Image: ASTRONOMY PICTURE OF THE DAY
No list of the "best of the Web" would be complete without this NASA classic. Every day, a new and startling picture of some part of the cosmos appears, with a quick caption that links out to other sites for additional information. The archives include more than five years of daily imagesand other sections offer a short glossary and links to educational astronomy sites.
This site features a fairly broad collection of college-level astronomy courses online, many of which include lecture notes, tests, homework assignments and answers. Much of the material is heavily linked to additional resources and is supplemented with video and audio files.
Good astronomer Phil Plait does us a great service with his Bad Astronomy site, dedicated to correcting misconceptions and debunking myths about his subject of choice. Plait covers not only wrong beliefs but also bad movies, bad media science stories and bad idioms (let's face it, meteors don't risethey fall). Better yet, he does it all with a terrific sense of humor.
No site reviews the history, mythology and current scientific knowledge of our own solar system better. Clearly written text, large pictures and, in some cases, audio and video lead you through the tourwhich all in all comes to about 100 pages. A glossary, ample related links and a section on spacecraft help fill in any blanks.
The whole idea behind this site is simple: harness the number-crunching might of many millions of Internet-connected computers to look for aliens. You can download free software and assist the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project right from home. Sign up as an individual, as a company teamor join Scientific American's group.
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