LookUP Tweets

I know I seem to mention LookUP a lot but I'm quite proud of it and it keeps improving. I made it as a meta service which looks through Simbad, NED, Skybot etc. in an attempt to find any astronomical object by name rather than just a subset of the Universe.

Now Rob Simpson has made use of the XML output to add LookUP on Twitter. If you have a Twitter account you can send a message of the form: "@lookupastro Mars" and it will reply back to you with the coordinates (Right Ascension and Declination) and a link to more info. Of course it is probably quicker to just use LookUP online, on your iPhone or normal phone but what Rob has done is very neat.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Wednesday 26th Aug 2009 (17:58 BST) | Permalink

Astronomy in Spanish

Most of the world doesn't speak English as a first language. That isn't surprising although it can be if you don't leave the English-speaking parts of the web. One of the things that's been tried on the Jodcast is to translate the news segment into different languages. This is good because it allows non-English speakers to hear the content and it could also help with learning as you can hear the same content in different languages. Over the years there has been news in Chinese, French, Portuguese, Hindi and even Farsi but none of these have lasted for more than a few months as the students providing the translations get busy or leave. Now we're trying again with the wonderful Lizette Ramirez translating the latest astronomy news into Spanish. If you speak Spanish, please check it out.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Tuesday 25th Aug 2009 (19:48 BST) | Permalink

I'm back!

It seems that few people noticed that my site was unavailable over the past week. Perhaps you did and just assumed it was a minor glitch. In a way it was but as well as the website not responding, no email was getting through. Although that made for a refreshingly quiet inbox, some time was spent trying to work out what was causing the problem. It turned out that my domain name had expired but I hadn't had a reminder about it from my (now previous) name registering company. With my bank's latest security 'improvements' I was unable to pay for a renewal until I returned to the UK yesterday. I'm surprised that the DNS type stuff all seems to have updated quite quickly and I'm thankful that nobody took my domain name away during the gap.

Thanks to the four people that spotted my website problems and to my current host for sorting out the domain name renewal for me.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Thursday 20th Aug 2009 (14:28 BST) | Permalink
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