ASSOCIATES (vol. 10, no. 2, November 2003) -

*Space: a Breathtaking Frontier*


Michael D. Brooks
Saint Joseph’s University
Francis A. Drexel Library
Philadelphia, PA

When you find yourself just surfing the Web for no particular reason, take a detour and visit a cool site by NASA. You can easily find it by typing "APOD" (caps for emphasis) in your favorite search engine. Then select the link to "Astronomy Picture of the Day" or type out the URL: ( What you will be treated to is a breathtaking color photo of some aspect of the cosmos or our intriguing planet earth.

Each day a new picture is posted for your enjoyment and edification. And you don’t have to be an astronomer, space geek, or science or science fiction enthusiast to enjoy the sheer beauty of these wonderful pictures. There is much more to the site than just the pictures, but perusing the site for the pictures alone is worth the visit.

To see the extensive list of photos which are available, click the "Discover the Cosmos!" link to the photo archives. You’ll find yourself on the Astronomy of the Day Archive page. This page is a long list of photos you can view going back as far as 1995. Each photo is accompanied by a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

If you don’t want to blindly run through the list of photo links in the archives, visit the Astronomy Picture of the Day Index – Main Page and pick one of the links that might interest you there.

A lot of people are familiar with the famous face on Mars pictures, but here’s something a lot of people don’t know about Mars. There is a crater on Mars that looks like a smiley face. Honest. Just click the following link and see for yourself:

Besides the Astronomy Picture of the Day, there is a glossary, a calendar of pictures arranged by month and year, and a link to education links for teachers, students, and just about anyone interested in learning something about the cosmos. If you’d like to know when all of the shuttle missions took place, there’s a link for that too. But if all you want to do is stargaze at some of the most astonishing pictures of the heavens, the APOD and its archives by themselves are worth the visit.

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