Some Spacey Places to Surf
The Web presents some great places to see and learn about astronomy and space science. I have favorite places I go to, many of which are listed in my blogroll at the left. Here are a few of my current favorites.
First off is the Carnival of Space. It’s a wonderful melange of information and opinion about all things “spacey”. This week’s is hosted by the ever-erudite Paul Glister over at Centauri Dreams. As he says, the Carnival is a place “in which people wiht their eyes on the stars go to work to explain the latest findings.” Check it out!
Another daily stop is Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog. Phil’s writing ranges from astronomy and space science to filtering out the “woo-woo” science that passes for “critical thinking” among practitioners of such arcane arts as astrology and mystical pseudo-medical practices. He also takes on fuzzy thinking among those who don’t quite understand science (like some of our less-learned politicians and media practitioners), as a professional skeptic. Reading Phil’s work is like giving your brain a ‘wash and brush’ — clearing out the cobwebs.
Media-wise, there are some good informational sites out there purveying science news. Of course, Science News comes to mind. We’re long-time subscribers to the print version. Sky & Telescope Magazine and online site are good “go to” places for astronomy information. So is Astronomy Magazine and web site. In the past couple of years, I’ve been doing some work for a unique online video magazine and news source called Astrocast.TV. We do night-sky tutorials, explorations of deep-space astronomy, cover newsworthy events in the burgeoning private space industry, and offer insights about Earth science. Universe Today offers daily insights into all kinds of science, written by journalists and scientists.
There are number of really good mission-based sites out there that I check out as often as I can. Hubblesite is one, featuring the latest and greatest from the Hubble Space Telescope. The European Southern Observatory is another — those guys are working scientific wonders in the mountains of Chile. Gemini Observatory regularly releases cool images from its telescopes in Hawai’i and Chile. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory gives us the radio view of the cosmos, while the Spitzer space Telescope folk share the infrared universe. Over at the x-ray end of the electromagnetic spectrum is the Chandra X-ray Observatory. If planets are your thing, then the Mars Mission Web page is a good start for all things Red Planet. The Cassini Solstice Mission pages offer frequent looks at the planet Saturn, where planetary scientists are continuing a years-long exploration via long distance. Close to the Sun, the Mercury MESSENGER mission is ramping up to give us a long-term closeup look at Mercury. The pictures should be coming later today (Tuesday, March 29) The Kepler page keeps us up to date on the latest planetary discoveries around other stars.
This is just a small taste of what’s out there if you want to explore the wealth of information we know about the cosmos. Happy surfing!