The sky is the one of the few things that all of the universe has in common, as is the scientific big bang theory that likely created the solar system we inhabit. Exploration of the unknown has been a fascination for people since the beginning of time, and there is evidence of the study of astronomy dating back many centuries to ancient civilizations. Ancient telescopes have given way to advanced robotic cameras, like spectacles into another world.
There has been great debate over whether space programs are worth the cost. You could argue that we would have never discovered new worlds if Christopher Columbus failed to explore the unknown. Many people believe that we may not be limited to life on planet Earth, despite what we do know about other atmospheres on our universe. And if the human race wishes to evolve, we must continue to educate ourselves about this great world that we live in.
Space exploration provides valuable information on planets in our universe that may potentially be able to harbor water and life. Astronomical exploration has provided many valuable resources such as telescopes to view outer space, and satellites which provide our countries with advanced security and communication abilities. Discovery of new frontiers may hold unlimited possibilities for the advancement of technology, understanding, and maybe even the human race.
The following resources offer a vast amount of information on astronomy, history, and space exploration:
- The University of Wisconsin at Madison: comprehensive listing of the constellations and their stars, scientific information, sky and star charts, and photographs
- Atlas of the Universe: maps designed to give a visual outline of the universe, starting with the stars closest to the sun and expanding outwards
- Exploratorium Observatory: astronomical information on eclipses, planets, and the Space Weather Research Explorer
- International Astronomical Union: discusses the origins of the 88 constellations, and provides charts and tables to map their boundaries
- Amazing Space: online exploration and history of galaxies, comets, black holes, stars, and telescopes
- National Geographic: features interesting facts of the moon, including distance, measurements, formation and the atmosphere
- Berkeley University: facts about the sun, including it's evolution, rotation, and activity
- The US Navy: with their interactive database, you can get specific data on the phases and travel of the sun and moon, corresponding to wherever you are in the world
- NASA Eclipse Website: presents detailed information on past, present, and future solar and lunar eclipses
- Ancient Observatories: exploration of ancient observatories including Mexico's Chich?n ItzÃ and New Mexico's Chaco Canyon
- Johnson Space Center: biographies of space flight crews and astronauts, including Career Astronauts, Payload Specialists, and Cosmonauts
- NASA.gov: the official site of NASA offers information on the history and vision of space exploration, the Space Act, technology and research
- Hubble Site: up to date Hubble Telescope news releases and information about astronomy, including an amazing picture album of the galaxies
- NASA Space Shuttle Missions: provides the latest space shuttle news on shuttle launches and missions, including news and media resources
- Rocket & Space Technology: up to date list and details of all of the world's space missions, including manned space flights, planetary spacecraft missions, and lunar spacecraft missions
- Nine Planets: tour of the solar system includes scientific, historical, and mythological information on the planets, moons, and other objects