There are many things I haven't included,
have some suggestions. This list of links focuses on exploration
of the Sun, Planets and Universe. All the major projects I have
of July 2010. More may be added as I keep exploring.
Much of this from reading on-line updates in Astronomy Magazine.
A popular magazine of astronomical news.
Manages lots of good science missions, Mars
so forth. JPL is located in Pasadena, California.
Science Friday (Talk of the Nation)
Science talk show each Friday on NPR. Good
coverage. Listen in Real Audio from NPR web site. Past
Up to date news and information about space
High energy particle accelerator lab located in
Switzerland and part in France
(where the web was born). Research into the nature of mater,
time, dimensions --- those cosmic questions. Includes Large
Accelerator lab probing cosmic questions in
medical research also. Located near UBC Campus in Vancouver, BC
National accelerator lab in USA. Explores
questions of physics. Located near Chicago, IL.
Deep in an old Minnesota mine where there is lots of shielding
from static particles. Looking for evidence of dark matter,
neutrinos and so forth.
Atacama Large Millimeter and Sub Millimeter Array.
Largest astronomical project in world, so they say. Over 60
radio telescope dishes coordinated to act as one with high
resolution. Located on a high plain in the Atacama Desert of
northern Chile. Built by European Space Agency and international
cooperation including the nation of Chile.
Gran Telescopio Canarias
I think, largest optical telescope in the world. Operated by
Spanish, Mexican and other partners on Canary Islands.
Dedication July 24 2009.
Detectors in ice at south pole looking for neutrinos.
South Pole Microwave Telescope
Mapping cosmic background radiation.
Radio Astrophysical Telescope
Located near Penticton, BC My
Observatory and Aristarchos Telescope
New observatory in Greece.
Educational observatory on island of Crete.
Bank Center for Astrophysics
Large radio telescope located near Manchester England. Part of
network of radio telescopes.
In New Mexico, a high tech array of optical telescopes high in
mountains to bring high resolution images of astronomical objects.
Worlds largest optical telescopes. Located
13,000 Ft.. mountain in Hawaii.
Guide to many facilites on top of this mountain
Largest telescope in Southern hemispere. In South Africa.
Was largest telescope in world for many
Still in cutting edge of
astronomy with adaptive optics, inferetometry and
View from Southern hemisphere.
Multi mirror optical telescope. Solar
and more. Located near Tucson Arizona.
Located in South East Arizona. Several
telescopes including the Large Binocular Telescope.
Mount Hopkins Arizona.
Operated by Kitt Peak. Located in Chile.
Near Victoria, BC Canada. My pictures
at Canary Islands
Radio antenna dish built into bowl shaped valley
Rico. World's largest radio dish.
Valley Radio Array
Large Array (VLA)
Huge array of steer able antennas for radio
Located in New Mexico.
Links to several radio observatories.
Looks for neutrinos from well insulated vantage
in bottom of old nickel mine near Sudbury, Ontario Canada.
Operated by University of Tokyo, Japan.
Cosmology Bolometer Array Receiver
ACBAR Located in Antartica. Looks for
clumps and structure in cosmic back ground radiation. Learn about
early universe soon after big bang. Find out about dark matter,
energy and so forth.
Telescope in New Mexico
Sky surveys, such as Sloan Survey and other
Cosmic Ray Observatory
Spread out over Argentina plain the size of Rhode
France Hawaii Telescope
Very large digital camera called Megaprime.
wide field view on an otherwise smaller telescope in Hawaii.
Gravity Wave Experiment
Multi site gravity wave detector. Hanford,
Creek Radio Observatory
Array. Large array searching for
potential signals from extraterrestrial life,
also other radio astronomy tasks. Paul Allen,
SETI Institute and University of California,
Berkeley among the cooperating entities.
Constellation of 6 micro satellites to study slight variations in the
brightness of nearby and bright stars. Stellar seismology.
Canada and several other countries participating. Launched Feb.
Xray Telescope. Launched June 13 2012 by rocket
from a plane. NuSTAR uses a unique set of eyes to see the highest
energy X-ray light from the cosmos. The observatory can see through gas
and dust to reveal black holes lurking in our Milky Way galaxy, as well
as those hidden in the hearts of faraway galaxies.
Understanding space weather. Looking at solar wind around Earth
and moon. 5 spacecraft with two recently taking up positions
around the moon.
Physics experiment installed at the International Space Station,
Launched May 16 2011. Observing cosmic rays from the vantage
point of space. Looking for signs of things like dark matter and
Wide-field infrared survey
Mapping the sky in infrared light. Launched Dec. 14 2009.
Very accurate mapping of cosmic background radiation left over from the
big bang. Learning a lot about the birth of this universe
and the nature of space and time. Contemplating various
cosmologies related to the shape of space, inflation theory and the
beginnings of time.
Staring constantly at a patch of sky. Looking at over 100,000
stars to detect slight winks or drop-off in light of the star caused by
transit of planets across the face of the star as viewed from
Earth. Will be able to tell if Earth sized planets exist in zone
of habitable temperature from their host stars. Also
looking at light variability of the stars. Lots of data about
stars and extra solar planets. Launched March 6 2009.
Orbits Earth, looks out to border area between solar wind and
Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope. Launched June 11 2008.
A fantastic orbiting observatory in mostly
Great photo archive.
Detects small variation in light from stars that it focuses on.
Steller siesmology, looking for extra solar planets. France has a
leadership role in this mission. Launched 2006.
Japan's new X-ray observatory and spectrometer. Launched July 10
Explores universe in high energy x-ray
Views such things as black hole accretion disks, neutron stars,
galaxies and more.
European X-ray Observatory. A great partner
Orbiting Inferred Telescope
Launched August 2003. One of the great
like Hubble. Designed to look at sky in inferred frequencies.
X-ray Timing Explorer
Detects changes in x-rays over short, or long
Looking at universe in Gamma Rays. Also
detect x-ray and visible light to study things across much of the
Explores galaxies in ultraviolet spectrum.
Energy Transient Explorer
Lies in wait for mysterious gamma ray bursts that
the universe to flash, like someone just took a picture. Tries to
pinpoint where burst originated so other astronomers can look to see
is there. Something must be causing those huge explosions; two
stars colliding? a super super nova?
Studies gamma ray bursts with three telescopes to
data from across a broad range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Looks a plasma, dust and so forth from
Lost it's cooling fluid so primary mission had to
scrapped, but someone came up with a neat idea. Use one of the
telescopes to detect slight fluctuations in the brightness of nearby
Opens up fields such as "stellar seismology."
Sometimes called the Humble Space
of bang for the buck. A Canadian project, from UBC in
More sophisticated look at variations in stellar brightness.
be launched in late 2002. Looks like a suitcase.
Sub Millimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite
(SWAS) Looks at chemical composition of gas
Explores star formation.
Planets, moons, asteroids, comets
US mission to orbit Mars. Analyze gases in upper
atmosphere. Probe questions related to why Mars has lost much of
it's atmosphere which scientists think was a lot thicker a few billion
years ago. Launched November 18, 2013. Arrive at Mars Sept
Mars Orbiter Mission from India. Launched November 5 2013.
Exploring extremely thin atmosphere at the moon. Looking at
dust. Launched September 2013
Roving laboratory on Mars. Launched November 26 2011.
Geology, looking for signs of a hospitable environment on Mars, past
Japan's high resolution explorer of the moon. Videos, images and
Chinese moon probe
Search for information about Chang'e 1. Orbiting the moon.
Launched October 24 07. Best sites are news sites that
On an 8-year journey to asteroid Vesta and dwarf
planet Ceres. Launched
Sept. 27 07.
European Space Agency. Explore Venus from orbit. Similar to
Mars Express. Launched Nov. 05
Orbiting Saturn. Will send probe down to
called Titan December 2004-January 2005. Next close pass of
October 26 2004.
Aprox. 10 year mission to Pluto. Launched Jan 19 2006.
On a 7 year jouney to Mercury. Will
Several flybys of Venus and Mercury are planned before orbit
Explore these planents and solar system close to the Sun.
European Space Agency's probe to look for signs
and water on Mars. One of the experiments will look for gaseous
products, from possible life somewhere on the surface, in the martian
Two NASA missions to land rovers on Mars.
geology, look for signs of water, erosion and so forth.
Orbits and looks for Chemical elements and
Martian surface. Seeing if there is water in different places on Mars.
Plans to orbit a comet nucleus in 2014.
a probe to land on nucleus. Will pass a few things on the way,
most of trip plans call for being in dormant mode. Launched March
2004, European Space Agency mission.
To bring comet samples back to Earth by 2006.
Voyagers 1 and 2 are now the "farthest out" man
objects. They flew past Jupiter and Saturn. One of them
on to skirt by Uranus and Neptune. Launched over 20 years ago,
are now headed out of solar system sending back data. Looking for
boundary between solar wind and interstellar space among other
things to detect. Analyzing charged particles, magnetic fields
Iris, Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph
Launched June 12 2013. Looking at region between sun's
surface and the corona. Probing questions like why is the corona
hotter than the sun's surface? Looking from Earth orbit.
Solar Dynamics Observatory
Launched February 11 2010. Looks at sun with high resolution like
10 times high definition TV. Explore mechanisms behind things
like sunspot cycles and so forth.
Big Bear Solar Observatory
Located in the San Bernadino Mountains of southern
California. Large solar telescopes.
Launched Oct. 25 06. Two spacecraft with identical instruments
will look at sun from two different vantage points in space.
Create a stereoscopic view.
From Japan. Advanced X-ray telescope and other instruments to
look at Sun's magnetic fields, corona and other aspects of solar
Physics. Launched Sept 22 06.
Sits about 1 million miles toward the Sun from
Samples sunlight that is headed to Earth. Lots of sophisticated
Helio seismology and more.
Satellite detects solar and galactic particles.
wind earth interaction
Studies x-rays from solar atmosphere. Japan.
Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager
Looks at solar flares special x-rays.
Ran out of helium coolant as expected. Ran out April
29 2013 Mission was successful.
European Space Agency mission. Contains largest
into space so far. Herschel is designed to observe the 'cool
universe' in far inferred and sub millimeter electromagnetic
spectrum. Dust, chemicals in space, birth of new stars, ability
to detect water in distant space.
Probing interior of moon by looking at how anomalies in moon's
gravitational field effect two orbiting spacecraft. Accurate
measurement of the distance between the two orbiting craft tell a lot
about distribution of mass in the moon. Launched September
2011. Planned crash on the moon for end of mission, Dec. 17 2012.
Tested Einstein's theories about gravity
Uses very sophisticated gyros to test things like frame dragging.
Has been talked about and planned since 1959, formally since
Finally funded, then launched April 20 2004.
Microwave Anisotropy Probe
WMAP. Look for patterns in cosmic
Explores cosmological questions. Recently provided great look at
patterns in cosmic back ground radiation. Exploring many cosmic
such as age and shape of universe.
Part of Deep Impact smashes into a comet at 1:52 AM Eastern Daylight
Time July 4th 2005.
Impact kicked up material from deeper inside a comet, supposedly
less effected by the sun and space weathering. This can provide a
better look at pristine comet material. Second part of
spacecraft, after the impact probe separates, observed debris from
close range. Also observed from Earth. Spacecraft flew by
another comet more recently (2010). Was put to rest, March 2011.
India's mission to orbit and explore the moon. Looking at mineral
composition of lunar surface and so forth.
Remember "Black Light" posters from the
They would glow by converting ultraviolet light, from a so called
light," into visible wavelengths. The universe has a lot of
light as well, but it is best viewed from orbit, above the obscuring
Balloon borne telescope has circumnavigated
a few times mapping the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation left over
from big bang. Looks for patterns, or clumps, in early
Sheds light on such questions as, "is space flat or curved."
Launched June 18 2009. High resolution sensing of moon surface
from lunar orbit. Also crashing the second stage of rocket into
crater looking for evidence of water. Found water on the moon!
Launched in 1990. Looked down (if there is
such a thing as down out
on the poles of the sun. While other satellites are in plane with
sun's equator, Ulysses is only one to orbit over north and south poles
of sun. From this vantage point, it had a unique
perspective. Lasted far past it's primary mission, but finally
had to be turned off in June 09 as power was running low.
Phoenix Mars Polar Lander
Landed near pole of Mars May 25 2008. Analyzing soil and
hopefully subsurface ice that is thought to be near the surface.
Analyzing chemical composition of ice and soil, looking for history of
ice. Also a weather station on Mars.
Orbits Mars. Takes many pictures.
Sample solar wind, bring back to Earth 2004.
European Space Agency robotic mission to the
Testing an ion engine.
Orbited Jupiter. Exploring planet and its
moons. Mission had been extended several times. Nearing end
of its stabilizing propellant, plans called for crashing it into
right before craft dies, so it doesn't contaminate Jupiter's moon
where life may exist. Fantastic photos of Jupiter and its many
from up close, including the volcanoes on Io.
Actually brushed onto asteroid at end of very
mission of intimacy with asteroid.
Tested some new technology including an Ion
Flew by an asteroid also.