Archive for the podcasts Category

How has the internet changed amateur astronomy?

Posted in amateur astronomy, astro blogs, IYA, observing, podcasts, Social Networking, Student Astronomy with tags , , , , on December 1, 2009 by bellaireastro

When someone becomes interested in astronomy those of us that are more experienced generally have some advice:

1) Don’t buy too little or too much telescope meaning make sure you get a good quality but get something you will actually use and you don’t have to break the bank!

2) Find a local club to join where you can learn and ask questions and be a part of a community of other astronomy enthusiasts.

But what it means to be a part of an astronomy community has been transformed by social networks, blogs, virtual observatories, and a the rapid way that information is spread online.

Social networking seems to be changing lots of things about the way people communicate and access information. Astronomy is no different. In fact it seems social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have had a big impact on the way amateurs connect with one another. Face-to-face clubs aren’t going away, but the experience of being a part of a community of people with a common interest can also happen online.

Twitter – the 140 character limit requirement makes astronomy tweets short and sweet. Here are a few ways that Twitter is changing amateur astronomy:

  • Instant access to professional and amateurs from everywhere
  • New community of astronomers with a different dynamic
  • Information is disseminated rapidly about astro events and news

140 characters at a time

Facebook – you can connect with millions of like-minded astronomy fans, coordinate groups and events, and even post photo albums using Facebook. Here are a few ways Facebook is changing amateur astronomy:

  • Networking with astronomers of all stripes
  • Can be used by individuals and clubs for communication and event coordination
  • Can post images & links

Facebook can manage events

Connect with millions of astronomy peeps

Blogs – If you take a look at the blog roll on this site you can see just a sampling of the kinds of astronomy blogs that are out there. From professional astronomers and science writers and space agencies, to astronomy educators, to observation logs, to astronomy news, to podcasts you can really see the wide variety and quality of astronomy material available in blog form.

  • As a reader you can get ALL the news out there for all astronomy topics sooner than the print stuff
  • Many publications are using blogs and other online content to entice readers or reward subscribers
  • As a blogger you can help spread news and contribute yourself and be a part of astronomy blogging community

Forums– When you are looking for help with astronomy equipment or astrophotography or need reviews and advice on what to buy or sell or if you want to exchange ideas with other astronomers you can probably find a forum.

  • is the best place to get reviews and ask questions about equipment as well as to find a thriving marketplace for used stuff.
  • is a serious place for the armchair astronaut. You can keep up with the latest on robotic spacecraft or rovers and share in the excitement as new images are plucked from obscure web servers and open for discussion.

Virtual Observatories – anyone can access professional-quality equipment and access real research data with these tools.

  • Galaxy Zoo lets anyone be a part of the science using robotically collected data. Users categorize galaxies and mergers better than any software.
  • Tzec Maun Foundation is non-profit group that gives access to telescopes and clear dark skies for education and research purposes.

Intro Astro Videos

Posted in galactic astronomy, podcasts, software, space, stellar astronomy, Student Astronomy with tags , , on June 3, 2009 by bellaireastro

I haven’t posted in a long time. The end of school has occupied a lot of time. Look for more posts though as the summer progresses.

One of my Twitter friends told me about these cool introductory astronomy videos.

This one features lots of thrown balls to demonstrate the discrete energy levels in an atom.

Portal to the Universe – All the astro news in one place

Posted in astro blogs, IYA, podcasts, robotic astronomy, software, space on May 2, 2009 by bellaireastro

Part of the IYA2009 mission was to create a single website where you can find all the astronomy news and information that is around the web.

There are blogs and podcasts and news and videos and mission photos and a lot more.

Check out the Portal To The Universe

Portal to the Universe

Springtime observing targets from blog

Posted in astro blogs, observing, podcasts, urban skies with tags , on March 10, 2009 by bellaireastro

Check this out this post from the blog with a cool video about naked-eye sights this month. Good stuff.

Springtime observing video

Happy Birthday Galileo

Posted in astro blogs, IYA, podcasts with tags , , , on February 15, 2009 by bellaireastro

Galileo Galilei by Justus Sustermans

Today is the birthday of Galileo so it is fitting that the podcast for today over at 365DaysofAstronomy is all about Galileo. The daily podcast is the official podcast of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 which is a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo turning the newly invented telescope to the skies. Have a listen:

February 15: The Life and Achievements of Galileo Galilei.


365 Days of Astronomy – Life and Death in Orion

Posted in astro blogs, IYA, observing, podcasts, space, urban skies with tags , , , on February 9, 2009 by bellaireastro

Today’s 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is all about Life and Death in Orion.

Christopher Crockett from Lowell Observatory tells us all about the constellation Orion and some of it’s cool pieces and parts like Betelguese (which I still pronounce like the movie BTW) and the star forming region of the Orion nebula (Messier 42) as well as the history and mythology of this constellation from various cultures.

Have a listen – link to blogMP3 link

Useful Astronomy Blogs

Posted in astro blogs, IYA, observing, podcasts, robotic astronomy, space on January 19, 2009 by bellaireastro

It can be hard to find useful sites related to astronomy. There is SO much astronomy news and information on the web. Over time, I have found some sites that I read everyday so I thought others might find a list of my most-read astronomy blogs helpful.

Mainly, I use Google Reader to condense all favorite astronomy blogs into a more manageable format. If a particular site I like has an news feed (as in RSS) I add that site my Google Reader list. That way it’s much easier to read the huge flood of stories. Common Craft has a cool video explaining how RSS works if you aren’t sure what all this is about and even one all about how to use Google Reader for your RSS feeds. You think I left something out? Let me know in the comments.

Daily Multimedia Posts

All-around Astronomy News and Info

  • Bad Astronomy – Phil Plait has crafted quite an image for good science news and a lot of snark
  • One Minute Astronomer – Brian Ventrudo posts astronomy tips for the busy human
  • Slacker Astronomy – this started out as an astronomy podcast and has grown to a blog and wiki too
  • Star Stryder – Pamela Gay’s astronomy blog comes with a healthy dose of her insight into astronomy topics
  • The Perfect Silence – off-beat and thoughtful content related to astronomy
  • Universe Today – lots of news and a sprawling set of topics

Observation Blogs

News & Info About Astronomy Missions

Direct from the Astronomers

Professional Astronomy Media Blogs