From: Bob Rankin
Subject: TOURBUS - 04 May 04 - Astronomical!
Attention Stargazers! Today's TOURBUS post will be about Astronomy. If you're an amateur astronomer, or just enjoy the night sky, you'll like the links and commentary in today's issue.
Our first stop along the celestial highway is the "Astronomy Picture of the Day". This site features a high quality image with a description of its significance, written by a professional astronomer in clear, easy to understand terms. Recent images (as of this writing) were of the Missoula Crater on Mars and comets Bradfield and LINEAR. If you miss one, don't worry, there's an extensive archive going back several years.
Astro Pix - http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
The Hawaiian Astronomical Society has created a SPECTACULAR astronomical Web site called "Views of the Solar System". The site tells you EVERYTHING you could ever want to know about most of the astronomical objects in our solar system, gives information about the history of astronomy and space travel, and offers stunning pictures and movies from around the Solar System.
Views of the Solar System - http://www.solarviews.com
In a similar vein, The Nine Planets is an overview of the history, mythology and current scientific knowledge of each of the planets and moons in our solar system. Each page has text and images, some have sounds and movies, and links to related information.
Nine Planets - http://www.nineplanets.org
And finally, some Bad Astronomy. This website is dedicated to righting wrong ideas about astronomy and scientific misconceptions spread by movies, the media and popular culture. Phil Plait, a real-life astronomer, debunks common myths such as Hoagland's Face on Mars, the Apollo Moon Hoax and everything you've always wanted to know about Standing an Egg on End During the Vernal Equinox .
Bad Astronomy - http://www.badastronomy.com
Ever throught about joining an Astronomy Club? Clubs frequently offer discounts on astronomy related magazines and other printed material, loaner telescopes, and practical advice on how to get started in the hobby of Astronomy. Check out this list of clubs which covers the whole world:
Astro Clubs - http://www.astronomyclubs.com
If you're USENET savvy, you could try reading sci.astro.amateur. Here, amateur astronomers from all over the world, some with a wealth of expertise, hang out, ask questions and discuss diverse astronomy topics. Quite a few of the posts deal with purchasing the right astronomical telescope or the right equipment to go along with it. This newsgroup is also another source of late breaking news, on comets, meteor showers, and aurorae.
Newsgroup - news:sci.astro.amateur
By the way, there is a nifty web-based interface to Usenet created by the folks at Google -- no special software required.
Google Groups - http://groups.google.com
That's all for now, see you next time! -- Bob Rankin