Links from my "astronomy data talk"
From May 2021 -- Data Umbrella talk: the
From March 2018 -- a version of the talk aimed at amateur astronomers:
slides (pdf) and
Citizen Science opportunities
Originally grabbed from here, which has a much better (if possibly dated) list, with a description for each project.
These programs all involve the use of real data on the forefront of astronomical research, but are "packaged" so as to make accessing the real data far more easy (e.g., entirely web browser-based) than it might be otherwise. These projects are a great way to start to get into real data. Many offer "hooks" to get into the research questions at a deeper level when you are ready. Many have lesson plans ready-to-go -- by which I mean, lessons you can
do yourself, or if you are an educator, you can use in a classroom or after
school setting. Some may have shut down while others have started.
Even Bigger Projects
Things that need more of a time commitment, e.g., your own observatory (not a 3-inch Walmart telescope, but not a 3.5 meter either):
Major US Astronomy Archives
There are other archives for planetary data (there are several); and
archives housing data from
Canada, Europe, India, and Asia assets ... Two of the most famous
archives are based in France:
SIMBAD is mostly object-driven, e.g., type in an object's name or RA/Dec
and find out what is known about that object, with links to journal
VizieR gives you fast access to ~16,000 different published data tables.
- IRSA, the
Infrared Science Archive (this is the one at Caltech) - NASA's IR and
- NED, the NASA Extragalactic
Database (also at Caltech) - curated data about galaxies ("google for
- The NASA
Exoplanet Archive (also at Caltech) - curated data about
- MAST, the Mikulski Archive for
Space Telescopes (at STScI in Baltimore) - NASA's optical data
- HEASARC, the High
Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (at Goddard in
Greenbelt, MD) - NASA's high-energy data
- ADS, the Astrophysics
Data System (at Harvard) - all the astronomy literature from the 1800s
through this morning.
Some IRSA tools
Also see Astrometry.net -- this is
what you can use to attach coordinates to any image you yourself have
taken that has enough stars in it.
Are you a classroom high school educator who wants to do real
research? Check out NITARP --
applications available annually in May or June for the class
operating the following calendar year.
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Last substantially modified May 2021 by rebull
Any opinions expressed here are well-reasoned and insightful, but in no
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