Astronomy Sites – Top Ten

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Mad about astronomy?

Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects such as moons, stars, planets, nebulae and galaxies and is related to cosmology, which is the study of the universe as a whole. It is one of the oldest sciences, which was practised by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Maya and Chinese hundreds of years ago and is now enjoyed by amateur astronomers all over the world. Many large telescopes have been set up at various locations throughout the globe specifically for studying the sky and many more are under construction with astronomy ever growing in popularity. The Hubble space telescope now watches from above the earth’s atmosphere and transmits valuable information for predicting potential calamities. The sites below are dedicated to Astronomy and contain interesting facts, photographs and a wealth of information on the subject. Researchers and enthusiasts will particularly appreciate their content and the fact that the best sources of information can all be found listed together.


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1. Wikisky –

Wikisky presents astronomical and astrophysical information using visualisation. There is an easy search option for finding information and users can upload images to integrate with photographs already published on the site. There are also attractive spots on the universe highlighted to aid navigation and a complete list of galaxies, sub-galaxies and quasars are given under the collection tab. Further information can be found in the forum and blogs for enthusiasts and full FAQ are given on the site.


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2. Google Moon –

Google Moon functions in a similar way to Google Earth, but with a collection of lunar maps and charts. A collection of place-marks can be found showing where all of the Apollo missions have landed and geological and topographical charts of various regions of the moon are demonstrated clearly including the Sea of Tranquillity. The charts cover the visible side of the moon to earth and current plans to uncover the dark side of the moon are in the pipeline.


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3. Heavens-Above –

This is a relatively small site, but it contains good information for astronomers. All satellites in Space can be individually selected to show current positions including radio satellites and also information regarding iridium flares is given. In the astronomy section each planet is listed with history and data being supplied for each along with facts on comets and asteroids. A sky chart is featured showing all the constellations and individual dates can be chosen to reveal the relevant positions. Useful links to other sites for further information can also be found.


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4. Sky & Telescope –

This is the Internet site for the magazine, which is an essential guide to astronomy. There are many articles and facts to view with interactive charts and videos all containing news for budding astronomers. Individual topics can be chosen from the Astro-news, gallery and observing sections accompanied by photographs, film-clips and tips for viewing stars. The current edition and back catalogue for the magazine can be viewed and details for subscribing to receive the magazine can be found. There is an online shop for purchasing Astronomy products and full details for contributing to the site are stated.


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5. Royal Astronomical Society –

The Royal Astronomical Society was formed in 1820 in London and promotes the study of astronomy, geophysics and solar science. Details regarding the history of the society along with a schedule of meetings and functions can be found and a list of books, journals, biographies, images and information sheets on Astronomy can be read in the library. Many news articles can be selected for further information on the subject and full details of membership and the benefits are given on the site.


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6. Astronomy Now –

Astronomy Now is a magazine dedicated to all things Astronomy. Articles and book reviews can be read on the subject with the addition of a sky chart and a section on spaceflight. Recommended reading and current news and events are highlighted and individual topics and articles can be selected from previous issues of the magazine. There is an online store selling Astronomy aids and products worldwide and an A-Z index of all articles is given in resources.


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7. –

This site has interesting articles on Astronomy to read assisted with diagrams and photographs.  Current positions of stars and planets are given along with a sky map and notes and 3D star-charts can be seen in the Sky View Café. Space-weather information is available to assist with sky viewing times and the site provides a service for naming stars for gift purposes, the details of which can be found in the Astro Store along with books. The latest news and events are highlighted and any direct contact with the site is welcome.


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8. Windows to the Universe –

The site is a good learning source for teachers, pupils and the general public as it contains an array of documents, images, films and data on Earth and Space. A host of articles and facts can be read on the sun, the solar system and sciences with special sections containing information on astronauts and the constellations. A vast number of games, poetry, books and postcards can be found for children on the subject with Space-weather and sky charts offered. Workshops, Web-seminars, frameworks, activities and journals are given for teachers and other links are provided for further Astronomical information.


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9. The Sky at Night –

This is the official site for the BBC programme dedicated to Astronomy which contains clips and episodes of the show to watch. Educational instructions and explanations can be viewed in videos and related links are offered for further articles and demonstrations. A special section is dedicated to Sir Patrick Moore who tirelessly hosted the show for over fifty years and all his findings and discoveries on the subject of Astronomy are revealed.


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10. The Nine Planets –

This site ranks high on and features exactly that – the nine planets of our solar system. A map is shown with the positions of the planets from the sun and each one can be individually selected giving information on the moons, the structure and the density along with other facts of the planet. Explanations are assisted by diagrams, photographs and links with a full introduction article provided on each. FAQ are given on the site and help is offered for site navigation.


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