Know your cosmic neighborhood


At Chrome Experiments you can get a good view over our nearest stars. Zoom in, or out. Check out 100,000 other stars. A very cool site! Picture credit: Chrome Experiments.

Stars @ Chrome Experiments

Wikipedia: Nearest stars


Mars Habitats Simulated

We’re going to Mars. If NASA is not going I’m sure Elon Musk will land on planet four. But even if we have lived two hundred thousand years on Earth we still have a lot to learn before we can move to another planet. Mars is cold, has no air and no radiation shield. The lower gravity will probably also be a problem. Whatever we can simulate here on Earth before we go we need to do. Here are some of the projects doing just that:


The University of Hawai’i is operating the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation habitat. The site on the side of Mauna Loa offers a cool and dry climate with a Mars like geology. This project is sponsored by University of Hawai’i, NASA and Cornell University. Four missions has been completed ranging from four month to a year. Next mission starts January 19.

University of Hawai’i: Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation

NASA Analog Missions: HI-SEAS

HI-SEAS @ Facebook | HI-SEAS @ Twitter | Wikipedia


Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)

MDRS is operated by the Mars Society and located in the Utah desert. The habitat has a greenhouse and an observatory. Crews have been rotated the habitat since the early 2000s.

Mars Society: Mars Desert Research Station

MDRS @ Facebook | MDRS @ Twitter | Wikipedia


Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS)

The Mars Society’s first habitat, located on Devon Island. The area near the Haughton impact crater is considered one of the best Mars analog sites on Earth.

Mars Society: Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station

FMARS @ Facebook | Wikipedia


Haughton-Mars Project (HMP)

Also on Devon Island, not far from FMARS is the Haughton-Mars Project. HMP is operated by the Mars Institute with help from the SETI Institute and NASA.

Project web site: Haughton-Mars Project

Mars Institute | Facebook | Flickr | Twitter | Wikipedia



The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations is a NASA project at the underwater laboratory Aquarius.


NEEMO @ Facebook | Twitter | Wikipedia


Living on white Mars

The distant research station Concordia at the Antarctic has been used to test isolation and cold. The project was documented on a blog at ESA.

ESA: Living on white Mars (PDF)

Wikipedia: Concordia Station


Don’t forget earlier projects like MARS-500 and Biosphere 2.

Wikipedia: MARS-500 | Biosphere 2 | Human analog missions | Mars analog habitatsMars analogs



Upcoming Mars analogs: PMAS in Poland and the Mars Habitat in Brazil

NASA blogs: Analog missions

New Scientist: Four extreme environments where humans are tasting life on Mars

National Geographics: 8 amazing places you can visit “Mars” on Earth

101 Astronomical Events in 2017

Get this free ebook to get ready for this year’s observations of the night sky. It’s written by David Dickinson and completely free to download. This is a well written book with a lot of effort put into the writing. Please find it at the best site about space and astronomy: Universe Today. David is a writer at the site and you can find him on Google Plus, at Astro Guyz and other places online. More about the book here.

Free ebook: 101 Astronomical Events in 2017

Other contributors are Cory Schmitz from PhotographingSpace and Paul Stewart from Upside Down Astronomer.

So, is Universe Today really the best site about Space and Astonomy? Yes, according to this list, it’s at the top:

  1. Universe Today
  2. Planetary Society
  3. Astronomers Without Borders
  5. Wikipedia

Ok, it’s my own list but I doubt it only reflects my opinion. There are many really good sites online but if you can only remember five sites the above list is enough to keep you informed and involved in everything related to space and astronomy in 2017.