Astronomy and Space
Educational Websites of Interest
Board of Studies, New South Wales
Everything you need to know about the Board
of Studies, including all the syllabi, sample exam papers etc.
Department of Astrophysics, University
of New South Wales
One of Australia's leading university research
groups in astronomy, with particular strengths in star formation, cosmology,
infrared astronomy, millimetre-wave astronomy and Antarctic astronomy.
School of Physics, University of New South
One of Australia's premier physics groups,
undertaking a wide range of research activities, including condensed matter
physics, biophysics, environmental physics and astrophysics.
Astronomical Society of Australia
The society for professional astronomers in
Australian Institute of Physics
The society for professional physicists in
Anglo Australian Observatory
Australia's national optical / infrared observatory.
Includes an excellent source of astronomical images taken by David Malin.
Australia Telescope National Facility
Australia's national radio observatory.
Hubble Space Telescope
Home page for the Hubble Space Telescope,
including access to all the news releases, pictures and extensive educational
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
Starting point for a truly vast ranges of
resources! Of particular interest might be the link to Human
A set of web-based activities designed for classroom use. Includes
AstroCappella is a marriage of astronomy and music, developed by astronomers and professionally recorded by the Chromatics. It includes the following downloadable songs:
The CSIRO/ATNF astronomy course for HSC Physics
teachers. Contains similar material to these lecture notes, but presented
in a different form.
Lecture notes for a complete astronomy course, together with images, from Nick Strobel of Bakersfield College. A quite remarkable resource. It contains the following sections:
Updated daily with a picture of somewhere
interesting in the Universe, with a brief description from a professional
From Stargazers to Spaceships
An on-line book on astronomy. It contains a course on astronomy, mechanics, the Sun and spaceflight. Most of the material is non-mathematical, it contains lession plans, guidance for teachers, a timeline, a glossary, problems and some suggestions for hands-on projects.
Great Debates in Astronomy
Classic debates in astronomy on major issues. A useful reference not only for the subject at hand, but for the history of science, and also for understanding the working of the scientific method. Debates include:
A service from the high-energy astrophysics
group at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The site is dedicated to
a discussion about our Universe; what we know about it, how it is evolving,
and the kinds of objects and phenomena it contains. Just as importantly,
it also includes discussion on how scientists know what they know, what
mysteries remain, and how we might one day find the answers to them.
This is a demonstration page of various physics
and astronomy Java applets from the University of Oregon Physics Department.
They recommend a minimum size of 800x600 to view these resources. The
Java applets which are referenced have been certified to work under Netscape
version 3.0 (and higher) on a Windows 95 platform or in the SUN/Solaris
OS. Java under Netscape on a Mac still exhibits problematical behaviour.
Please be patient when loading the applet pages - if funny behaviour occurs
under Windows95 try flushing Netscape's Cache. Note that hitting the reload
button will often cause the applet to be repainted incorrectly. This behaviour
is beyond their control. In this case it’s best to go back to the demo
page, flush the cache, and click on the applet link again. Referenced
animations are all in MPEG format so an MPEG viewer is required to view
http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/RealTime/JTrack/Spacecraft.html Satellite location over Earth map
http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/RealTime/JTrack/3D/JTrack3D.html 3D distribution of satellites
Origins Program (NASA)
The Origins Program is funded by NASA for the scientific study of the long chain of events from the birth of the universe in the Big Bang, through the formation of galaxies, stars and planets, the chemical elements of life to the profusion of life on Earth and possibly elsewhere. This link is the public gateway to the program. There are fact sheets on the following:
A directory of Physics resources that are
available on-line. A mixture of catalogues of physics demonstrations
that institutions use, to web-based online experiments.
Project Astro (Astronomical Society of
Astronomers and educators as partners for learning. Project ASTRO began in 1993 as a pilot project in California, pairing professional and amateur astronomers with the classroom. It combines the expertise of educators and scientists in a long-term collaborative. The partners are trained together in workshops that emphasise hands-on activities with family and community involvement. Some sample classroom activities include:
Project CLEA develops laboratory exercises that illustrate modern astronomical techniques using digital data and colour images. They are suitable for high schools. Each CLEA laboratory exercise includes a dedicated computer program, a student manual, and a technical guide for the instructor. The CLEA labs run under Windows on PC's, or on Macintosh computers (but work best on PC’s). The exercises can be down-loaded for free. Of particular interest may be the following exercises:
Appears to have closed down or move. New address unknown.
A starting point for learning about Relativity, with a comprehensive listing of sites on the subject. Broken down into three main sections:
Science Education Gateway
The Science Education Gateway is a collaborative NASA project, which brings together the expertise of NASA scientists, science museums, and educators to produce Earth and space science curricula for classroom and public use via the World Wide Web. This SEGway web site is designed to help teachers locate and identify the resources they can use best and that fit their local curriculum and National Science Education Standards. Web-projects are divided into three main categories, each containing several web-based tutorials:
Lesson plans from NASA JPL (some need to be down-loaded in PDF format) regarding the Solar System. These may help you find ways to integrate the study of Space Science into the curriculum. The lesson plans are classified by grade level, subject area and type of study, in the form of a look-up table or "quilt".
Click on "Astronomy Fact Files". An excellent source of concise information about a wide variety of astronomical topics (even though the Royal Greenwich Observatory is no more!). The notes are divided into the following sections, each containing many leaflets within them. Some of the topics are:
Ask the Astronomer! Sten Odenwald will attempt
to answer your question on astronomy. There is also an archive of questions
that he’s answered. There’s a good chance he may already have answered
yours! Get your pupils to send him a question!
The Nine Planets
The Nine Planets is an overview of the history,
mythology, and current scientific knowledge of each of the planets and
moons in our solar system. Each page has text and images, some have sounds
and movies, and most provide references to additional related information.
Treasure Trove of Science
Eric Weissen’s encyclopaedia of science, with
particular volumes for physics and for astronomy. A comprehensive reference
Welcome to the Planets
(still the best Physics Textbook. Designed for 1st Year Physics at University, but an excellent book to use as a reference for yourself)
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