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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…
K2-18b: Exoplanet With Water ~ Required for life as we know it, extraterrestrial water is of special interest: though there are no guarantees that alien life will follow a similar blueprint. The situation changes daily, but from 8,429 confirmed and potential exoplanets so far: K2-18b lying about 124 light years away, is the first at roughly the right temperature with water in its atmosphere.
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…
Keith’s 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 something blinding.
Life Cycle of a Star ~ More astronomy than celebrity, this site explains the process of development that stars undergo, compared with a person’s life from conception through infancy, into adulthood and finally old age. An educational slant makes the journey fun to follow, with some great interactive tutorials to conclude and that reinforce the main facts…
Light Pollution Map ~ There are several online atlases, claiming to show the worldwide damage caused by light pollution. Unfortunately, the majority are now rather ancient, so this interactive map with a selection of comparative data from 2010, 2012 and 2014 seemed the wisest recommendation. It interfaces with Bing Maps, so you can zoom in to your viewing location.
List of Centaurs & Scattered-Disk Objects ~ Remember the days when there was only Chiron? As of March 2005 there are now 150 known centaurs and scattered-disk objects, with more constantly being discovered. Here you will find the latest astronomical data. Be prepared for lengthy concentration on a site like this.
List Of Natural Satellites ~ Astrologers talking about planets, makes astronomers mad. Although used as a generic term: the Sun is technically a star, while the Moon is our satellite. Mercury and Venus have no known moons, but Mars and beyond share 189 between them, nineteen of which are large enough to appear round. Orbiting the Sun instead, these would make extra planets.
LIVEMETEORS.com ~ It may seem tricky to grasp what is going on here, but you’ll soon appreciate why this site is so cool. You are listening to meteor echoes, caused by the ionised trail of a meteor reflecting radio waves back to Earth. This makes for a soundscape, you can use as an ambient backdrop and that is surprisingly full of variation, if you listen for long enough.
LPOD ~ Since 2004 the Lunar Photo (or Picture) of the Day has furthered the concept pioneered by APOD and later continued by EPOD, for astronomy and earth sciences respectively. Every day there’s a new image that either highlights an important feature of the Moon, shows our satellite in a different way or that otherwise intrigues…
Lunar and Planetary Institute ~ The Lunar and Planetary Institute conducts planetary science research under the leadership of staff scientists and visiting researchers, also providing support services for NASA and the planetary science community. For humble astrologers like me, they have some great images of the planets and of the Moon especially!