Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Take a Break: Stargaze

                                                       UPDATED 5/10/14

While I’m a little late in celebrating Astronomy week (May 2-8) and the day itself May 7, there are lots of wonderful things to observe in the night sky. Whether you live in the country or city, try to get outside this evening and enjoy. Want to know what to look for? The following links will help you identify what’s in the sky where you live:

Star Date: From the University of Texas McDonald Observatory

• Your Sky: An on-line interactive planetarium where you can make your own sky map

• Stellarium: Free planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3 D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. Set your coordinates and enjoy.

While it’s not the same as lying back in one of those special chairs at the local planetarium, you can observe the sky digitally, pause to find out more about a constellation and pretend your are any where in the world stargazing via Neave Planetarium.

Find a Club, Museum, Observatory, Planetarium near you
Astronomy Clubs

Night Sky Network from NASA

Sky and Telescope

Want to do more than observe stars for a night? NASA’s Citizen Scientists has established programs where people can volunteer to help the astronomy community. Such programs include: Be a Martian, improving Martian maps; HiWish, deciding where the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will point its camera; Lunar Impacts, monitor the rates and sizes of large meteoroids striking the moon’s dark side. You can also sign up for NASA’s e-mail updates on a variety of topics.

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