I just discovered this fantastic search engine for the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day library. It’s written by Stuart who runs the @apod twitter account and blogs at http://www.strudel.org.uk/blog/astro/. Stuart chronicles why he wrote the search engine (spoiler: government shutdown) and goes a bit into some of the technical work to make it happen. He’s also the man behind this excellent Virtual Sky HTML5 Planetarium. If you’re an astronomy nerd, Stuarts’s web site ought to get your heart rate going.
I’m currently in the tail end of a writing project and I’ve used the APOD search to get photo inspiration, descriptive support of astronomical objects in my story, and sadly, to procrastinate while dealing with writer’s block. It’s a great tool. Go check it out.