A Basic Astronomy Library
Chaisson, E. Cosmic Dawn. 1981, Berkley paperback. An eloquent primer on the evolution of the universe and our place in it. (A sequel, called The Life Era, was published by Atlantic Monthly Books in 1987.)
Ferris, T. Galaxies. 1980, Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Lavishly illustrated introduction to the large-scale cosmos by a noted science writer.
Goldsmith, D. The Astronomers. 1990, St. Martin's Press. Focuses on the work of two dozen key astronomers. (Ready in late 1990.)
Hartmann, W. & Miller, R. Cycles of Fire. 1987, Workman. Over-sized paperback with gorgeous color illustrations, introducing the realms of the stars and galaxies.
Jastrow, R. Red Giants and White Dwarfs, 2nd ed. 1979, Warner paperbou nd. Good, basic book on the evolution of the universe and humankind.
Preiss, B. & Fraknoi, A., eds. The universe. 1987, Bantam. Collection of introductory articles by noted astronomers and science fiction stories inspired by good science.
Preston, R. First Light. 1987, Atlantic Monthly Books. Eloquent introduction to modern astronomy through the life and work of a few of its finest practioners.
Sagan, C. Cosmos. 1980, Ballantine paperback. A superbly-written, highly personal tour of the universe; based on the PBS TV series.
Trefil, J. Space Time and Infinity. 1985, Smithsonian Press. A beautiful coffee table book introducing modern astronomy.
Eliott, J. & Kerr, R. Rings. 1984/7, MIT Press. Introduction to the rings around Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus.
Frazier, K. solar system. 1985, Time-Life. Profusely illustrated guide to the planets by a fine science writer.
Miller, R. & Hartmann, W. The Grand Tour. 1981, Workman paperbound. A guide to the solar system, illustrated with photos and paintings.
Morrison, D. & Owen, T. The Planetary System. 1988, Addison-Wesley. A fine up-to-date textbook that can be read for pleasure.
Preiss, B., ed. The Planets. 1985, Bantam. A collection of authoritative articles about each planet and some science fiction based on them.
Cattermole, P. & Moore, P. The Story of the Earth. Cambridge U. Press.
Davis, J. Flyby. 1987, Atheneum. Mainly about Uranus, but with sections on Jupiter and Saturn.
Hockey, T. The Book of the Moon. 1986, Prentice Hall.
Littmann, M. Planets Beyond: The Outer solar system. 1988, Wiley. Good introduction to Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
Moore, P. The Planet Neptune. 1988, Horwood/Wiley.
Morrison, D. & Sams, J. Voyage to Jupiter. 1980, NASA Special Publication #439, US Gov't Printing Off.
Morrison, D. Voyages to Saturn. 1982, NASA Special Publication #451, US Gov't Printing Off.
Strom, R. Mercury: The Elusive Planet. 1987, Smithsonian Inst. Press.
Washburn, M. Mars at Last. 1977, Putnam's.
Tombaug h, C. & Moore, P. Out of the Darkness: The Planet Pluto. 1980, Stackpole Books. (Out of print; but worth searching for.)
Dodd, R . Thunderstones and Shooting Stars: The Meaning of Meteorites. 1986, Harvard U. Press.
Kowal, C. Asteroids: Their Nature and Utilization. 1988, Horwood/Wiley. Best introduction.
McSween, H. Meteorites and their Parent Planets. 1987, Cambridge U. Press. What meteorites are and where they come from.
Sagan, C. & Druyan, A. Comet. 1985, Random House. Beautiful book of comet science and lore, with good background on the solar system.
Whipple, F. The Mystery of Comets. 1985, Smithsonian Inst. Press. Personal account by the scientist who first explained the nature of comets.
Friedman, H. Sun and Earth. 1986, Scientific American Library. Very nice primer on the Su n and its relationships with our own planet.
Noyes, R. The Sun, Our Star. 1982, Harvard U. Press. Good introduction to the astronomy of the Sun by a Harvard astronomer.
Wentzel, D. The Restless Sun. 1989, Smithsonian Institution Press. Excellent and up-to-date.
Greenstein, G. Frozen Star. 1983, Freundlich. Eloquent book about the death of stars and what it is like being an astronomer today.
Kaler, J. The Stars and their Spectra. 1989, Cambridge U. Press. Definitive book on what we can learn about stars by decoding their light. (Somewhat more advanced.)
Kaufmann, W. Black Holes and Warped Spacetime. 1979, Freeman paperbound. Best introduction to black holes and the theories behind them.
Kaufmann, W. Stars and Nebulas. 1979, Freeman paper-bound. Brief primer on stars and their lives.
Kippenhahn, R. 100 Billion Suns: The Birth, Life, and Death of the Stars. 1983, Basic Books. Nontechnical review of stellar evolution.
Marschall, L. The Supernova Story. 1988, Plenum. Excellent introduction to exploding stars and Supernova 1987A.
Moore, P. Astronomers' Stars. 1987, Norton. Profiles of individual stars whose understanding was crucial to the progress of astronomy.
Verschuur, G. Interstellar Matters. 1989, Springer-Verlag. A history of how we learned about the gas and dust between the stars.
Hodge, P. Galaxies. 1986, Harvard U. Press. A thorough introduction to our modern understanding of galaxies.
Kaufmann, W. Galaxies and Quasars. 1979, Freeman paperbound. Clear basic guide to what lies beyond our Milky Way Galaxy.
Wright, A. & H. At the Edge of the universe. 1989, Horwood/ Wiley. Searching for the most distant objects, especially quasars.
Cornell, J., ed. Bubbles, Voids, and Bumps in Time. 1989, Cambridge U. Press. Excellent articles on mapping and understanding the universe.
Ferris, T. The Red Limit, 2nd ed. 1983, Morrow/Quill paperbound. Good history of how large-scale properties of the universe were discovered.
Gribbin, J. In Search of the Big Bang. 1986, Bantam paper-bound. Thorough, readable introduction to our quest for the universe's origin.
Harrison, E. Cosmology. 1981, Cambridge U. Press. A superb, literate textbook on large-scale questions about the universe.
Pagels, H. Perfect Symmetry. 1985, Bantam. A readable introduction to the science of the universe beginning, from the perspective of a physicist.
Trefil, J. The Moment of Creation. 1983, Macmillan paper-bound. Fine introduction to our modern understanding of the Big Bang. (See also his The Dark Side of the universe, 1988, Scribner's.)
Tucker, W. & K. The Dark Matter. 1988, Morrow. On the quest for the "hidden mass'' of galaxies and the universe.
Friedlander, M. Cosmic Rays: Tracking Particles from Space. 1989, Harvard U. Press.
Tucker, W. & Giacconi, R. The X-Ray universe. 1985, Harvard U. Press. Fine introduction to cosmic phenomena that produce X-rays.
Verschuur, G. The Invisible universe Revealed. 1987, Springer-Verlag. A fine introduction to the discoveries and techniques of radio astronomy.
McDonough, T. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. 1987, John Wiley. Good-humored, basic book.
Rood, R. and Trefil, J. Are We Alone? 1981, Scribners paperbound. Popular-level introduction to life out there and the search.
Cornell, J. & Gorenstein, P. Astronomy from Space. 1983, MIT Press. Chapters by various astronomers on the results from and plans for exploring the universe with instruments in space.
Davies, J. Satellite Astronomy. 1988, Horwood/Wiley.
Field, G. & Goldsmith, D. Space Telescope: Eyes Above the Atmosphere. 1990, Contemporary Books.
Krisciunas, K. Astronomical Centers of the World. 1988, Cambridge U. Press. History of major observatories from ancient days through today.
Tucker, W. & K. The Cosmic Inquirers. 1986, Harvard U. Press. Well-written stories of some of the biggest telescopes on Earth and in space.
Duffett-Smith, P. Astronomy with Your Personal Computer, 2nd ed. 1987, Cambridge U. Press.
Duffett-Smith, P. Practical Astronomy with Your Calculator, 3rd ed. 1988, Cambridge U. Press.
Genet, R. & Hayes, D. Robotic Observatories. 1989, AutoScope Corp., P.O. Box 40488, Mesa, AZ 85274.
Lawrence, J. Basic Astronomy with a PC. 1989, Willmann-Bell.
Evans, D. Under Capricorn: A History of Southern Hemisphere Astronomy. 1988, Adam Hilger. Astronomical developments in Australia & elsewhere.
Ferris, T. Coming of Age in the Milky Way. 1988, Morrow. Eloquent, poetic book on the development of our ideas about the universe.
Gingerich, O., ed . Astrophysics and 20th Century Astronomy to 1950. 1984, Cambridge U. Press. Excellent collection of articles; the first in a series of historical collections from Cambridge.
Krupp, E. Echoes of the Ancient Skies. 1983, NAL paper-bound. Introduction to the astronomy of earlier civilizations around world.
Osterbrock, D., et al. Eye on the Sky. 1988, U. of California Press. The history of the Lick Observatory, the first of the major astronomical observing centers in the U.S.
Sheehan, W. Planets and Perception. 1988, U. of Arizona Press. History of progress and reversals in understanding the planets.
Beyer, S. The Star Guide. 1986, Little Brown paperbound. A guide to the 100 brightest stars for beginners; good charts.
Chartrand, M. Skyguide. 1982, Golden Press paperback. Good compact handbook for beginners, with good illustrations.
Cherrington, E. Exploring the Moon Through Binoculars and SmallTelescopes. 1984, Dover paperbound. Good guide to a variety of lunar observations.
Harrington, S. Selecting Your First Telescope. 1983, Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Pamphlet on what telescope do, different types of instruments, and what to do with a new telescope.
Mayer, B. Starwatch. 1984, Putnam paperbound. An eccentric but clever guide on constructing star-finders from simple household materials.
Menzel, D. & Pasachoff, J. A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets, 2nd ed. 1983, Houghton-Mifflin paperback. Updated edition of a classic guide, full of information and with good new maps.
Moore, P. Exploring the Night Sky with Binoculars. 1986, Cambridge U. Press. A friendly introduction with clear instructions.
Muirden, J. Astronomy with Binoculars. 1984, Arco paperback. A pleasant and useful book for scanning the sky with binoculars.
Ridpath, I . & Tirion, W. universe Guide to Stars and Planets. 1984, universe paperback. Compact guide to sky with constellation maps.
Schaaf, F. Wonders of the Sky. 1983, Dover. An amateur astronomer's enthusiastic guide to the joys of naked-eye observing.
Whitney, C. Whitney's Star Finder, 4th ed. 1985, Knopf paperbound. Clear, basic primer on sky phenomena & constellations. (Updated regularly.)
Jones, K. Webb Society Deep Sky Observer's Handbook (5 volumes) 1982, Enslow. Background info and rich catalogs of objects to observe.
Levy, D. Observing Variable Stars: A Guide for the Beginner. 1989, Cambridge U. Press.
Newton, J. & Teece, P. The Guide to Amateur Astronomy. 1988, Cambridge U. Press. Thorough primer by two Canadian amateurs.
Sherrod, P. A Complete Manual of Amateur Astronomy. 1981, Prentice-Hall paperbound. Excellent guide to observing techniques and projects.
Texereau, J. How to Make a Telescope, 2nd ed. 1984, Willmann-Bell. A wealth of detailed information on making a telescope from scratch.
Asimov, I. Isaac Asimov's Library of the universe. 1988-90, Gareth Stevens. Beautifully produced, basic astronomy series for ages 8-12.
Berger, M. Bright Stars, Red Giants, and White Dwarfs. 1983, Putnam. Brief introduction to stars and their evolution. [Ages 10-15]
Branley, F. Saturn: A Spectacular Planet. 1983, Crowell. Picture book summarizing our knowledge of the ringed planet. [Ages 7-11]
Branley, F. Space Telescope. 1985, Crowell. Illustrated introduction to telescopes and the big one to go in space. [Ages 8 -11]
Burnham, R. The Star Book. 1983, Astromedia/Cambridge U. Press. Book of cardboard star maps & instructions for beginners. [12 to adult]
Hatchett, C. The Glow-in-the-Dark Sky Book. 1988, Random House. [All ages.]
Krupp, E. & R. The Big Dipper and You. 1989, Morrow. A delightful illustrated book on stars and constellations. [Ages 6-12.]
Parker, E. The Universe. 1983, Cambridge U. Press. Picture book on astronomy for very young children.
Poynter, M. & Klein, M. Cosmic Quest. 1984, Atheneum. A nice introduction to the search for life elsewhere in the universe. [Ages 13 and up]
Taylor, G. Volcanoes in Our Solar System. 1983, Dodd, Mead. Discussion of volcanoes on Earth and on other planets & moons. [13 and up]
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