If you like RSS feeds, readers or other news aggregators, there’s a new website available that focuses on astronomy and space news. Called Portal to the Universe, it is the latest Cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009). Universe Today is one of the sites featured, and PTTU includes other news sites, blogs, video podcasts, audio podcasts, images, videos, and more. Don’t worry: PTTU isn’t trying to replace Universe Today or any other sites or blogs. The goal of this new site is to get the word out on what is being featured on all the different space and astronomy sites and push more readers their way. It’s all about community.
PTTU also includes Web 2.0 collaborative tools, such as the ranking of different services according to popularity, and a range of “widgets” to tap into all sorts of existing “live data”, such as near-live pictures of the Sun, live positions of spacecraft or live observations from telescopes.
From PTTU’s press release:
Portal to the Universe will help the user to sift constructively through the wealth of information available and will promote interactions within the astronomy multimedia community. A The vision for the Portal is to enable real-time access to content by aggregating (pulling) from providers of dynamic content like blogs, images, news, etc., and distributing (pushing) to users, as well as indexing and archiving, collecting and maintaining a central repository of useful information. RSS feeds and standardized metadata make it possible to tie all the suppliers of astronomy information together with a single, semi-automatically updating portal. The result is a technologically advanced site that brings together strands of astronomy content from across the worldwide web.
Project Manager Lars Lindberg Christensen says: “The project will develop with, and around, the community’s needs and lots of new features are planned, including adding resources such as educational materials, addresses for all astronomy stakeholders such as amateur clubs, planetariums and observatories.”
Source: PTTU press release
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.