Astronomy Education & Outreach Resources

This page gathers astronomy education and outreach resources publicly available on the web. For peer-reviewed resources at school level we would like to draw your attention specifically to a project of the OAD’s Task Force on Children and Schools called AstroEDU.

The primary objective of the OAD is not to promote astronomy education or outreach but to use astronomy for development. The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach and the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education coordinate activities in astronomy outreach and education respectively.

Astronomy Clubs

Toolkit: A Guide to Starting a Physics Student Society
Quick Start Guide: Setting up an Astronomy Club

Learn Astronomy

Astronomy Textbook – A free, open source Introductory textbook to Astronomy from OpenStax
Astronomy timeline
A very concise history of Astronomy
Astronomy MOOCs
 – A list of open courses in Astronomy
Astronomy courses – A compilation of MOOCs
Crash Course Astronomy videos – If you are new to Astronomy and short on time, these youtube videos offer a good start
Silicon Valley Astronomy lectures – Audio and video of well-known scientists explaining astronomical developments in everyday language.
Astronomy lectures – Videos of an Introduction to Astronomy course
Astronomy courses – Videos from UC Berkeley
Frontiers in Astrophysics – Video lectures from Yale university
Astronomy video – Introduction to Astronomy videos from Starship Asterisk forum
MIT Open Course Ware – OCW provides free MIT educational content you can use to enhance or refresh your knowledge or teach others.
Solar System Astronomy – An introduction to solar system Astronomy by Ohio state (lectures, audio)
Astronomy notes – Introduction to Astronomy notes, recorded lectures, and practice tests from University of Northern Iowa
Mike Eracleous’s teaching page  -at Penn State University
Intech open Science – Free, Open Access Books in Physical Sciences, Engineering, Technology etc
UNISA South Africa – Astronomy courses from South Africa’s open university

Inclusive Astronomy

IAU Working Group on Astronomy for Equity/Inclusion – resources, best practices, news, publications
Tactile Universe – Making current astronomy research accessible to the blind and vision impaired community
AstroBVI – astronomical kits for blind & visually impaired audiences in Latin America & Spanish speaking countries

Webcasts, broadcasts and podcasts

STScI webcasts – Webcasts from Space Telescope Science Institute. (scroll down to the bottom of the page to choose category- outreach public lectures, Science training, Engineering workshops etc)
Astronomy Live and Slooh – Watch major Astronomical events live
Astronomy Cast, Cosmoquest–  weekly discussions on astronomical topics ranging from planets to cosmology
Observing podcasts – Weekly podcasts on observing the sky
StarTalk radio – A commercial radio program devoted to all things space, hosted by renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson

DIY – Astronomy activities

NASA Wavelength –  A peer-reviewed digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels
AstroEdu – An open-access platform for peer-reviewed astronomy education activities
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics –  computer simulations and activities to make complex or abstract scientific ideas clearer and more accessible
Toys from trash – create useful tools and educational toys from trash
Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project (NAAP) – online laboratories targeting the undergraduate introductory astronomy audience
Astronomy simulations – A variety of simulators and calculators that demonstrate Astronomy concepts
Astronomy interactives – manipulate parameters and gain a better understanding of Astronomy topics 

Astronomy tools and data

South African Astronomical Observatory – A list of Virtual Observatory-compatible applications, tools and data archives to do science – online data archives, data discovery, analysis, and plotting tools
Mitaka 4-dimensional digital universe – Software to visualize the known Universe with up-to-date observational data and theoretical models, by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) [With Mutiple Language Support]
SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) – A Digital Library portal for researchers in Astronomy and Physics
Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) –  electronic integration of astronomy data, tools, and services to the global community
SkyView – A Virtual Observatory on the Net generating images of any part of the sky at wavelengths in all regimes from Radio to Gamma-Ray.
European Virtual Observatory (EURO-VO) –  global electronic access to the available astronomical data archives of space and ground-based observatories and other sky survey databases. See also 
EURO-VO Educational Initiatives
Virtual Observatory India (VOI) – A list of Virtual Observatories across the world

Other Astronomy information

European Southern Observatory (ESO) – ESO has plenty of educational material, Astronomy communication resources, stunning pictures, videos etc
Universe Awareness (UNAWE) – Educational resources in Astronomy for young children
NASA Scientific Visualization Studio – Visualizations of various space & science concepts from NASA.
JPL education – Simulations, videos, infographics, activities, games and more
NASA education – Educator Guides, Lesson Plan/Activity, Play and Learn, Poster, Program Brochure etc
Hubble Site – Explore Astronomy with Hubble images, findings and data
spaceEU Engage with Space Toolkit – ready-to-use digital collection of space centred activities with a specific focus on girls and underserved communities


Galileoscope – A high quality, low cost telescope kit with observing guide.
Astronomy for beginners – A guide to amateur telescopes, and other useful information.
A guide to astrophotography – some tools and resources to help you get started.
TelescopeGuide – getting started with telescopes and astronomy.

Remote Telescopes

Access telescopes over the internet at No Cost

GLORIA (GLObal Robotic telescopes Intelligent Array) – A website that provides free, anytime access to remote telescopes all over the globe. It also includes online tools to perform analysis on Astronomical data.
NASA & Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics -MicroObservatory – You can operate your OWN ground-based “MicroObservatories” – real robotic telescopes – through this website.

EU-Hands On Universe  –  This site provides remote access to small radio telescopes installed throughout Europe.
Radio Telescope:ARROW – A robotically directed receiver tuned to radio emission from hydrogen in the Milky Way. ARROW is A Robotic Radio-telescope Over the Web. 

Virtual Sky simulators

Stellarium – A free open source planetarium for your computer that shows a realistic sky in 3D.
Planetarium – Explore the stars and planets from your web browser.
Google Sky – Allows you to view celestial objects, including stars, constellations, galaxies, planets and the Earth’s moon.
Microsoft World Wide Telescope – Enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best telescopes in the world.
VirtualSky – A browser-based planetarium from Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope that can be customized and embedded in websites

Learn star gazing

BBC stargazing – A guide to star gazing
Sky & Telescope – More information on star gazing
Skymaps – A free, 2-page monthly guide to the night sky suitable for all sky watchers including newcomers to Astronomy.
Heavens Above – An online skychart that includes positions of satellites and the International Space Station


IAU Directory for World Astronomy – A searchable database of Astronomy observatories, research institutions, science centers, planetariums, Astronomy clubs, space agencies, universities.
 – A collection of pointers to astronomically relevant Internet resources including Astronomy organizations, publications, software, and educational resources (not updated anymore)
University of Buffalo database – A collection of Books, Journals, Open Access, Career Information, Databases, Educational Materials, General Portals & Directories, History of Astronomy, Images, Our Solar System, and Professional Societies in Astronomy
Science Reference Services – Selected internet resources in Astronomy from the US Library of Congress
Astronomy Now – database from Astronomy Now

Citizen Science

Contribute to real Science
Citizen Science – List of projects on the Planetary Society website
Zooniverse, Galaxy Zoo – popular citizen Science platforms
Resources for citizen scientists – tools for citizen scientists from NASA