Next week (June 1) marks the beginning of LFPL's summer reading for kids and teens and the themes for each are science-related: 'Build Your Brain' and 'Reading is Elemental' (respectively). For the entirety of summer reading we are going to look at a variety of science subjects on the teen blog.
For this post we are going as far out as we can possibly go: outer space! Below are several free resources to explore the entire universe:
Resources for Viewing the Night Sky
Google Earth (View>Explore>Sky, Mars, Moon) is a great place to start finding your place in our universe. Users can view pictures and find links to educational resources directly from a 3D map. Look at terrain features for Mars and take a virtual tour of the Apollo landing mission on the moon.
Stellarium will create a realistic view of the night sky in real time for any location on Earth. View constellations from all over the world including many different cultures.
Celestia is a 3D space travel simulator that allows you to travel through their extensive collection of astronomical bodies. View close ups of planets from our solar system and see the interactions of all objects at any point in the universe's history. Both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) utilize Celestia for outreach and public education.
WorldWide Telescope was developed by Microsoft and displays a 3D map of the universe taken from the Hubble telescope and nearly a dozen Earth-bound scopes. Download the Windows client or use the browser-based viewer.
Skychart (Cartes du Ciel) lets you turn your computer into a planetarium by mapping and labeling planets, stars and constellations. Overlap photographs to get a closer look at each object.
Aladin is a great tool for researchers that lets you browse through maps, images and dozens of databases of scientific research.
Louisville Astronomical Society - Since 1931, the LAS has been gazing and educating Louisville on our solar system and beyond. They offer monthly public star viewing at their Urban Astronomy Center located at E.P. Tom Saywer Park.