For links to web sites specifically for teachers, visit our Instructional Resources page.

There are thousands of excellent Astronomy and Space Science Links on the World Wide Web. The following links are just a sample. If you don't find your favorite site listed, please send us the address and a brief description of the site.

General Astronomy:

Astronomy Picture of the Day
A new picture and explanation by a professional astronomer each day.
HubbleSite Gallery (Hubble Telescope)
Full Collection of Hubble Space Telescope images. Also check out the News Center for press releases.
Amazing Space (educational resources related to astronomy and the Hubble telescope)
Amazing Space uses the Hubble Space Telescope's discoveries to inspire and educate about the wonders of our universe. It's a great source for current astronomy activities.
On-Line High School Astronomy Course
Supplement your astronomy knowledge by browsing through this on-line textbook.
"An Internet Resource for the Astronomically Disadvantaged." Astrophysicist and author Dr. Sten Odenwald's unique blend of fact and fun, including the inside story on what it's like to be an astronomer, an "Ask the Astronomer" component, and a survey that you can fill out to see if you have what it takes to be an astronomer.
Basics of Radio Astronomy
A "workbook" for understanding radio astronomy, the electromagnetic spectrum, and how to use. It was designed to support training for the Goldstone-Apple Valley Radio Telescope, but it's helpful for anyone who wants to learn about how to do astronomy in this "invisible" part of the spectrum.
SEDS Internet Space Warehouse
Searchable archive of images and more!
Solar System Simulator
Shows you the Solar System as seen from anywhere in it!
Kids Astronomy Homepage
Learn about Outer Space and become a Junior Astronomer!

Observational Astronomy:

For observing satellites, especially Iridium flares, see the information in the Earth and Its Satellites Section.
For star charts, see the Current Sky section.

Sky & Telescope's "This Week's Sky at a Glance"
Great suggestions and diagrams of what to go out and look for in the current night sky.
Minor Planet Center
This is the clearinghouse for information regarding minor planets (asteroids, comets, etc.) as well as a place for confirming and reporting new discoveries.
Image Processing via the Internet
Absolutely amazing! Very recently developed, this Virginia Tech product will allow you to image process your images via the web. Check it out.
Madison Weather from the Weather Underground
Get important information for your observing session: sun set and rise, moon phase, moon set and rise, dew point, cloud cover, extended forecast, and now it even has a link on that page to a nice star chart! If you're not from Madison, link to the Weather Underground main page and choose your location.
Get the correct time for syncing your system clock to the real world here!
Sunrise/Sunset computation
Computes sunset and sunrise times for your location.
The STScI Digitized Sky Survey
Excellent source for confirming a discovery or viewing images of objects outside the Solar System.For the best results follow these steps:
  1. Fill in the name of an object which is outside the Solar System.
  2. Click the "NED" button.
  3. Click "Get Coordinates".
  4. Select "Gif" for the file format.
  5. Then click "Retrieve Image".
SEDS Messier Database
Nice pictures of these deep sky objects. See the "Messier Logging Software" under the software section of this list.
Sky & Telescope Magazine's "How to Start Right in Astronomy"
A good source for information about getting started in observational astronomy.
Hands-On Universe
An educational program that enables students to investigate the universe while applying tools and concepts from science, math, and technology. HOU participants can request observations from an automated telescope, download images from an archive, and analyze them with user-friendly image processing software.
Washburn Observatory (UW-Madison)
A tremendously important historical observatory, located right here in Madison. Information about public viewing nights included.
Web sites for observing Aurora (Northern Lights) find out what's happening on the Sun, check for aurora alerts, and much more.
Aurora Information and Images (Univ. of Alaska): also has forecasts and more.
Auroras - Paintings in the Sky (Exploratorium): self-guided tour of Auroras, and list of links.


Astronomy Cast
This "fact-based journey through the cosmos" is a wonderful resource presented in an entertaining format that is easy to understand. This podcast is also available through iTunes.
Hidden Universe
Highlights the exciting discoveries of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.This video podcast is also available through iTunes.
IRrelevant Astronomy
You'll love this VERY creative animated video podcast series that teaches about infrared astronomy and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. This podcast is also available through iTunes.
A great video podcast from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.  This podcast is also available through iTunes.
NASA has several podcast series, but this is a great place to start. You'll find both audio and video postcasts. These podcasts are also available through iTunes.
Many More!
Search the web and iTunes to find the astronomy podcasts that will soon become your favorites!


Madison Astronomical Society
Find out how to become a member, when and where the meetings are, and includes information about public viewing sessions.
UW Space Place
Get information about this facility, the programs they offer, and more.
UW-Madison Astronomy Department
Includes information about their undergraduate and graduate programs and faculty.
Space Science and Engineering Center
International Dark-Sky Association
Excellent information about light pollution and solutions.
International Planetarium Society
If you are interested in planetariums, check out this excellent organization.


Information about Astronomy magazine and other resources.
The homepage for Sky & Telescope magazine and other resources.
The Astronomer Magazine
An online resource for amateur and advanced amateur astronomers.
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (APS)
An international organization for amateur and professional astronomers. Publishers of the excellent Mercury magazine.

Software (free and shareware):

Starry Night (Windows and Mac)
This is a great program for simulating the day and night sky, and so much more. It's not a free or shareware program, but there are several levels with a range of prices.
This program is not as user-friendly as Starry Night, but it's a fantastic powerful program for simulating the sky for any date, time, and location.
Sky Charts Software (Windows)
This is a FREE piece of software that acts as a virtual planetarium or sky chart. Excellent for observational planning and relatively easy to use. A definite download for those on a budget.
Seti@Home Software (Windows or Mac)
Your computer can use its screen saver time to download, process and search for extraterrestrial intelligence! Download the IBM compatible or Macintosh versions now! Note: This screen saver is computer intensive, but it is doing the processing when your not using the computer, so give it a shot. By the way, the display while the software is running is pretty cool...
11 Best Astronomy Apps for Amateur Star Gazers - 10.13.2013
Project CLEA: Contemporary Laboratory Experiences in Astronomy
These applications help high school and college students to understand some difficult concepts. They can also be used by a middle school teacher to demonstrate things like how astronomers use Spectroscopy to classify stars!


See also Earth and Its Satellites

Excellent starting point for all NASA on-line resources.
NASA Wavelength Digital Library
This site makes it much easier to find the astronomy-related NASA educational products.
The Space Place (NASA)
Tons of activities and games!
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
JPL: the leading US center for robotic exploration of the solar system (Galileo, Magellan, Ulysses, Cassini, and much more).
Solar System Exploration: Launches and Events
Excellent calendar of recent, current, and future missions, and specific important events in those missions. Calendar items are linked to their home pages.
NASA's Space Science
This site gives up to date info on the the Space Science (Astronomy and Cosmology) Division of NASA.
NASA Human Spaceflight: The International Space Station
This is main site for the latest information for this space station now being assembled and operated in orbit.
Basics of Space Flight
A "workbook" for understanding the general concepts associated with space flight, and deep space missions in particular.
Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Mission Homepage
The Homepage of the NEAR Mission.
Mars Global Surveyor: Welcome to Mars
This is the Homepage of the Mars Global Surveyor. It includes many up to date images and other good references.
2001 Mars Odyssey
The home page for this mission: launch April 7, 2001; arrived at Mars October 24, 2001.
Mars Rover Mission (2003)
The home page for this mission; 2 separate rovers: launching May and June, 2003; arrive at Mars January, 2004.
This page includes many images of Jupiter and links to other good sites on the web.
Homepage of the Stardust Mission with an excellent FAQ and some good images.
Cassini: Mission to Saturn
Homepage of the Cassini Mission to Saturn, which arrives in the summer of 2004. Incredible resources -- especially for teachers and students.
Women @ NASA

Earth and Its Satellites:

Space Science and Engineering Center
Spot the Station: find out how and when to see the International Space Station (ISS) fly over your location.
Search for upcoming flyovers on this site, or sign up for email or text alerts, which will notify you of times when the space station will pass over your home location, and which direction to look.
Satellite Flybys at
Enter your zip code and they'll give you a list of when and where to look to see a wide range of satellites. They also have a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
Heavens Above: Earth's Satellites that are Visible from Madison, WI
This site very accurately predicts the time, altitude and azimuth for visible overpasses of some of the Earth's satellites, such as the International Space Station, Iridium Flares, and many others, for individuals living very close to Madison, Wisconsin!
Heavens Above: view the Earth's Satellites from Anywhere Else on Earth
This site very accurately predicts the time, altitude and azimuth for visible overpasses of many of the Earth's satellites, such as the International Space Station, Iridium Flares, and many others, from anywhere on planet Earth if you know your longitude and latitude.
Earth Viewer
Up-to-the-minute map of the Earth showing day/night, and satellite images.
The Full Moon Atlas
A complete series of interactive lunar maps, with more than 2,500 geographic formations (including craters, mountains, lakes, seas and valleys) identified simply by moving your mouse cursor over the feature.
Astronaut Photography of Earth

The Solar System:

For web sites related to NASA missions, look in the N.A.S.A. section.

Madison Planet Stroll
Take a virtual tour, or a walking tour, through a scale model of the solar system here in Madison, Wisconsin!
Planetary Photojournal: NASA's Image Access Home Page
If you are looking for photos of the planets, look here!
Build a Solar System
This web site helps you do the math to shrink the solar system down to the size you want for a scale model. If you are
Big Bear Solar Observatory
An awesome site for the current appearance of the Sun's surface (full disk image). The site also provides a virtual tour of the observatory.
Solar System Simulator
View your favorite planet or moon from many different points of view (above, below, Earth, another planet, or from several space probes). Excellent resource for learning about the planets and understanding what you are seeing in the eye-piece of a telescope.
Mission to Mars
1st Place in "ThinkQuest: An International Web-site Design Contest". Mission to Mars is an interactive educational site that shares information about our exploration of that planet and gives you a perspective on what is involved with the design of a mission. The central attraction here is the interactive mission simulation, which puts you in control of design and execution of a mission with a probe landing on the Red Planet.
Solar System Live
View the planet's positions today or any day... complete with ephemeris data.
Your Weight On Other Worlds
Ever wondered what you would weigh on other worlds? Here's your chance to find out!
The Nine Planets Solar System Tour
Excellent source of fairly current information about the planets of our solar system and their moons.
Mars Atlas home page
Browsable, zoomable, scrollable atlas of Mars.
NASA Planetary Data System Map-A-Planet
Provides a global point and click system for exploring various planets.
Information about this mission, and Venus images from the Magellan space probe.
PDS Imaging Node - Venus
Clickable, zoomable map of Venus using data from Magellan and Galileo.

Current Night Sky: Star Charts, Stars and Constellations (mythology)

Portraits of Stars and their Constellations
Dedicated to showing that all stars are not the same, this award winning web site, created by Dr. James Kaler (an astronomer from the University of Illinois), has everything you'd want to know about stars and constellations. This incredible resource includes written information and descriptions, photos, weekly highlights (Skylights), spectroscopy, and more.
Heavens Above: current information as seen from Madison, Wisconsin, USA
In addition to providing excellent satellite pass predictions, this web site also provides a star chart (set for Madison), current locations of planets and minor planets, constellation information, rise and set times for the sun and moon, and more.
Heavens Above: current information as seen from anywhere outside of Madison, Wisconsin, USA
In addition to providing excellent satellite pass predictions, this web site also provides a star chart (can be set for your location), current locations of planets and minor planets, constellation information, rise and set times for the sun and moon, and more. 
Find Sun and Moon Rise and Set Times
Click on the map to find the rising and setting times for the sun and moon. This is one of the easiest sites to get this information from.
Free publication-quality sky maps and star charts, with a description of some of the interesting features of the current sky (see copyright information on that page).
Make a Planisphere
Washington Jefferson College has made a great planisphere activity that you can print and make. A planisphere is a star chart that you can set the date and time for.
Sky View Cafe
This site turns your web browser into a planetarium application! It may be slow to load originally, but works quickly after that. It provides: a star chart; planet orbits and positions (including heliocentric longitude); positions of Jupiter and Saturn's moons; day/night diagram for the year; day/night map of the Earth; calendar with moon phases; tables including rise and set times, ephemeris, and more.
Aboriginal Star Knowledge
An illustrated page filled with Native American sky mythology and ceremony.
The Perseus Project
A digital library of mythology with extensive resources for classical Greek history.
Ancient Egyptian Myths
Illustrated pages relating Egyptian myths to aspects of their world including the sky and Earth.
Nocturnal animals videos:
While you are out enjoying the night sky, don't miss the opportunity to explore the other aspects of the night, like nocturnal animals. You'll love the great backyard videos at this site. We use (with permission) a few clips from this site in our Nightwatchers program.