Astrophysical Resources

Almanac Tools Use these pages to determine sun and moon rise/set times, airmass calculations, object observability, and planetary positions on the sky. VERY usefull in planning observations.
SIMBAD The SIMBAD astronomical database provides basic data, cross-identifications and bibliography for astronomical objects outside the solar system. The acronym SIMBAD stands for Set of Identifications, Measurements, and Bibliography for Astronomical Data. Great for identifying objects and finding their rough (good to few arcseconds) positions.
VisieR The VisieR service provides a flexible interface with many astronomical databases.
Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS II) Optical imaging survey. Great for generating finding charts.
Aladin A great tool that allows you to generate electronic finding charts that combine POSS images with SIMBAD object information.
Handbook of Space Astronomy and Astrophysics An excellent astrophysical reference for almost everything, from basics concepts to constants and formulae.
Messier Catalog A catalog of Messier objects with images, which lists them by constellation and by observing season.
Another Messier Catalog This catalog gives a lot more information about the Messier objects and lists them by three categories (nebulae, clusters and galaxies).
Hipparcos Catalog Hipparcos Catalog Search Tool. You can also access the entire catalog here
USNO Astrometric Star Catalog You will use these standard stars for determining precise stellar positions.
(ESO) HST Guide Star Catalog Another useful stellar catalog for determining precise stellar positions.
Landholt Photometric Standard Star Catalog You will use these standard stars when doing absolute photometry.
Popular Astronomical Catalogues Other catalogues link includes Stetson Photometric Standard Fields, another great source for standard stars.
NIST Atomic Spectra Database This is very useful when trying to identify spectral lines
SkyView SkyView is a Virtual Observatory on the Net generating images of any part of the sky at wavelengths in all regimes from Radio to Gamma-Ray.
Spectral Types of Stars A nice site that describes different spectral types of stars and contains a catalog of representative spectra. This might be useful for your Stellar Spectroscopy Lab.
Photometric Systems A list of nearly all filter systems used in astronomy, together with references and transmission curves.
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Database of all publicly available data taken by the HST, both spectroscopy and imaging. The access to the archive requires free registration good for one year.
High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC) The HEASARC contains archival data from most NASA high energy (UV, X-ray , gamma-ray) missions. We will use this archive for one of our labs.
Infrared Science Archive (IRSA) IRSA is the archive for NASA's infrared and submillimeter astronomy projects and missions.
NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database A catalog of nearly all extragalactic objects. Contains data, images, journal article search, ect.
Sloan Digital Sky Survey Explore under "Data Products" to see some of the data available from this amazing on-going survey.
Hubble Deep Field (HDF) A cool page which compiles the information about the HDF. Contains images, colors, redshifts and spectra of HDF objects.
The VLA FIRST Survey Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty-cm (FIRST) provides a radio equivalent of the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey.
The NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) The main search tool for astrophysical publications.
Astrophysics Preprint Archive No less important than ADS, this cite contains most of the recent papers submitted/accepted for publication. Given the long delay time (typically 3-10 months!) between submission and publication, this is the place to get the most current information.