Field Guides to the Night Sky |
Tools & Charts |
Astronomy Knowledge Base |
Astronomy & Space News |
Field Guides to the Night Sky
The interactive planetarium of the Web. You can make maps for any time and date, viewpoint, and observing location:
Sky Maps which show the night sky as it would appear if you were lying flat on your back looking up;
Horizon Views showing the stars above the horizon as they would appear if you were standing facing any of the 360 degrees of a view;
The Virtual Telescope allow you to set time and date, aiming point, orbital elements to track an asteroid or comet, and a variety of viewing options.
N.B., Yarmouth's coordinates are 43.48 N / 70.09 W, but if you are unsure, select the "Set for nearby city" option.
Constellations & Chandra Images
Excellent, easy-to-use field guide, developed by the Chandra X-ray Observatory in Cambridge, MA. Each constellation is depicted in 3-D star group image and with an illustration from Johannes Hevelius' Uranographia (1690). Discussion of mythologies from several cultures.
A compendium of stars and their constellations, created by Jim Kaler, Prof. Emeritus of Astronomy, University of Illinois. This site is easy enough to be used by the beginner and comprehensive enough to satisfy the old hand. More than just an online field guide, pages such as "Star Names" discussing how the stars got their names and the "Star Atlases' page, with illustrations from Johannes Bayer's Uranometria of 1603 and John Flamsteed's Atlas Coelestis are literally pages right out of history.
The Constellations and their Stars
This site offers some great interactive java applets for the constellations. Constellations are grouped by name or by month; there's much information on the stars.
All The Sky
Digital images of the sky: comets, constellations, star clusters, nebulea, galaxies, and more.
The "Deep Photographic Guide to the Constellations" presents constellations for all months of a year, as well as by name. Deep exposed and highly resolved color photographies show stars down to twelfth magnitude in a standard field of about 26 x 39 degrees. A variety of deep sky objects is seen in most constellations and presented as magnifications with description. The big images are intended to show the deep sky objects in their galactic environment and can be used as "real sky" finder charts for observers.
The Constellation Home Page
This online publication and field guide by the American Association of Amateur Astronomers is recommended to intermediate to advanced star gazers who know the constellation shapes and locations, and are more interested in seeking out the nebluea and other "deep space" objects.
Another intermediate to advanced field guide to deep sky objects.
Tools & Charts
Rise & Set (USN)
This page provides a way to obtain a table of the times of sunrise/sunset, moonrise/moonset, or the beginning and end of twilight, for one year. You can obtain a table for any location worldwide by either selecting a nearby city or by entering the longitude and latitude coordinates. Site includes link for coordinates.)
Tide Predictions (USC)
Tide & Current Predictor Calculator constructed by Dean Pentcheff at the University of South Carolina.
Aurora Forecast (UAF)
The auroral activity forecast predicts the expected location of the most active auroral forms that can be expected for the given period. The forecasts deal with the average level of activity expected within the prediction period. The short term forecast is a calculation based on measurements of the solar wind made at a satellite that is approximately one hour upstream toward the sun. Watch this forecast from the comfort of your chair to find out when you should wake up the kids and go outside to see the display.
Northern Hemisphere Enlarged View
This presentation provides an estimate of the location, extent, and intensity of aurora on a global basis.
Astronomy Knowledge Base
Some of the sites listed here have some aspects of field guides, but all are structured primarily as educational sources or study guides.
Each of the 88 standard constellations are depicted as a star group and a drawing to suggest "seeing" the figure that gives the constellation its name, and the mythological origins of the figure are discussed as stories.
Don't let the "colorful" site design put you off: there is much material here worthy of your time. The "Sky This Week" offers pointers for nightly excursions beneath the celestial dome. Space news galore. The constellations page offers interesting mythological background.
All about Tides
There's much more to the story of the ocean's movement than meets the eye. Astronomer Bob Berman tells that story here. If you'd like to delve deeper into the subject, there are several links.
The Aurora Page
Information about and images of the "Northern Lights".
Astronomy For Kids
Astronomy for children, students, and kids of all ages. KidsAstronomy.com, part of the KidsKnowIt Network, is the absolutely free astronomy resource designed to teach children about the exciting world of outer space. Learning about science should never be boring. So strap yourself in for a great ride. Our astronomy website is packed with games, activities, fun facts, and resources to help Teachers, Parents, and Students of all ages reach out and touch our universe.
The Naked Astronomer
A beginner's guide to naked-eye astronomy. Using a light-hearted and non-technical approach, its purpose is to bring out the inner astronomer in everyone, by gradually increasing one's knowledge, skills, and courage to go out under the night skies and search the stars. From the site: "When you're out there in the dark, you're doing naked astronomy when you need no field guides nor star maps, no flashlights, no telescopes — none of that. That's not to say that naked astronomers never use books and charts, but the less you need to take them out into the dark with you, the more naked you are."
Astronomy & Space News
Scripts from the weekly TV program syndicated on the Public Broadcasting Service with tips for star gazers.
The "Sky This Week" offers pointers for nightly excursions beneath the celestial dome. Space news galore.
Solar wind, X-ray Solar Flares, Sunspots, Auroral Oval (Borealis), Near-Earth Asteroids, Visible Artificial Satellites, and more!
Science Daily Astronomy News
No awards for design, but useful information. Homepage is obnoxious with pop-up ads, which defy pop-up blocker. Yes, Virginia, site designers are still finding ways to inflict those nasty little things upon you as a punishment for reading their site. We bypass the homepage with this link directly to the astronomy news page!