Skip to main content


This page contains links to resources of generic use for astronomy-related undergraduate projects.



You will probably mainly, or only ever, have used MicroSoft's Windows operating system, whereas in astronomy and other many other areas of physics, UNIX-based operating systems hold sway. We use the PC-compatible flavour of UNIX called 'Linux'. If, as is likely, you are going to make much use of this, then you should try to get up to speed with it as soon as you can. Start off by looking at this starter guide. Note that it is possible nowadays to use linux in a fairly windows-ish "point-and-click" way (e.g. moving between directories (aka folders), moving files), but if you do so you will never use its full power which really comes with the use of typed commands which can be strung together in scripts or in "piped" commands.

If you are entirely new to linux/unix then after you have had a quick read of the tutorial, have a go completing these simple practice tasks to get yourself up to speed; you may want the tutorial at hand to help out.

Here are computing related links:



Journal papers

ADS Excellent archive of journal paper with links to abstracts and full versions of the papers, references within and citations to them, as well as links to the particular objects.
astro-ph UK mirror of Los Alamos "e-print" (i.e. electronic pre-prints). Good for the very latest stuff and often useful if you are denied access to any journals linked from the ADS.



SIMBAD Archive of information on objects. You can type in a name and get back its coordinates (equatorial and galactic), magnitude etc. Highly recommended.
CDS Gives access to large numbers of catalogues and tables.
DSS Digitised sky survey at the Space Telescope Science Institute from which you can download images of any part of the sky in FITS or GIF format.