Here are just a few excellent online repositories that provide free viewing and downloads of fascinating scientific information, ranging from Einstein transcripts to NASA posters, from personal papers and letters to Feynman lectures, from Darwin manuscripts to high-resolution space program photos, and from diaries to virtual worlds.
Nearly 3 Million Astonishing Earth Images
NASA has made Terra ASTER data available over the entire globe at no charge. More than 2.95 million scenes of archived data are now available for search and direct download, and new scenes will be added as they are acquired and archived. The public has unlimited access to the complete 16-plus-year database. ASTER data cover 99 percent of Earth’s landmass, spanning from 83ºN latitude to 83ºS.
Incredible High-res Project Apollo Archive Photos
To date, 14,223 public domain images have been posted to the Project Apollo Archive. The incredible high-resolution photos contained in its 109 albums were taken during every manned mission to the Moon, both on the way there and back, and include never-before-seen images of the Moon landing. The archive contains every photo taken on the Moon’s surface.
Digitizing Darwin’s Writings
Tracing the evolution of Charles Darwin’s thoughts about evolution is becoming an increasingly accessible project, thanks to a growing cache of publicly available digitized manuscripts on the American Museum of Natural History’s site. The database catalogs some 96,000 pages of Darwin scientific manuscripts, currently represented by 21,850 high resolution digital images. Thus far, 14,936 pages have been transcribed to exacting standards and all are presented in easy-to-read format.
Historic Feynman Physics Lectures Available Online
An acclaimed lecture series by the iconic physicist Richard Feynman is freely available to the general public on a Microsoft Research site in collaboration with Bill Gates. The lectures, which Feynman originally delivered at Cornell University in 1964, have been hugely influential for many people, including Gates.
Albert Einstein Archives
Hebrew University, in partnership with Princeton University Press and California Institute of Technology, announced the launch of the Digital Einstein Papers. Hebrew University and Princeton University Press have spent decades studying an estimated 80,000 documents. Now, anyone with an Internet connection can access transcripts of thousands of letters, papers, postcards and diaries.
Exoplanet Travel: NASA Envisions Exotic Cosmic Locales
“Imagination is our window into the future,” JPL says. The leading U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system, JPL is responsible for conducting missions with more than two dozen spacecraft. So, it stands to reason that the lab might occasionally take some time out to envision a day when the creativity of scientists and engineers will allow us to do things we can only dream of now. The lab’s downloadable exoplanet travel poster series presents virtual trips to 14 alien worlds.
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