Cosmology Links

General Cosmology

  • An Atlas of the Universe is an excellent site that provides a large set of graphics showing the scale of the Universe zooming out from the Sun.
  • An introduction to the Cosmic Microwave Background is an excellent, detailed guide to many aspects of the CMB by a key scientist in the field at UChicago. The site also has large PowerPoint presentations available for download.
  • Bad Cosmology is a useful site from Jodrell Bank Observatory that addresses many common misconceptions that sytudents have about cosmology. Whilst some sections get quite technical it is well worth reading.
  • BBCi - Space - Origins from the BBC provides a concise and clear set of pages on the origin and fate of the Universe.
  • BOOMERanG Home Page provides details about the balloon observations of millimetric extragalactic radiation and geophysics (that is the CMBR) carried out from the Antarctic.
  • Computer Simulations of Cosmic Evolution has links and brief explanations of a range of animations related to the formation of structure and the interaction of galaxies.
  • Cosmic Mystery Tour is a useful set of pages with animations and movies of experts discussing the early stages of the Universe. Strong on the very early stages from the Big Bang to the birth of galaxies, it specifically discusses formation of quarks, particles and decoupling.
  • Cosmology and Religion is an interesting discussion of the differences between cosmology and religion and the battle in the US about cosmology and creationism in schools. It effectively tackles the issue of what constitutes a science.
  • Edwin Hubble is a site detailing the life and work of Edwin Hubble.
  • Einstein's Big Idea is a large site by NOVA/PBS with a wealth of resources on Einstein and his work on relativity. It ties in with the NOVA documentary on Einstein. You can download program transcripts and teacher's guides.
  • Einstein - Image and Impact is an excellent site from the Amercian Insititute of Physics History Center. It provides details on many different aspects of Einstein's life, work and times in a readable manner.You can download the whole site as a pdf file too for offline reading.
  • ESA - Education - High School - Big Bang is a brief description of the standard big bang model at an appropriate depth for high school students by the European Space Agency. Has links to related articles.
  • Friedmann is a useful, detailed page on Alexander Friedmann.
  • General Relativity is a layman's guide to the subject with clear diagrams and simple explanations. It is part of a larger site, Einstein's Legacy by NCSA that provides details about his life and work on special and general relativity.
  • Hands-On CERN is an award-winning educational website aimed at teachers and high school students. It lets you explore the smallest components of matter at the scientific frontier of physics.
  • High-Z SN Search has details and background on the discovery of the accelerating universe.
  • Hot Big Bang is a cosmology site from Cambridge University that has effective summaries. It discusses the key evidence and some problems with the standard model.
  • How do we know that the Universe is expanding? is a useful page that outlines all the different areas of evidence and observation upon which the cosmic distance scale is measured. Written by a British Physics teacher for an international summer school for high school students. It has lots of questions and diagrams.
  • Hubble law and the expanding universe is a concise set of explanation, equations and diagrams on the HyperPhysics website.
  • Origins: Timeline of the Universe, part of NASA's Origin site has a useful tutorial that provides an overview of the key stages in the Universe from the Big Bang to formation of planets and life.
  • Listening to the Big Bang is an ABC online article by Dr Fred Watson, Officer in Charge of the Anglo-Australian Telescope at Coonabarabran and well known populariser of astronomy on the radio. This is a short article that clearly describes the Big Bang and addresses several common misconceptions.
  • Ned Wright's Comology Tutorial is a detailed guide to cosmology in several parts. It also has an excellent FAQ section that is highly recommended for answering those difficult questions from students.
  • Powers of 10 is a famous film showing the scale of the Universe by changing the view by a factor of ten every ten seconds. The online zoomable version is useful whilst the commercial site with more details and material for purchase is also available.
  • Science, Intelligence and Creativity: Introduction to Cosmology is a concise set of pages that clearly outline the key points in the hot big bang cosmological model. It discusses Inflation as well as current problems with the standard model. Written by a theoretical cosmologist from Queen Mary, University of London.
  • The Particle Adventure is an excellent educational website that covers the funadamentals of matter and force.
  • The Steady-State Theory is a concise explanation of the leading alternate model of the Universe until the discovery of the CMBR in the 1960s. Part of the UK Schools Observatory website.
  • Universe: Cosmology 101 is an excellent introduction to cosmology by the WMAP team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. It covers the foundations of the Big Bang theory, the observational evidence, limitations and extensions including Inflation and details on the Universe and its parameters.

Formation of Large-Scale Structure & Galaxies

Catalogs & Sources of Star Data

  • HST Key Project Home Page provides the photometric data for extragalactic Cepheids observed in the Key Project.
  • SkyServer is the educational home page for the massive Sloan Digital Sky Survey. It has a wealth of material for teachers and students at a variety of levels. There are some excellent tutorials and many projects offered, some of which are open-ended. You can access images, spectra and other information on hundreds of thousands of objects including galaxies, quasars and stars.
  • 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey
  • 2dF Quasar Redshift Survey

Applets, Activities and Software

  • CERES: The Expanding Universe is a set of learning activities that use a balloon to model the expanding Universe and Hubble's Law. It contains Teacher Lesson Plans, worksheets and scientific background. An excellent resource.
  • Cosmic Survey - What are your ideas about the Universe? is an effective set of exercises on scale; size, distance and age of objects in the Universe. Need to convert to SI units.
  • Hubble Law Lab, the Short Version is a clearly explained lab where students can examine images and spectra from nearly 30 galaxies to produce a plot to determine Hubble's constant and the expansion age. You can download and print out student worksheets and graph paper.
  • LIFE'S BIG QUESTIONS: How did the Universe Begin? is a set of activities and a lesson plan for exploring the Big Bang. From PBS in America.
  • Project CLEA has two excellent cosmology-related simulations that can be downloaded and run on a PC.
    • The Hubble Redshift-Distance Relation
    • The Large Scale Structure of the Universe

    They can be downloaded from the Project Clea website together with user manuals, student workbooks and pre and post-tests.

  • Recovering Hubble's Original Data is an applet that allows you to simulate obtaining spectra from the galaxies that Hubble observed then analysing them to plot the Hubble relationship.
  • The Hubble Law Java Applet is a detailed applet with instructions and background that allows you to measure the redshift on intensity spectra to determine redshift and then plot Hubble's relationship.