Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

Ten Favorite Astronomy Websites

This month’s display in our reference room features a wide array of favorite astronomy books, but we’d be remiss not to mention all the great online resources available for the astronomically curious.  From awe inspiring images of Saturn and it’s moons, to the continuing quest to discover planets outside our solar system, and even an amazing opportunity to help classify some newly discovered galaxies yourself, this list of ten websites should peak everyone’s interest in the night sky.

  1. Galaxy Zoo: A unique project that allows you to help classify images of galaxies taken by the Hubble space telescope. “A task at which your brain is better than even the most advanced computer. If you’re quick, you may even be the first person in history to see each of the galaxies you’re asked to classify.”
  2. Google Sky: That’s right, Google Maps goes beyond mere earthly directions.  Here you can use Google’s familiar interface to explore the stars, the surface of the moon, and even mars.
  3. Kepler: NASA’s Kepler project is an ongoing attempt to identify and count planets outside our solar system.  Kepler’s telescope has already confirmed 74 new planets from among more than 2,000 possible planet candidates in just one small grouping of stars.
  4. Ciclops: The Cassini probe is currently exploring Saturn, it’s rings, and it’s moons. Ciclops is the website of Cassini’s imaging team. Featuring a fascinating “imaging diary” with an incredible array of photos and a newsroom to update you on Cassini’s amazing discoveries.
  5. Sloan Digital Sky Survey: “The Sloan Digital Sky Survey is one of the most ambitious and influential surveys in the history of astronomy. Over eight years of operations, it obtained deep, multi-color images covering more than a quarter of the sky and created 3-dimensional maps containing more than 930,000 galaxies.”
  6. Hubblesite: The site features an amazing gallery of images, a news center to keep you up to date with the telescope’s progress, a “Hubble Discoveries” page to condense the most exciting of Hubble’s scientific advancements, and even a “Reference Desk” to help answer some of the more common astronomy questions.
  7. Spitzer Space Telescope: While Hubble is taking images of the universe using the visible light spectrum Spitzer is using infrared light, allowing it to detect otherwise hidden phenomena.
  8. Sky and Telescope: Home of the popular astronomy magazine. A great place to find astronomy news, stargazing tips, and reviews of telescopes and other skywatching products.
  9. We Choose the Moon: An interactive recreation of the Apollo 11 mission that takes you step by step from launch to landing.
  10. The European Southern Observatory: The ESO is an intergovernmental organization that runs three of the world’s largest earthbound telescopes.  Their website is full of images, news, videos, and podcasts.

List by Matthew

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This entry was posted on July 3, 2012 by in Lists, Non-Fiction, Reference, Science and Nature, Websites.
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