Online resources

NASA logoIf you've not been to the NASA home page, you're missing out on some very cool video clips of everything from the Mars Pathfinder mission to the Apollo missions to the planetary flybys. Good stuff, all.

EarthThe Jet Propulsion Lab has a great library of planetary photos, as well as up-to-date information on nearly all of the ongoing unmanned missions.

sunThe Hubble Space Telescope page is also chock-full of really cool shots of various astronomical objects — stars, planets, galaxies, nubulae.

UranusThe Smithsonian has several very good science museums under its umbrella — check out the Museum of Natural History, the National Zoo or (my favorite) the National Air and Space Museum.

sunNot only did Pope John Paul II apologize for the Church's persecution of Gallileo, now he's taking up the scientist's cause. The Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope at Mt. Graham in Arizona is combing the heavens looking for intelligent life — and, really, the odds would seem better of finding it there than on daytime TV.

Radio and TV programs

The Discovery Channel is, admittedly, a for-profit outfit. But they're still one of the best online resources for learning about science, and they have a great Web site.

"We're Science" is a public radio program along the lines of "Car Talk." Goofy, but still informative. And if your local public radio station doesn't carry the show, you can listen to recent weeks via RealAudio.

Also on public radio is "Sounds Like Science" with Ira Flatow. Not as silly as "We're Science," but not exactly "Nova" either.

Ira Flatow also hosts another show on National Public Radio, "Science Friday." There is also a separate "Science Friday Kids Connection", too.

And of course, on public television is Bill Nye, the Science Guy.

Science search engines

For a fairly comprehensive set of links to science-oriented search engines, visit's science and technology page.

If you're looking for a specific science resource on the Web but can't find it, try Yahoo's science page.

San Diego science resources

Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center has an Omnimax theater that also serves as a planetarium (although the star projector is now dead, so no planetarium shows for the time being). There is also a hands-on science center where kids can learn about acoustics, electromagnetism and more by actually doing stuff. If you visit San Diego, put this on the to-do list.

The Zoological Society of San Diego runs both the famed San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park up in North County by Escondido.

Mount Laguna Observatory is run jointly by San Diego State University (owns the land) and the University of Illinois (owns the telescope). They have a 40-inch research telescope as well as several smaller, teaching telescopes. And there are usually weekend public viewings which are worth the trip up the mountains.

Mt. Palomar Observatory was the world's largest for many years, with its 200-inch Hale telescope. While there are bigger ones now in Russia, Hawaii and (I think) the Andes, Mt. Palomar (run by CalTech out of Pasadena) is still a very important instrument — although increasingly rendered blind by the glare from San Diego's out-of-control development. There's a museum and visitors center on site, as well as picnic grounds and gift shop.

Sun Black hole

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