The Best Astronomy Websites

Category: Astronomy

Attention Stargazers... If you're an amateur astronomer, or you just enjoy looking up into the night sky, the Internet is full of resources for you. For the best star pictures, astronomy websites, user groups and telescope reviews, read on.

Online Astronomy Resources

Our first stop along the celestial highway is NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day. It features a high quality image with a description of its significance written by a professional astronomer in clear, easy to understand terms. Recent images (as of this writing) were Sun Pillar Over Ontario and Seasonal Dark Streaks on Mars. If you miss one, don't worry, there's an extensive archive going back several years.

Astronomy For Kids is a great site for kids to learn about the night sky. In the Sky Maps section, you can find out what's going on in the sky this month. (Hey, there's a solar *and* lunar eclipse coming soon!) The Sky Wonders section teaches about some of the most awe-inspiring and thought-provoking objects that are in the Universe. You'll also find Constellations, tips and resources for Beginners, and email Postcards you can send to your friends.
Astronomy websites

In a similar vein, The Nine Planets is an overview of the history, mythology and current scientific knowledge of each of the planets and moons in our solar system. Each page has text and images, some have sounds and movies, and links to related information.

The Planetary Society, the world's largest space-interest group, is dedicated to inspiring the public with the adventure and mystery of space exploration. Through our projects and publications, the Society plays a leading role in creating innovative coalitions to engage the public and fuel support for exploring other worlds.

Here's a site aimed at amateur astronomers interested in satellite orbits. Did you know there are 100+ satellites orbiting the Earth, and many can be seen with the naked eye? Heavens Above will generate predictions about satellites that will be passing overhead for a particular evening, so you can keep watch as they zoom along in their orbits.

More Celestial Sights... and Sounds!

At Space Sounds, you can listen to the history of the space program. Hear actual NASA ground and spacecraft communications from Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle missions.

SPACE.com modestly bills itself as "the world's No. 1 source for news of astronomy, skywatching, space exploration, commercial spaceflight and related technologies." The site employs a team of professional reporters, editors and video producers to explore the latest discoveries, missions, and futuristic ideas. You'll find the latest happenings about the shuttle, NASA, and the space station; along with intriguing articles about space, astronomy and our place in the universe.

Celestia4All provides astronomy enthusiasts of all ages a growing treasury of tools, information, animations, experiences, inspiration and fun! This site aims to bridge the gap between astronomy enthusiasts who are passionate about "real sky observing" with their telescopes, and those who would rather just simulate events on their computers. Immerse yourself in a 3D universe, and journey with starting realism to stars, planets, galaxies and over 100 globular clusters!

Ever throught about joining an Astronomy Club? Astronomy clubs frequently offer discounts on astronomy related magazines and other printed material, loaner telescopes, and practical advice on how to get started in the hobby of Astronomy. Check out this list of clubs which covers the whole world:

Try reading sci.astro.amateur. Here, amateur astronomers from all over the world, some with a wealth of expertise, hang out, ask questions and discuss diverse astronomy topics. Quite a few of the posts deal with purchasing the right astronomical telescope or the right equipment to go along with it. This newsgroup is also another source of late breaking news, on comets, meteor showers, and aurorae.

Got a favorite astronomy site? Post your comments below...

 
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Most recent comments on "The Best Astronomy Websites"

Posted by:

Leon Dombroski
19 Aug 2011

Hi Bob,
I was a bit surprised to find you mentioning Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) in your e-mail today.
I thought you might like to know they also have a growing archive of space and earth pictures taken by people from all around the world.

APOD is only one section of The StarShip Asterisk.
There are courses in many things, such as astronomy and physics(without math). And there even more courses that are in the process of being linked to. As far as i know, they are all free.


Posted by:

Bob Kalish
19 Aug 2011


Bob,

You omitted one of the best, if not THE best astronomy website — http://www.stellarium.org/

Check it out!!!


Posted by:

Mike
20 Aug 2011

If you're a beginning stargazer, this site, which contains current scripts and videos of the PBS show is excellent. The original host has passed away, but it still continues. http://www.jackstargazer.com/


Posted by:

Dave Moran
20 Aug 2011

Another vote for Stellarium. It works best on Linux I use it when I teach A+ as a demo on the Ubuntu install, it always good for ohhs and ahhhs


Posted by:

Karena
18 Jun 2015

Just in case anyone comes back to this thread . . .

I don't have much basis for comparison, but I LOVE http://galaxymap.org/

You can even send webcards from it with their awesome astronomical images!


Posted by:

Wim
31 Jan 2016

Just looking around, looking at astronomy webpages, it's raining here, so no stars :)

http://members.home.nl/wkv/the_sky.html

this is my page, the Moon down the page leads to a Moon map...just click on it :)


Clear skies,

Wim


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