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More About Deep Space Objects and Cosmic Terms


Where to Find the Latest Astronomy Images

Hubble Space Telescope Images:

All the magnificent Hubble Space Telescope images are here, with captions — many with detailed background information and explanations of the pictures. You can check the latest images, browse the ones their staff consider to be Hubble's "greatest hits," or search for objects of interest to you. Since the pictures are not under copyright, they can all be downloaded in various formats completely free.

National Optical Astronomy Observatory Image Gallery:

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) includes a number of major telescopes in the United States and in Chile. Some of the best images from NOAO's instruments are collected and organized at this site and they too are free for private use.

Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Here astronomers Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonell feature one relatively new celestial image each day with a brief non-technical caption. Over the years, some of the best astronomical images have been featured and an index is available on site.

European Southern Observatory:

This growing album contains images from the large telescopes in the southern hemisphere run by a consortium of European countries. With the building of the Very Large Telescope in Chile, which will be the biggest telescope in the world, there is an increasing number of important new images on this site.

Anglo-Australian Observatory Image Collection:

This site provides a marvelous library of images (focusing on nebulae and galaxies) taken using large telescopes in Australia. Many are by David Malin, who is acknowledged to be one of the finest astronomical photographers of our time. Includes captions and ordering information. (Note these images are copyrighted!)

Infrared Image Galleries:

This site collects infra-red images from space missions and telescopes on the ground and also offers an intriguing set of comparisons showing images at visible and invisible wavelengths. Note: To get to the picture collections, wait for the top page to load and then click on "Image Galleries."

National Radio Astronomy Observatory Image Gallery:

Here you can find pictures constructed from radio waves, collected by a variety of U.S. radio telescopes. The universe as seen with "radio eyes" is quite different from the universe visible light reveals to us.

Chandra X-ray Image Gallery:

The Chandra x-ray telescope (in orbit around Earth) has been sending back a wide range of images of what deep space objects would look like if seen with "x-ray sensitive" eyes.  The images are arranged by category for easy sorting.

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Web Sites for Asking Astronomy Questions

If you have a question about astronomy not answered on our web site, here are some sites where astronomers are answering questions from the public. Before you ask your questions at a particular site, check out their archives, where former questions from others and the answers the scientists provided are available for all. Chances are someone has asked your question already, and you can get your answer instantly.

Ask an Astronomer at Lick Observatory:

Graduate students and staff members at this California observatory answer selected questions, particularly from high school students. Contains archives and links.

Curious about Astronomy:

An "ask-an-astronomer" site run by graduate students and professors of astronomy at Cornell University. Contains searchable archives.

Ask an Astronomer for Kids:

A newer site run by Linda Hermans-Killam at Caltech's center for infrared astronomy. It lets kids submit questions and also read the answers to questions other kids have asked.

Ask the Astronomer:

This site, run by astronomer Sten Odenwald, is no longer active, but lists 3001 answers to questions asked in the mid-1990's. They are nicely organized by topic.

Ask the Space Scientist:

Currently only answers questions about the Sun and the Earth, but has an archive of more general questions, answered by astronomer Sten Odenwald.

Ask a High-Energy Astronomer:

Questions and answers at NASA's Laboratory for High-Energy Astrophysics that focus on x-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, and objects such as black holes, quasars, supernovae, and bursters.

Ask Mr. Sunspot:

Questions for and answers by the staff of the National Solar Observatory, with a particular focus on the Sun and the Solar System. Note: A much more specialized site, just for questions about the Sun, has been set up by the team for the SOHO satellite at:

Ask an Infrared Astronomer:

A site from the California Institute of Technology, focusing on infra-red (heat-ray) astronomy.

Ask the Experts at PhysLink:

Lots of physics questions answered, with some astronomy as well, at this physics education site.

Bad Astronomy Pantry of Bitesize Answers:

Astronomer Phil Plait started this site to deal with astronomical mistakes and misconceptions in the media, but has expanded it to give brief answers to questions on a variety of astronomical topics. Contains a table of contents, organized by topic.

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