Ay 1 Links

Here are some of our favorite web resources for the course.

Solar Dynamics Observatory

Cool movies of solar flares and activity. Check it out at http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/youtube.php.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)

A daily dose of pretty and scientifically interesting images. APOD is a good way to keep up to date on the latest news from the world of astronomy, and many of the topics that appear here will also come up in lecture and in the textbook, so this is a good way to stay on top of things. Check it out at http://apod.nasa.gov/.

Solar System Exploration

JPL's Solar System Exploration site is full of information about the planets, including recent discoveries and cool pictures.

Depiction of the 55 Cancri system

Extrasolar Planet Sites

There's a number of resources on extrasolar planets out there. The California and Carnegie Planet Search maintains a nice website with explanations of the science behind the discoveries. The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia has an up-to-date listing of all planets and links to nearly every other resource on the internet. Also, you can check out some Kepler-related animations here.

Falling Into a Black Hole

If you think black holes are cool, this online tutorial has lots of animations (and explanations) on black holes, wormholes, and other extreme examples of distorted space-time.

Interesting Videos

There was a survey of Harvard graduates, many of whom did not know the cause of the seasons; some of the interviews are in the first few minutes of this video. You might also be interested in watching Powers of 10 if you want to better visualize the different length scales in astronomy.

Beautiful Hubble Photo

Hubble Heritage Project

The Hubble Heritage Project is responsible for creating many of the colorful images people associate with the Hubble Space Telescope. The Project releases new images once a month, but there's plenty of old ones in their gallery. Each image comes with a sizeable description of the object and its significance.

S&T has many diagrams of the night sky, like this one

Sky & Telescope Magazine

All sorts of resources for the amateur astronomer (and Ay 1 student). Their main page is at http://www.skyandtelescope.com/.

A diagram from the site

Views of the Solar System

This site provides detailed information and pictures of all the denizens of our solar system. Definitely a good resource if you're going to be in the Solar System section of this course.

Merging Galaxy Movies

Four movies from Chris Mihos and others of merging galaxies! Be advised that they may take a while to load!

The Cartwheel Galaxy, The Antennae Galaxy, Satellite Galaxy Merger, Two Galaxies Merging

A frame from the site animation


Bored with merely watching colliding galaxies? Make your own! Chris Mihos has also written an applet that lets you throw together galaxies however you like.

solar image solar image solar image solar image

Images of Our Sun!

See what the Sun is up to with the latest images.

Stellarium screenshot


Stellarium is free software that lets you explore the night sky. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


Fourmilab is an interactive planetarium of the Web!

Heavens Above

Heavens Above has a host of information regarding what things you can see in the sky on a given night, including satellites, comets, planets, and constellations.


2009: The International Year of Astronomy

2009 was designated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) as the International Year of Astronomy. For more information check out the IYA2009 website.

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