web sites and answers to frequently asked questions
the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium
All about that big machine in the center of the Star Theater
East Avenue sculpture
History and information about Francesco Somaini's sculpture in the circle
in front of the Planetarium
"Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment."
Check here for information about sunspots, auroras (northern lights),
eclipses, meteor showers, and other things in the sky that come and go.
Daily updates on research throughout NASA in many areas, including life
sciences and space commercialization. This might be the place to discover
a great topic for a school paper or report.
Picture of the Day http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod
This wonderful site gives you a beautiful new picture each day, with a
short but informative caption and links to plenty of reliable background
information. Use their "search" feature to get information and
pictures on just about any space topic.
An excellent source for up-to-the-minute status reports on current and
upcoming space missions
This magazine from the United Kingdom gathers reports of astronomical
discoveries from around the world.
If you don't mind the confrontational tone, you'll enjoy accurate information
on common "weird" topics such as egg balancing, Planet X, theories
of the Apollo moon landings, and planet line-ups.
home page http://www.nasa.gov
The home page of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is
the gateway to millions of pages with everything from planet pictures
to the NASA budget.
missions to Mars http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov
This site, maintained by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, serves as a
jumping-off point to information about U.S. space missions to Mars (past,
present and future) and to Mars facts and maps.
Space Agency http://sci.esa.int
ESA manages many important space missions including the Mars Express/Beagle
2 mission, a major part of the Hubble Space Telescope research program,
and the Huygens probe to Saturn's moon Titan.
Japan's mission to Mars. The
spacecraft, also known as Planet-B, was launched in 1998 and scheduled
to reach Mars in 1999. After recovering from rocket engine problems early
in its flight, Nozomi is reaching Mars in 2004. Most of the site is in
Japanese, but you'll find basic information and pictures of the spacecraft.
mission to Saturn and Titan http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov
Home page for the joint NASA/European Space Agency mission to Saturn and
its moon Titan.
Space Telescope http://hubble.stsci.edu
Get pictures and information from the most famous telescope operating
X-Ray Observatory http://chandra.harvard.edu
X-rays come from bizarre cosmic objects such as active galaxies and black
holes, and Chandra is observing them. The Field Guide and Education links
on this site are particularly good. To find out about Rochester's contribution
to this observatory, see the Chandra
page at Kodak
Jupiter mission http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo
Pictures and discoveries from the space probe that spent 8 years exploring
Jupiter and its moons
Human Space Flight http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov
Information on the progress of the Shuttle program, letters from astronauts
aboard the Space Station, pictures of present and past missions and astronaut
assignments for future missions.
Accident Investigation Board http://www.caib.us
Official reports from the board investigating what happened to Space Shuttle
Columbia on February 1, 2003. See also the "STS-107 Investigation
Reference" link on the NASA Human Space Flight page listed above.
Leading Astronomy Club http://www.rochesterastronomy.org
The Astronomy Section of the
Rochester Academy of Science is a friendly group whose volunteers operate
the Planetarium telescope. They welcome beginners at public star parties
and other events through the year.
If you hear about a meteor, a sunspot, a solar storm, an eclipse, or any
other short-lived celestial phenomenon, check here for information and
Eclipse Page http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/eclipse.html
When is the next eclipse and where will I have to go to see it? Check
here for the answer. NASA expert Dr. Fred Espenak maintains detailed information
on solar and lunar eclipses, past, present and future.
sunset, seasons, solstices, equinoxes, time, calendars, etc. http://aa.usno.navy.mil/AA
The U.S. Naval Observatory is the authoritative source for celestial calculations.
Their Astronomical Applications Department makes all this information
available to you, customized for your location and date.
to See the International Space Station http://www.heavens-above.com
When will the International
Space Station or any other large satellite be visible in Rochester's sky?
The German commercial site heavens-above.com tells you when and where
to look and can even create sky maps. Click here
to go directly to a page customized for Rochester, NY.
Viewing for Any Location http://www.heavens-above.com
This link takes you to the main page of the German commercial site heavens-above.com.
You can type in a location and date and get a list of times and directions
to look for the International Space Station and other satellites.
Nine Planets http://www.nineplanets.org
"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, most provide references to additional related information."
Especially good if you want to get to a specific fact quickly.
Solar System Exploration Home Page http://solarsystem.nasa.gov
Different from The Nine Planets (listed above), emphasizing how we learn
about our solar system using telescopes and space probes. This site also
includes information pages on the planets, major moons, and small objects,
in a different style from the Nine Planets site.
and Heliospheric Observatory http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov
Pictures of the sun, taken from
space, updated several times a day. Follow the progress of sunspots and
solar storms as they happen!
Observation Home Page http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov
Dedicated amateur comet hunters
send their pictures to this site. You'll see that most comets are small
Near-Earth Object Program http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov
and Comet Impact Hazards Home Page http://impact.arc.nasa.gov
Check these two sites for reliable
information on space objects that come near Earth.
Planets Encyclopedia http://www.obspm.fr/planets
& Carnegie Planet Search http://exoplanets.org
These sites document the search
for planets orbiting stars other than our sun. Much of the information
is meant for professional researchers, but you can find introductory information
if you explore a bit.
Jim Kalers Stars Page http://www.astro.uiuc.edu/~kaler/sow/sow.html
If you're interested specifically in stars (as distinguished from galaxies,
planets, meteors, etc.), this site, maintained by a leading expert on
the subject, is loaded with useful information. Dr. Kaler spoke in the
RMSC Distinguished Scholars Lecture Series in 1995.
Bang, Cosmology, etc.
Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov
By measuring the heat left over
from the "Big Bang," the WMAP satellite is providing epoch-making
information about the very early universe. From the home page, click on
"Universe" to get "Cosmology 101," an excellent overview
of the Big Bang picture and the evidence for it.
Wright's Cosmology Tutorial http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmolog.htm
Maintained by a UCLA astronomer, this site uses science and math at about
high-school level. The "News of the Universe" and "Frequently
Asked Questions" sections are especially good.
Optical Astronomy Observatory
NOAO includes observatories at Kitt Peak, Arizona; Sacramento Peak, New
Mexico; and Cerro Tololo, Chile. The image gallery pages are especially
easy to use.
Southern Observatory http://www.eso.org
Look here for stunningly beautiful photographs of the southern sky, taken
by the giant telescopes at this observatory in Chile.
M. Keck Observatory, Hawaii http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu
With main mirrors 10 meters across, the twin Keck telescopes hold the
current record for largest in the world.
du Midi and Haute-Provence Observatories, France http://www.imcce.fr/images_eng.html
From remote locations in southern France, where the air is exceptionally
clear and steady, these observatories capture planetary views rivaling
those from the Hubble Space Telescope. Image captions are in French.
If you're interested in film photography you'll want to look at the unique
color images by Michael Malin.
Here's just about everything you'll ever want to know about time, seasons,
dates of solstices and equinoxes, sunrise and sunset times, phases of
the moon, and much more, from the authoritative source.
Do you want to work for NASA?
Check out the NASA
Jobs page. http://nasajobs.nasa.gov
Do you want
to be an astronomer? The American
Astronomical Society is the leading organization of professional astronomers.
The AAS site includes a jobs page that gives a glimpse of careers in astronomical
Do you want to work in a planetarium?
Planetarium Society, a volunteer-run association, provides web links
to planetariums around the world, and even has a jobs page. http://www.ips-planetarium.org
Are you interested in museums
and science centers? The Association
of Science-Technology Centers web site has job listings plus inside
information on how science centers are organized and operated. http://www.astc.org
Do you need official statistics
on employment for your report? Go to the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov