Notice To Users

Gerard Williger - Popular Links

14 June 2020: This page is primarily for students, former and potential students of my Astronomy 107 class at U. Louisville, to show
links to various popular topics.  From time to time I get requests to link to certain websites.  I cannot keep up with this
if I answer every request, so I would like to limit what is linked to class requests or to update links which are
out of date or broken.  There are many more good links at the Louisville Astronomical Society link below.

back to homepage

Local Links

Louisville Astronomical Society

Gheens Science Hall & Rauch Planetarium

Otter Creek Observatory (JCC/KCTCS) and ``The Observer" (its newsletter)

Why astronomers go to observatories:

Reflections on Procrustes and Antaeus

Popular articles about our group's Large Quasar Group discovery abound. Try the 22 Jan 2001 issue of Newsweek, or:

New York Times article
BBC piece
Der Spiegel

or make a search for "williger" and "astronomy"


Other links:

Help with research: classify Sloan Digital Sky Survey galaxies!

Mars' close approach on 27 Aug 2003

A popular description of the National Virtual Observatory A popular description of the Virgo Consortium

Guide to Backyard Astronomy

New York-style astronomy

news about black holes

American Museum of Natural History Science Bulletins

Astro-news from Physics & Astronomy 107

Useful links from NASA etc.:

Afterschool Universe: engaging activities targeted at middle school students
Random interesting astronomy facts:

Backyard Astronomy Basics (thanks to Liam & Lynnette Brown, 3/2018)

The Perseids Meteor Shower (every August):

Perseids Show 11-13 Aug 2004

Popular Astronomy:

Light Pollution in Maryland/DC/Virginia/West Virginia (Northern VA Astronomy Club)

Clear Dark Sky site

Light Pollution Map for Louisville KY

The Pecking Order of Astronomers

Gems (Bloopers) from Astronomy Students and Professionals

The Leonids Meteor Shower (every November ~19):

Leonids general information Leonids 2006 expected to be strong Nov 18
NASA Leonids 2004 Page

Major meteor showers:
name                   date               duration    limits           #/hr max    parent object
Quadrantids       Jan 4                1 day      Jan 1-6             100             ---
Lyrids                 Apr 22             2 days    Apr 19-24           10         C/1861 G1 (Thatcher)
Eta Aquarids      May 5              3 days    May 1-8              20         1P/Halley
Delta Aquarids   Jul 27-28         7 days    Jul 15-Aug 15     30             ---
Perseids             Aug 12             5 days    Jul 25-Aug 18    70         107P/Swift-Tuttle
Orionids             Oct 21              2 days    Oct 16-26           30         1P/Halley
Taurids              Nov 8              10 days    Oct 20-Nov 30   10         2P/Encke
Leonids              Nov 17              1 day     Nov 15-19           10         55P/Tempel-Tuttle
Geminids            Dec 14              3 days   Dec 7-15             60         3200 Phaethon

Interesting links:

QuasarChile (tours in Chile with astronomy)
Astronomy Picture of the Day
HEASARC Picture of the Week
Particle Physics Picture of the Week
Physics News Update
SETI home
The Moon
ISS transits the Moon

Thoughts of lunar missions in 1903
The Rise of Anti-rationalism in the US, Susan Jacoby, Washington Post, 2008 Feb 17
Unskilled and Unware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing
One's Own Incompetence leads to Inflated Self-Assessments (Kruger & Dunning 1999)

Why is astronomy important?
Nothing more can be done by the theorists. In this matter it is only you,
the astronomers, who can perform a simply invaluable service to theoretical physics.
-- Albert Einstein, Aug. 1913, to Berlin astronomer Erwin Freundlich, encouraging
him to mount a solar-eclipse expedition to measure the bending of starlight
as it passed near the Sun. The astronomer eagerly accepted the challenge
from the theoretical physicist. Unfortunately for Freundlich, the eclipse
of 1914 was in the Crimea during the outbreak of WW I. In an extraordinary
rendition, Freundlich was captured, his equipment confiscated, and he was
imprisoned as an enemy combatant. Eventually he was released, but of course
he missed the eclipse. This is just as well, because in 1914 Einstein's
prediction for the deflection of light by the Sun on the basis of his
(at the time) incomplete theory of gravity was wrong by a factor of two.
Source: Rocky Kolb, arXiv:0708.1199, "A Thousand Invisible Cords Binding
Astronomy and High-Energy Physics"