Internet Links

Here are sources of further information. The Internet is a disappointing and jejune resource, but there are gems here and there.


These links are only those that I have visited after encountering them from random sources. They all give further links, so they can serve as portals. I have made comments on my impressions, which reflect my disappointment with Web information and commercialism in general. Please excuse these, and make up your own mind.

Sky at Night is the website for Britain's long-running astronomy TV program hosted by Sir Patrick Moore. There are observing notes (like mine, but briefer) and many other interesting topics.

Jack Horkheimer, Star Gazer has information about the TV program, and some links, but not much information on astronomy itself, which, of course, is not its purpose.

There is a website on weather created by the University of Illinois WW2010 project at Weather World. It is well-illustrated and competently written, but it seems nonmathematical and descriptive, perhaps designed for school programs. The site tries to lay cookies on you, like any commercial site, and you can buy things.

Bob Fosbury has pages devoted to the solar halo in his website at Halo Site, with some excellent photographs and the results of a program to simulate the halo. From this link, go to the main index (top link) and select Atmospheric Halos. Serious sites like this are rare in the great Internet dumpster.

The U. S. Weather Bureau is at Boulder Site. This is only one of a number of weather sites, but is easily the most comprehensive. For technical information, look in Detailed Current Climate Analysis, and click on The CDC Map Room [technical]. You can go to a commercial site (evidenced by the appearance of numerous cookies) for weather maps, for example under National Products/Surface Analysis. These weather sites are very complex and a little digging would probably reveal much information. I have not yet found a good isobar map, but winds are available at all altitudes.

The Nautical Almanac Office in Britian has a good website at Nautical Almnanac Office, where you can get data, and also read about the history of the organization. The corresponding American body has a website at US Naval Observatory. This site has a good deal of interesting information, on things like the millennium, and so forth. Look under FAQ.

Most of the science links mentioned in popular media are commercial links of varying quality containing only rather shallow information that would seem incapable of satisfying even children. They have garish home pages using all the colors of the rainbow, shove many cookies with each click, open new windows for advertising messages, and generally copy the practices of the rather more successful porno trade. Examples I have recently visited: weather.com , organ of the Weather Channel, and astronomy.com, organ of Astronomy Magazine. Both do contain some information, and the Weather Channel gives you pictures of snowmen. I am sure the perpetrators of these web sites believe their presentation is lively and vivid, and that they must aim at mass appeal. They invite you to register, so you can be sent more advertising, I expect. I have no idea what the value of all the cookies is, but they cannot resist them. You can set your browser to reject cookies entirely, but I leave the setting on "confirm" so I can see how many are shoved. Some sites are at the mercy of their ISP's, who provide cookies willy-nilly. Although the lurid presentation is annoying, the real fault of these sites is the lack of solid information.

There are links to astronomy sites in Rocky Mountain PBS. Go to Learning Links, then to Colorado Science... for a list. Among these are the Colorado Astronomy Page with a picture of the current moon phase, as well as the IAAS Monthly Astronomy Newsletter, and Denver Astronomy Page. These sites have dark or busy backgrounds, load slowly, and lead only indirectly to information. The Denver Astronomy Page has sliding information on a complex static background, a specially ghastly presentation. These are engendered by Web Authoring packages and lack of taste. I found a few ads and cookies, and the sites seem relatively static. When I looked, they mentioned only past events, not those for the next month, but all these sites should not be tarred with the same brush. In the PBS links, there did not appear to be any mathematics, physics or chemistry, much less engineering, mainly Gee Whiz, nonverbal, nonmathematical science. This does not mean that these subjects do not appear at all, just that when they do appear, they can be unbelievably shallow. Mathematics does not seem to appear at all.

Everything about sunspots can be found at Sunspots, part of Science@NASA. Space weather--geomagnetic storms, D-region blackouts, etc.--is at Space Environment Center.


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Composed by J. B. Calvert
Created 31 December 2000
Last revised 8 April 2001