Interesting sites

The National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) is a private American organization that, on a 24-hour hotline, catalogs reports of UFOs and alien contacts. Since 1974, over 90,000 notes have accumulated.

The JTC UFO catalog is interesting in that it contains long-standing descriptions of unusual phenomena, the nature of which could not be explained at that time. For example, in 1719, the inhabitants of Bologna witnessed the fall of a meteorite, which was mistaken for a failed alien invasion using smoking fireballs.

According to UFO Hunters, there are 167,000 UFO sightings. Please visit this site to study any of them and read eyewitness accounts. Here you can also leave your experience of admiring incomprehensible objects in the sky. There are many similar resources, but this one looks better than most.

Collective blog about space achievements. The site regularly publishes news and broadcasts live broadcasts of rocket launches. Enthusiasts translate and voice over NASA and ESA videos here, as well as post a variety of interesting materials about space and new technologies.

On this site you will find a huge number of guides for photographing space objects. For example, you will learn how best to photograph the Milky Way, the rings of Saturn or such a rare phenomenon as the «bloody» moon. If you do not have your own telescope and you are not going to shoot, then you can just look at high-quality photographs taken by amateur astronomers.

Live NASA TV can watch the Earth from one of the video cameras installed on the ISS. There is also a grid of upcoming broadcasts, among which, for example, there may be interviews with astronauts, videos about rocket launches or spacewalks.

A huge gallery containing all the images taken during NASA’s numerous scientific missions. There are photographs from the Hubble, and photographs of the ISS crews, and the archive of filming of the Apollo lunar missions, and panoramas of other planets, and spectacular shots of the launch of various spacecraft.

On this page, every day new photos of space are published, taken by astronauts, ISS cameras, space telescopes and satellites, or ground-based observatories. All of these images are accompanied by a brief explanation from a professional astronomer. Sometimes there are videos here.

The Celestis company provides a specific ritual service: it sends the cremated remains of a person to near-earth orbit, the surface of the moon or into the impenetrable distance of space. Today it is the easiest and most affordable way to visit interplanetary space.

The Internet remembers the loud promises of Mars One and the Inspiration Mars Foundation to colonize Mars over the next couple of decades. Time has proved that there is no money and technical capabilities for this yet. Therefore, a joint venture between NASA and DARPA called «The Centennial Spaceship» still looks more plausible. The rich and sensible must master the project.

Humanity is planning to populate Mars. To do this, you will have to prepare well and, among other things, study the surface of the Red Planet. The task is difficult, but quite feasible with the HiRISE optical telescope, located 300 kilometers above Mars. The telescope is so powerful that it can distinguish objects up to 30 centimeters in size. The HiRISE website contains up-to-date information on the success of the project and many photographs of the surface of Mars.

On August 12, 2018, NASA launched the Parker probe to the Sun, named after astrophysicist Eugene Parker. This device will have to approach our star at the minimum possible distance in order to explore the solar wind, magnetic field, the sun’s corona and other amusing phenomena. To prevent the heat from the star from destroying the device ahead of time, a large heat shield was installed on the Parker. To fly to the Sun itself — what could be more interesting? You can get acquainted with the route of the probe and its scientific program on the official website.

The site of the famous Hubble Space Telescope. For nearly three decades, he has been plowing the Earth’s orbit, continuing to create more and more impressive photographs. They are available on HubbleSite. The telescope observes both the relatively close planets of the solar system and the infinitely distant galaxies, of which there are so many that no one can count them.

Branson’s SpaceShipTwo and his White Knight Two carrier aircraft are small, carrying up to six passengers. Both aircraft are just crumbs compared to the huge Stratolaunch aircraft. This aerospace system is supposed to throw significant cargo into space, using the same principle as Virgin Galactic. The plane raises the rocket to the required height, and from there it flies into airless space. The Stratolaunch is ready and boasts the largest wingspan of any aircraft in existence. The first demonstration flight is scheduled for 2019, with commercial launches scheduled to begin in 2020. In order not to miss this momentous event, it is worth taking a look at the official Stratolaunch website.

Space tourism is extremely expensive entertainment. But in the near future, short suborbital flights in zero gravity may drop in price several times at once. For this, Richard Branson and his company Virgin Galactic are working on the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft. SpaceShipTwo is designed to perform suborbital space flights for tourists. The principle of operation of the system is as follows: the White Knight Two two-body aircraft lifts the ship into the air to the desired height, and then the device undocks and flies further on the thrust of the rocket engine. For the launches, Branson even built his own spaceport America.

Blue Origin is another US aerospace giant. Company founder Jeff Bezos intends to send tourists on the suborbital route of Alan Shepard, the first US astronaut to fly into space three weeks after Gagarin. Actually, it was in honor of Shepard that Bezos named his first rocket — New Shepard, which has already passed numerous tests and made a dozen automatic flights. Blue Origin is not going to stop at tourism. For example, the company has already developed and is testing the world’s first methane engine, the BE-4, again ahead of Musk with its Raptor engine. In addition, Blue Origin is designing the New Glenn heavy rocket (named after astronaut John Glenn) that will compete with the Falcon-9 and Falcon Heavy. You can watch the company’s success on the Blue Origin website.

Space should be available to everyone. Well-known entrepreneur Elon Musk is sure of this — the head of SpaceX, which is making this statement a reality. 69 successful launches, the reusable first stages of Falcon-9, the super-heavy launch vehicle Falcon Heavy, the Dragon and Dragon Crew spacecraft, and now the Starship with the Super Heavy launch vehicle is also on the way. You can watch the conquest of space by SpaceX on the organization’s website.

The Zooniverse platform brings together professional researchers and volunteers to collect data and process results in many branches of science, including space exploration. For example, you can become part of a team that monitors the weather on Mars, seeks out new planets, or observes solar flares. Or you can simply look at photographs of large galaxies and nebulae and indicate their parameters (shape, size, visibility), helping in the construction of a galactic filing cabinet. Register so that one day your name will be inscribed under a significant planetary discovery.

The SETI @ home project uses volunteer personal computers to search for extraterrestrial civilizations. A person downloads a special program that decrypts radio signals received from space in the background. Thus, millions of people provide all possible assistance in solving the problem of a planetary scale. Each person invests a minimum of funds and efforts, but in general the project receives tremendous support, for which the creators would not have found the funds.

The Rocket Launch History handbook remembers all launches into Earth’s orbit. Naturally, the first on the list is the Soviet spacecraft «Sputnik-1». In total, the database contains over 5,000 launches from 30 launch sites. You can view them using a chronological scale. In addition, the drop-down list on the side allows you to show launches to other celestial bodies, such as the Moon or Mars, and SpaceX launch vehicles.

This site doesn’t aim to bombard you with scientific data, but it is just fun. You may remember that in 2018, Elon Musk launched his Tesla Roadster into Mars orbit. What for? First, to test the new Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. Secondly, simply because he could. If you are wondering where Elon Musk’s Roadster is now, you can find out on the Where is Roadster website.

The creators of 100,000 Stars do not recommend using their visualization of 119,617 stars for navigation in space travel, because no one has yet been able to verify its veracity. Plunging into this huge cluster of celestial bodies, you will get to know only 89 stars better. Nevertheless, this is quite enough to appreciate the monstrous dimensions of our Milky Way galaxy, which literally do not fit into our heads.

Solar System Scope interactive map provides basic information about the planets of the solar system. Here you can find out such specific things as the temperature on the surface of Makemake, the rotation period of Huamei or the distance to Eris. In addition to the solar system, the site displays the starry sky with all its constellations. By enabling realistic display of planet sizes in the settings, you will get a more visual representation of the scale of the cosmos. And when you enlarge any celestial body with the mouse wheel, a panel with the characteristics of the object will appear on the side.

A dedicated NASA page dedicated to all planets and satellites in the Solar System. The celestial bodies are beautifully animated, so you can just admire them. But in addition to purely aesthetic pleasure, the service also provides scientific information about the characteristics of the planets, and images of celestial bodies made by various spacecraft.

NASA’s Eyes invites you to stand at the control panel of the Curiosity rover, study the modules of this autonomous laboratory, and also get acquainted with NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN). DSN is a complex of radio telescopes and data exchange facilities located in the USA (California), Spain (Madrid) and Australia (Canberra). They explore the solar system and communicate with interplanetary spacecraft. For full access to the site’s content, you need to install a program for Windows or macOS.

An analogue of Google Sky, created by Microsoft. It looks prettier, and the information content is higher. The service provides images of the starry sky, three-dimensional models of the planets and the Sun, as well as panoramic photographs from various spacecraft that have ever landed on the surface of celestial bodies. It all looks very impressive. In addition to the web version, WorldWide Telescope has a desktop client for Windows.

Google’s service allows you to view the outer space around the Earth. Using the buttons at the bottom of the page, you can easily find constellations and admire images from the Hubble, GALEX or Spitzer telescopes. Photos of galaxies and stars are provided with detailed descriptions. And a special «historical» mode allows you to switch to an old star map in order to see how medieval astronomers imagined space and compare their research with reality.

A detailed interactive map of the Moon, where you can see the landing sites of the Apollo spacecraft expeditions and explore innumerable craters. There are also photographs of the lunar surface taken by various devices, and an elevation map of the satellite of our planet.

Like Google Moon, only for Mars. Scrolling through the map, you can inspect the surface of the Red Planet and find out what mountains, craters and canyons are on it. You can also see the location of every spacecraft that has ever landed there, from the Soviet Mars-2 to the modern US Curiosity and InSight.

The interface of Heavens-Above is not the most modern and convenient, but the information content is off scale. On the site, you can set your location and find out which visible satellites will fly over your head in the near future. It also presents a volumetric visualization of the ISS, an interactive sky map, a database of thousands of satellites, information about upcoming eclipses, passing asteroids and visible comets, and much more.

Most people have absolutely no idea how big the cosmos is. It’s incredibly huge. The If The Moon Were Only 1 Pixel website clearly shows the true dimensions of the solar system. The scale is based on the diameter of the Moon — here it is equal to 1 pixel. Click on the button in the lower right corner of the screen, and the solar system will begin to rewind in front of you at the speed of light. On a space scale, this is very slow. You will have to fly more than 12 minutes to Mars at this speed. And the site periodically spoils you with interesting facts and jokes. And it allows you to measure the distance between planets in kilometers, light minutes, blue whales, or the Great Walls of China.

Most accurate distance from Earth to Mars (in pixels)