For Citizen Scientists

Citizen Scientists have helped to answer serious scientific questions, provide vital data to the astronomical community, and have discovered thousands of objects including nebulas, supernovas, gamma ray bursts. NASA supports several resources which may be of interest to amateur and professional scientists alike.

Astronomical Data Center

The ADC specializes in archiving and distributing collections of data that have been published by professional astronomers. Most of these data sets are in the form of computer-readable tables of numbers, rather than images.
+ Visit the ADC

Lunar Impacts

NASA needs your help to monitor the rates and sizes of large meteoroids striking the moon's dark side. This data will help engineers design lunar spacecraft, habitats, vehicles and extra-vehicular activity (EVA) suits to protect human explorers from the stresses of the lunar environment.
+ Report your observations and help NASA


Mentoring and inquirY using NASA Data for Atmospheric and earth science for Teachers and Amateurs (MY NASA DATA) is a project to enable K-12 teachers and students, as well as citizen scientists, to explore the large volumes of data that NASA collects about the Earth from space. Students use scientific inquiry and math skills as they access and display microsets of the Earth System.
Discover MY NASA DATA features for Citizen Scientists

Night Sky Network

Whether you're just getting started or observe the skies at every opportunity, you'll find helpful this list of links from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Includes resources for amateurs, students and educators.
Visit the Night Sky Network

Observable Comets

This list, maintained by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), includes observable comets, comet ephemerides, orbit data and observation dates. (The MPC is based at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and operates with support from the International Astronomical Union.)
+ Find comets

Software Tools

JPL's Solar System Dynamics Group provides the following software tools for the sky observer:

Solar System Simulator

NASA imagery and computer modeling combine to produce simulated pictures of solar system objects from any other object and from any time you choose.
+ Use the Solar System Simulator

Space Calendar

The Space Calendar covers space-related activities and anniversaries for the coming year. Included are over 1,300 links to related home pages.
+ Keep tabs on the Space Calendar

Spacecraft Sighting Opportunities

Find out when satellites, a space shuttle or the International Space Station are appearing overhead. You can search by city—or use Skywatch 2.0 (a Java Applet) to enter your exact location and see the path each spacecraft will take across the sky. Tips for viewing spacecraft are included under "Sighting Help."
+ Get viewing information for the next flyover

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