|Ian Ridpath’s Star Tales ~ Ian is a professional astronomer and a prolific author who regularly features in the media. His book Star Tales was first published in 1988 and outlines the myths surrounding the 88 constellations used nowadays, plus a few obsolete ones besides. It’s now available online, with updates and additions on the way…
Astronomy Union (IAU) ~ The IAU is made up of astronomers from all
over the world and is responsible for the naming of new planetary discoveries.
So if you would like to know why the object internationally called Xena,
should in February 2006 still catchily be referred to as 2003 UB313,
then these are the people to ask.
|International Comet Quarterly ~ The ICQ is a non-profit scientific journal devoted to the study of comets. It is a link between amateur and professional astronomers in the exchange of news and useful observations. The ICQ is at present published by the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department of Harvard University. Unparalleled easy reading, it is obviously not…
|International Meteor Organization ~ The International Meteor Organization was founded in 1988, to facilitate cooperation when it comes to meteor observation internationally. Although intended primarily for the astronomical community I still found this website enlightening, especially their calendar of meteor showers, which is reasonably comprehensible to the layperson.
Space Station (ISS) ~ The International Space Station orbits the
Earth over fifteen times each day. It is not hard to spot with the
naked eye, but you do need to know where to look. This site’s huge
database helps us all catch a glimpse from wherever we’re situated.
It’s definitely a worthwhile exercise!
|In-The-Sky.org ~ An attractive site, presenting the technicalities of modern astronomy in an accessible way. So as to keep you abreast of the latest developments in the sky, the online planetarium is geolocated using your IP address and has a number of configurable options. Details of comets, meteor showers and man-made satellites are a few of the other delights in store…
Standing for the International Occultation Timing Association, this is
an astronomy site that emphasises the further study of these important
celestial events. Occultations are similar to eclipses, but can involve
almost any celestial body, usually obscured by the Moon. They are significant
events for astrologers too of course.
|Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer ~ Jack Horkheimer has been director of the Miami Planetarium for over 35 years and since 1976 has been writing and presenting what claims to be the only weekly television series on naked eye astronomy, giving highlights to watch for during the week ahead. Now the show is also available online, it’s quirky and quite brilliant…
|Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) ~ Under the NASA umbrella, the JPL is a leading centre for the exploration of space. Give or take the usual differences in definition, so far their spacecraft have visited all of the known planets except Pluto and that mission is currently underway. There’s some great material here on all aspects of the solar system and more…
|Jillian’s Guide to Black Holes ~ Possibly the most interesting and accessible site I have stumbled across on the subject of black holes. It is the work of a woman who is enthralled and fascinated by these phenomena, but who also finds herself driven to explain their dynamics to those casual observers, who are no less intrigued but almost inevitably, are not so adequately informed.
|Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics ~ Jodrell Bank is the astronomy research centre of the University of Manchester and operates the UK’s national radio astronomy facility. Sounds less than gripping perhaps, but they also offer material for the public, to help us get our heads around the sort of thing they do. The Night Sky This Month section looks especially helpful…
|JPL Small-Body Database Browser ~ The Dawn mission to Ceres and Vesta is delayed until September 2007, but then that’s what NASA get for planning to launch with Mercury retrograde. Until then, you can see awesome animations of the orbits of these bodies by searching on 1 for Ceres or 4 for Vesta and then selecting Orbit Diagram. You’ll need Java…
|Kármán Line ~ The Kármán line at an altitude of 100 kilometres, lies over 62 miles above the Earth. It is also acknowledged to represent the boundary, between our atmosphere and outer space. Named after a Hungarian-American aerospace engineer and physicist, it is interesting to note how the rest of our universe is closer to us, than many folk are to their capital city…
Moon Page ~ Keith Cooley’s site has detailed explanations of everything you could possibly want to know about
the Moon and then some. If you’ve ever wondered how much the Moon
weighs, how heavy you would be on the Moon, or how long it would take
to drive there by car ( !!! ), then this would be the place for you…
|Kepler Mission ~ NASA’s Kepler mission has been designed to find planets about the size of the Earth orbiting stars at distances where water could pool on the planet’s surface. It launched successfully on March 6, 2009 at 22:49 EST from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Liquid water is currently believed essential for life as we know it to exist…
|Kepler - Search for Habitable Planets ~ Kepler is a space observatory launched to locate Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. This mission has been mentioned here before and so nearly four years later, I am intrigued to learn it has spotted more than one hundred confirmed exoplanets to date. There are well over two thousand others, NASA says are planetary candidates.
|Kuiper Belt ~ Continuing with the extremes of the solar
system, David Jewitt is Professor of Physics and Astronomy
at the University of Hawaii. He is on the cutting edge
of Kuiper Belt research and his site is aimed firmly at his astronomical
mates. But if you’re feeling strong, you never know, you could learn