Got an interest in space, space travel, atmospheric phenomenon, or the astrophysical aspects of sci-fi? You might want to get on my favorite listserv. I get email messages (uh… weekly? biweekly?) regularly from NASA Science News and SpaceWeather.com, and these messages almost always contain links to cool photos of sky stuff (often by amateur astronomers or random folk around the world), or news about space-related discoveries, or interesting theories and artist’s conceptions. They’re full of great fodder for future spec fic.
For instance, a recent SpaceWeather alert reported this cool tidbit, with links to more info and a related iPhone app:
X-37B SIGHTINGS: Amateur satellite watchers have spotted a US Air Force space plane similar in appearance to NASA’s space shuttle circling Earth in a heretofore secret orbit. Known as the “X-37B,” it can be seen in the night sky shining about as brightly as the stars of the Big Dipper.
Check out SpaceWeather online, or just subscribe. Or there are a variety of NASA subscription options, depending on your interests, here. (I only remember signing up for one of these, not both, so I think they share lists, but don’t quote me. And I’ve been on it for years, so that may have changed.)