1. How it began
2. Description of the single projects
- How it began
As the most Servers this project startet with an idea. First it was just the
idea to offer astromaps to the people - clickable images of the night sky
(this was back in summer 1994). I intended to include this to an astro server
(the original I created is unfortunately no longer existing --- local politics
about people leaving an institute), but since I knew that there would problems
occur I moved the test installation to a new place and there it lives ... well,
Of course, this was an unpleasant situation, so I started to look around for
a place, where I would be able to build this server on a better basis. During
this time, I thought a lot about what I wanted to do and what the server should
look like. With what I saw on other servers and what I did before I rethought
the organisation and the services the server was supposed to offer. The
astromaps were a fine project but not so much usable for professional
astronomers. These people needed other information. So, why not connect these
requirements with the astromaps ? - Because this alone is not an attractiv
way of finding data if you are in need of just these data.
To do things correctly I must use a database, which can be searched for
information without using the astromaps, so that professionals can easily
gain information. The info of the astromaps can have links to further
information. This organisation should do the job.
Soon I saw that with the old server it would never be possible to offer all
services I planned to. My server software was not flawless and I had no
access to a database or an archive system.
While playing around with the few things I had till then (spring 1995), I
was contacted by people of the VSW and the FdT, who wanted to join the
astromap project. This gave me the push I needed to stop thinking and get
At this point I asked people of the LRZ and the USM for help. On the one hand,
the LRZ does have all the equipment I will need to build up the server. On
the other hand, my status there would be clearly defined and I will no longer
have to fear that after a while my work will be silently destroyed. The support
of USM is wished and necessary for I am no member of one of the universities
the LRZ is providing their services.
On the first anniversary of the archive it got its own domain:
Now, that I moved the server to its new location and it has now its own name,
this is what finally came out of it:
- Description of the single projects
The topics below partially correspond to the topics of the homepage of MAA.
Hopefully these descriptions help to understand to which audience the projects
are apealing. Of course you can browse to everything which is offered, but in
case you are searching of something special, this may help you to find it. In
any case feel free to contact smil (at) clell.de.
- MAAM: The Munich Archive Astromaps
As mentioned above, this is a collection of pictures of the night skies. All
pictures are made clickable. Clicking on a star means that you will get some
basic information about this star (where it is located, what kind of star,...).
On each page a link to more specific data will be found (is available, see
the topic support). If you are an interested layman to astronomy,
what you learn of the Info-pages might be all you want. If you are deeper
interested, you may go on and follow the links (people with very little
knowledge about astronomy will soon reach the point where the offered data is
useless and no longer interesting to them).
- MAPA: The Munich Astro Papers Archive
This is an projects for people looking for papers to specific subjects.
Connected to a database and an archive system you may give the keywords
and a programm will find all papers which match to the given keywords.
Once papers are found, you can read the abstracts online. If you are
interested in reading the whole paper you either go to the library and
look into the journal, the paper appeared in, or you tell the server to
send you the postscript version of it.
Unfortunately this seems a bit too much for single person so that this part
of the archive will probably undergo a changing even before it goes online.
Since October 1997 the archive offer a collection of astronomical catalogs from
the ADC-CDROMs. This offer will be extended as long as there are wishes to
to so and as long there is enough disk space.
- Comet: Mirror of Gary Kronk's Comet and Meteor Site
This wonderfull collection of material of comet and meteor showers informations
fits exactly to the purposes of this archive. Fortunately Gary gave his
permission to make this mirror so that european users (hopefully) can enjoy
a faster access. It is available at the archive since June 1996.
- Const: The Munich Archive Constellation Pages
This project - though strongly under construction - is not yet really online.
There are discriptions of all constellations (all bilingual), but not all of
them offer enough informations for interested people or observers. Once there
is enough material (including history, etc.) this project will have its own link
from the homepage of the archive.
- Messier: Partial Mirror of the SEDS Messier Data
Since February 1996 there is an agreement with SEDS, that the MAA may mirror
their Messier data. Because it is the policy of this archive to be bilingual
there will be a german translation of the data, which will be mirrowed back to
SEDS after it is completed.
Under this topic you will find informations about all 110 messier objects,
overview data as well as infos useful for the observer. As far as they are
available the latest research data will be found there, too.
- Scholar: The Astronomical Teachtextes
As the name says the aim of this project is to provide a collection of textes
(partially with pictures), prepared in a way that they are, on the one hand, an
entry point for laymans to astronomy and, on the other hand, give deeper
knowledge to more advanced people.
A part of these textes are written by Nick Strobel of the Univ. of Washington,
Seattle, WA. Special thanks to him as well as to Dirk Husfeld of the University
Observatory in Munich, who made it possible for the Scholar Project to go
online in April 1996 (just four month after this archive started its work).
Under this topics you find a collection of services you might find useful.
If you need to know the exact time of moonraise, the stardate database
will surely help you (if you need - for some reason - need to know the time of
the moonraise or sunset two years ago, this database will help you, too).
Early 1997 a service to provide star data has been started.
As well you find some data about meteor showers.
In collaboration with the VSW and FdT it is planned to give detailed
information about stellar objects in the Topic of the Month. This
information will be provided in a way that (hopefully) even a complete layman
can learn about the subject and understand the text.
- The SL9 Archive
A collection of data of the Shoemaker-Levy impact on Jupiter in 94. Seems
that there are not very much researchers on this topic, so it's a bit hard
to get some results. But most (all ?) of the images are there as well as
the reports of the observatories.
There are lots of questions for astronomical software, so in August 1996
this collection of programs has been started and soon developed to one of
the most read pages of the archive. Thanks to Stephen A. Voels we are able
to keep the data up to date.
Each server is just as good as it support. No support no data. This server
is for everyone, but I cannot give data and information to the people I
do not have (this is extremely true for the paper archive) or which are
propriety. Sometimes an explicit permittance helps alot.
So, if you want to see specific things on this server, tell me.
If you want your information to be presented on this server, drop
MAA (at) clell.de">a line.
You may send in complete informations or just links to those informations
(in case of sending in: please make sure, that your name is under the page;
I will not offer anonymous infos or change this name).
Currently there is no financial support.
Although this archive started as a on-woman project, it lives from the help
of other people. So with the help and the work of Hartmut Frommert (SEDS;
Messier Daten), Dirk Husfeld (USM; Scholar) and Steve Voels (HSTX; Tools) this
archive was able to extend its offers much faster. Very special thanks to
Klaus D. Kumor for his graphical and artistic assistance.
It took more than a year to get the first official co-worker for the archive;
since March 1997 we are now two persons.
Author: C. Kronberg --- 97/03/05 --- smil (at) clell.de