Writing about the stars

By KELLY BURNS

Writing about the sky can be a daunting task, especially for someone who has never taken an interest in astronomy. But because the things that happen in outer space can still impact those of us on earth, it is important to know a little something about the stars, and where to get accurate information.

An obvious place to look would be  http://www.nasa.gov, which has some great information about the space program and the different planets. The government site displays the most current articles regarding the space program along with videos that range from teaching hand-eye coordination to videos of the sun’s surface.  A sector of the NASA website http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/cassini is a spin-off site directly related to the Cassini Equinox Mission that was started as a joint effort between NASA, ASI and the ESA to learn more about Saturn. The website is dedicated to answering questions about the four-year project, but also gives great background information and easy to understand info graphics about the solar system.

Another website I discovered is  http://www.gigagalaxyzoom.org/B.html, which has a great interactive tool to discover and learn more about the constellations in the sky. It gives a general history and background on each constellation and when is the best time to see them.

The last website is just really fun. This one is http://hubblesite.org/explore_astronomy/black_holes/modules.html and is focused predominately on the phenomena of black holes — what are they and what they do. Through an interactive map in which you can view the galaxy you can view the night sky with either x-ray vision, radio waves or visible light. While this site isn’t the best tool for writing an article, it’s still a lot of fun.

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