occultation Timing Association
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Optical Astronomy Observatory
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
National Solar Observatory
The Planetary Society
The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) League
Astronomical Society of Australia
Australia Telescope National Facility
Space Research Institute (IKI)
Sites providing astronomy information
Imagine the Universe!
- An educational resource for students, teachers, and the general public.
Imagine the Universe! provides information on topics in astrophysics about the
Structure and Evolution of the Universe. If you don't find your questions
answered, you can "Ask an Astrophysicist". Material is written at a
variety of reading levels from middle school to college. Teacher resources
includes information on resources at the Laboratory for High-Energy
Astrophysics, "Adopt an Astronomer", summer intern programs, and
lesson plans. We also maintain a list of other astronomy education resources
on the WWW, as well as search facilities with our site to find specific
StarChild: A learning center for young astronomers
- An educational resource for younger readers (from kindergarten to
junior high school). StarChild has information at multiple reading levels on
astronomy and space exploration.
Cosmicopia: An Abundance of Cosmic Rays (formerly the Cosmic & Heliospheric Learning Center)
- Cosmicopia contains an abundance (a cornucopia, if you will) of
information about cosmic rays, the Earth's magnetosphere, the Sun,
space weather, and other exciting topics in space science.
The AstroWeb Consortium (NRAO site)
- Several institutions around the world maintain closely related
links to Astronomy resources called the AstroWeb Consortium. These links,
are excellent starting points for browsing for astronomy resources.
The Galaxy Page
- The University of Arizona Students for the Exploration and
Development of Space (SEDS) have a truly impressive list of resources
through the WWW. These include resources lists on
the solar system,
astronomy and astrophysics
(including amateur astronomy, date sources, news, periodical, software,
celestial events, observatories, and more!),
aerospace and astronautics
(including launch vehicles, current and future satellites, shuttle
schedules, etc), and
(including forthcoming launch systems, the new International Space Station,
and the human exploration of space.).
NASA Education resources
- Here you'll find links to NASA Education News, with information on
upcoming events and recent projects. Also, links are provided to NASA's
educational programs, services, and curriculum support products. This site
is mainly intended for educators.
Phil Plait's wonderful site addresses bad astronomy found in movies, TV,
news, and popular misconceptions. If there is misinformation in the media,
he will refute it.
- General information on the night sky is provided and updated daily. If
you're looking up in the sky and want to know what that bright planet next
to the moon is, this is the site for you.
Earth & Sky
Earth & Sky is an award winning daily science radio series heard by
millions of listeners on over 950 commercial and public stations and their
translators throughout the United States. It can also be heard in Canada,
the South Pacific and on a variety of international networks, including
Armed Forces Radio, World Radio Network and Voice of America. Each day,
Deborah Byrd and Joel Block discuss popular science subjects that affect
our everyday lives.
- A Guide to Astronomy Careers and Resources
Links to the best resources on the web for pursuing an education and career in astronomy. All of the links will direct you to resources from universities, government agencies, and respectable independent organizations.
- What's Out In Space?
A collection of links for planets, stars, galaxies, and more.
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Last modified: Wednesday, 11-May-2011 14:20:27 EDT