Among the most rewarding investigations students (or anyone) can undertake is one in astronomy. Stars and dinosaurs just seem to be topics almost everyone finds exciting. Sky objects can be observed with the unaided eye, with binoculars, and with different types and sizes of telescopes. You can measure electromagnetic radiation in the visible, infrared, ultraviolet, X-ray, radio, and other wavelengths. You can image sky objects with cameras using conventional film or with CCD cameras. You can study the moon, other moons, planets, asteroids, satellites, stars, variable stars and distant galaxies. For objects such as variable stars, you can estimate the magnitude of their varying brightness. Or you can use digital images to learn more about these objects. You can "blink" images to search out asteroids or variable stars. Resources for students interested in astronomy work abound. This page provides a few links for online resources for the beginning student. With a bit of experience, the sky is the limit!
Anatomy of a Celestron 8 This is the telescope I used as part of the TOPS program. Telescope guru and former astronomy teacher, Forrest Luke, provided the labeling information.
Orion Telescopes (http://www.telescope.com/). This is a commercial site which sells telescopes, binoculars, and peripherals. Its Learning Center contains links for "Getting Started in Astonomy," "Equipment Basics 101," "Observing the Nigh Sky," "How to Photograph the Heavens," and "General Astronomy & Concepts."
In the Sky Tonight is Orion's page for the current night sky and includes a link to a printable Star Chart for the month and information about what is prominent in the night sky.
Celestron Telescopes is one primary provider of telescopes. Definitely a commercial page. However, it has several good information pages.
Telescope Buying Guide from Planetarium.net (http://www.planetarium.net/edcenter/scope/). This page contains educational links to telescope types, power, aperture, focal ratio, mounts, and eyepieces.
Telescopes (http://www.telescopes-astronomy.com.au/telescopes003.htm) contains detailed information about achromatic or apochromatic refractors and about Schimdt-Cassegrain and Maksutov-Cassegrain reflectors (as well as Newtonians) and Pro/con information about these types.
Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston (http://www.atmob.org/). This page is up through a group of some 300 Bostonians who love astronomy and telescope making as well as astrophotography.
Mauna Kea Observatories (http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/mko/maunakea.htm).
Haleakala Observatories (http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/haleakala/)
Faulkes Telescope Project at Haleakala. This telescope is designed for student use and public outreach.
Robinson Lunar Observatory (http://www.lunar-occultations.com/entersite.htm).
Pine Mountain Observatory (http://pmo-sun.uoregon.edu/). An Oregon observatory is operated by the University of Oregon Physics Department (Dr. Greg Bothun is the Observatory Director). It is home to Friends of Pine Mountain Observatory volunteers. Rick Kang provides many educational outreach programs for Oregon schools.
American Association of Variable Star Observers (http://www.aavso.org).
http://www.aavso.org/vstar Premier page on variable star information for students and amateurs
Eclipsing Binary Committee (http://www.aavso.org/committees/eb.stm). This AAVSO page describes work being done on eclipsing binary variable stars and provides a link to a database of their observations (http://www.cnc.bc.ca/physics/downloads/).
RR Lyrae Committee (http://www.aavso.org/committees/rrlyrae/). An AAVSO page providing information and links to work on RR Lyrae type of variable stars.
http://charts.aavso.org AAVSO variable star chart page, with help links.
http://http://www.aavso.org/adata Accessing AAVSO data. Includes a light curve generator and directions for downloading or requesting data.
http://www.aavso.org/adata/database.stm AAVSO International Database and how to access and use the data.
http://hoa.aavso.org "Hands on Astrophysics" homepage.
The Moon: A Resource Guide (http://www.astrosociety.org/education/family/resources/moon.html). A resource from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific contains an extensive bibliography of books, articles, and webpages with information about the moon. It includes references for studying mythology of the moon as well.
Exploring the Moon (http://cass.jsc.nasa.gov/pub/expmoon/lunar_missions.html). a Lunar and Planetary Institute site with links to Apollo, Clementine, Galileo, Luna, Lunar Orbiter, Lunar Prospector, Ranger, Surveyor, Zond, and other lunar pages.
Web Sites of Interest (http://www.lpi.usra.edu/expmoon/moonwebsites.html) contains direct links to different lunar missions.
Robinson Lunar Observatory Outreach Program and Services (http://www.lunar-occultations.com/rlo/outreach.htm). This lunar observatory's outreach program includes mentoring students.
Missions to the Sun (http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/sun_missns/sun.html). A lead page with links to information on the sun, images of the sun, and the sun-earth connection.
http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/features/planets/sun/sun.html Data on the sun.
AAVSO Solar Division (http://www.aavso.org/committees/solar/index.stm). AAVSO includes observing groups beyond variable stars. This page links to the Solar Division which has monitored sunspots since 1944. A gallery and a series of links to aid in sunspot observing are also on the page.
SIDS--Sudden Ionosphere Disturbances (http://www.aavso.org/committees/solar/sid.stm). The AAVSO also supports the AAVSO SID program which monitors radio stations with very low frequencies (VLF) to look for sudden ionosphere disturbances due to solar flares. A database of observations, technical notes, and notes on equipment are linked from this page.
The Sun Remains Active (http://skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/sun/article_735_1.asp). A Sky & Telescope article by Carey Oler on sun activity.
A Beginners Guide to Solar Observing (http://skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/sun/article_162_1.asp). A Sky & Telescope article by Jeff Medkeff on how to safely do solar observing, including a link to information about solar filters.
Solar System Exploration (http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/). a NASA site with links to images of the solar system.
U.S. Missions to the Planets (http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/missions.html). Missions and links are listed starting with the sun, and then by planet (the moon is listed right after the earth).
Resources for Exploring the Solar System (http://www.astrosociety.org/education/resources/solarsys.html). An Astronomical Society of the Pacific bibliographic page of links to books, articles, and webpages on the solar system and its components.
Link to images of the Near Earth Asteroid 2002 NY40 taken at the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes in Spain.
Asteroids. (http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/features/planets/asteroids/asteroids.html) A page with information about recent asteroids and links to many asteroid related pages.
Armagh Observatory NEO Impact Hazard (http://www.arm.ac.uk/impact-hazard/). Near Earth Object page.
Near Earth Objects home page (http://www.nearearthobjects.co.uk/)
LONEOS (http://www.lowell.edu/users/elgb/loneos_disc.html). The Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search page.
NEO Search (http://www.lowell.edu/users/elgb/abstract_vulcano_1995.html). A page on the using LONEOS, 1995.
Asteroid Comet Impact Hazards Website (http://impact.arc.nasa.gov/). A page on asteroid and comet impact hazards maintained at NASA by David Morrison. This page is kept very up to date.
Comets and Meteor Showers (http://comets.amsmeteors.org/). A page by Gary W. Kronk with links to well known comets and meteor showers. He also provides a free link (Part 1) on Cometography, book being published by Cambridge University Press.
Comets (http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/~meech/research.html). Dr. Karen Meech lists among her Research Interests work on comets. She maintains a data base on distant comets described on her Distant Comet Research. Her research page also provides links to the Deep Impact Comet Mission, to Comet Rotation ( "ideal dataset to search for comet rotational lightcurves"), and comet Hale-Bopp. An excellent resource for students interested in comets. A Comet Database is linked, but required a password to access.
Astronomy Daily (http://www.astronomydaily.com/preview.html). A general portal with invormation about the night sky, downloadable star charts, information about sunrise/set and moon phases, and other information and images. The site is free, but requires registration.
Amateur Astronomers Association (http://www.aaa.org/). A New York group of amateur astronomers hosting a series of pages on astronomy, including pages on telescope making, novae, light pollution, asteroids, comets, eclipse information. Amateur astronomers often have both the expertise and the time to answer student questions--if politely asked.
Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO) (http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/alpo/). This group provides educational links for amateur astronomers. It contains links for sections of amateur astronomers interested in the planets (for example there is a Saturn Section), the sun, asteroids, comets, etc. The page also contains links to many JPL pages.
Astronomical League (http://www.astroleague.org/). Another resource from and for amateur astronomers, this page provides links for those in astronomy:
Astronomy Magazine's Astronomy on the Web site (http://www.astronomy.com/content/static/magazine/default.asp) is now hosted by the Orion Telescope website. It contains access for star charts and to articles in the current issue of Astronomy Magazine.
Sky & Telescope (http://skyandtelescope.com/) maintains an online version of its magazine which includes fre access to selected recent articles, to an interactive skychart, and to basic information on observing, telescopes, observing, and astrophotography.
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (http://www.astrosociety.org/) represents the efforts of an active group of amateur astronomers primarily along the Pacific
NetAstroCatalog ((http://www.visualdeepsky.org/). The Internet Amateur Astronomers Catalog (IAAC) is a list where amateur astronomers submit their observations on deep dky objects, such as other galaxies, star clusters, nebulae, doubles, and variable stars. It is a "catalog of amateur observations."
Search IAAC Deep-Sky Observing Logs (http://www.visualdeepsky.org/search.html). You can search for deep-sky objects reported in the catalog. You can search by type of object. You can also do an advanced keyword search.
Internet Amateur Astronomers Catalog Web Archive (http://www.visualdeepsky.org/netastrocatalog/maillist.html). The Web Archive for the NetAstroCatalog can also be searched directly at this online archive of the logs.
North American Skies (http://www.webcom.com/safezone/NAS/index.htm). An online monthly astronomy page which provides information and articles on the northern sky for the current month. It contains information that would be appropriate for classroom use.
Planetary Science Research Discoveries (http://www.psrd.hawaii.edu/index.html). PSRD is an a site which provides educators, and others, with up-to-date information about research on solar system objects, including planets and meteorites. The site also permits searching of its archives and links to other astronomy sites.
UCSB Remote Access Astronomy Home Page (http://www.deepspace.ucsb.edu/rot.htm) is a site for work done by undergraduates at UCSB with a Remotely Operated Telescope. High School students are part of a summer session held at UCSB.
Labs for PC Compatible Computers (http://www.deepspace.ucsb.edu/labs/pclabs/index.htm). These labs are written for using digital image processing to extract data from astronomy images. Excellent resource for students wanting to use NASA images in their research.
NASA Quest: Educational Site (http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/).
NASA Quest Live from the Stratosphere (http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/lfs/livedata.html). Data from live missions are recorded and available on this page. The day this link was checked, there were data from the KAO flight. In the links are questions which a teacher or student could ask about this data.
Helpful NASA links for questions students or teachers might have, including how to request an engineer to evaluate an idea!
NASA's Education Page . (http://education.nasa.gov/). This site is aimed primarily at teachers but has useful background information on many different topics
On-line Educational Activities, primarily K-8
NASA Multimedia Gallery (http://www.nasa.gov/gallery/). Links to Photo, Audio, and Video galleries from NASA work, as well as an Arts Gallery.
Find it on the NASA Web (http://www.nasa.gov/hqpao/help.html). Nasa has over 4 million web pages. This site provides a variety of ways to access NASA data as well as help pages for the search methods.
NASA Resources at OMSI (http://www.omsi.edu/teachers/nasa/). OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, is the NASA headquarters for the state of Oregon and has on-line and on-site NASA materials.
NASA's Spacelink site (http://spacelink.nasa.gov/Instructional.Materials/NASA.Educational.Products/.index.html) also contains educational resources and links.
NASA CORE (http://core.nasa.gov/) is the Central Operation of Resources for Educators with educational materials available to educators.
Cool Picks from Spacelink (http://spacelink.nasa.gov/Spacelink.Cool.Picks/.index.html) has activities for students, including Gal;axy Hunter and Planet Quest.
Hot Topics from Spacelink (http://spacelink.nasa.gov/Spacelink.Hot.Topics/.index.html) has information links to recent astronomical news, such as recent asteroids, earth floods, the decline of phytoplankton. The page includes a link for previous hot topics (read "research" topics) as well.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/). This page at the California Institute of Technology is a heavy resource with links to research on the earth, the oceans, the solar system, near earth objects stars and galaxies.
Origins (http://origins.jpl.nasa.gov/) is a JPL page for students to study the questions, "Where we come from?" and "Are we alone?" using astronomy, history, and a program called PlanetQuest ( search for another Earth). A link on the page is for joining the planetfinder listserv, a group of people looking for extrasolar planets.
JPL Education Gateway (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/education/index.html) has resources for teachers and students.
NASA Dryden Educator Resource Center (ERC) (http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/trc/ERC/) has professional development opportunities for teachers, usually in the month of July. Workshops are free, but limited to 25.
Toward Other Planetary Systems (TOPS) This University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IFA) program, run by Dr. Karen Meech and funded by the National Science Foundation, has as its primary focal point the professional development of teachers (mostly from Hawaii, Polynesia, and Micronesia). Math and science teachers in the program take part in hands-on activities and projects in astronomy, modeled as inquiry projects. As part of TOPS systemic education reform initiative, these teachers take back to their classrooms these projects and the inquiry approach to science.
Ask the Astronomer. The TOPS 2000 Ask the Astronomer page provides information on the research interests of most of the astronomers at the UH Institute for Astronomy. When you click on the photo link, the interests (and the contact information) of the astronomer comes up. These astronomers have indicated an interest in answering questions about astronomy. You should realize that they are VERY busy. Do your homework before you contact an astronomer.
Education Resources TOPS provides a wealth of online resources for teachers and for students. This page links to resources on NASA missions, astronomy content, national education websites, astronomy software, equipment, and hands-on activities.
One educational activity from this source is the Astrolabe Activity. This activity requires minimum expense and takes about 70 minutes to complete. Appropriate for either middle school or high school.
TOPS 2002 Program. The schedule for the summer component of the TOPS 2002 program held in Hawaii is available as PDF files through this link.
The Center for Archeoastronomy (http://www.wam.umd.edu/~tlaloc/archastro/). A site at the University of Maryland with links to archeoastronomy journals and newsletters.
A Brief Introduction to Archaeoastronomy (http://www.wam.umd.edu/~tlaloc/archastro/cfaar_as.html). The page provides backgroun information in archeoastronomy and links to general resources on the topic, links on Native and Meso-American resources, megalithic resources, and world archeoastronomy sites.
Archeoastronomy (http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/~meech/archaeo.html). Dr. Karen Meech's pages on the archeoastronomy projects in which she is taking part.
Clive Ruggle's page (http://www.le.ac.uk/archaeology/rug/). Dr. Ruggle's page includes resources on archeoastronomy as well as access to some of his images.
Origins of Astronomy in Hawai'i (http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/users/steiger/). This page by Dr. Walter Steiger gives a history of astronomy in Hawaii, with downloadable versions of his paper.
Images from the Institute for Astronomy. (http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/images). An archive of images taken by IFA astronomers, including images of the sun, of asteroids, planets, moons, etc.
Adaptive Optics projects at the Institute for Astronomy.
Jet Propulsion Lab Space Calendar (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/calendar/) lets you look at astronomy happenings for the current month.
The Universe Today (http://www.universetoday.com/) provides up-to-date news on astronomy happenings.
R. Hemphill, 9/2002