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Exploring the Solar System: Further Guides and Resources

By Andrew Fraknoi
© Copyright 2001, Project ASTRO, Astronomical Society of the Pacific

In the last few decades, the planets and moons in the solar system have been revealed as wonderfully individual worlds that we are beginning to explore in detail. Here are some resources to help your family get to know these worlds better.

Books for Kids (age 8 and up)

Dickinson, Terence Other Worlds: A Beginner’s Guide to the Planets and Moons. 1995, Firefly Books.

Lauber, Patricia Journey to the Planets, 4th edition. 1993, Crown.

Simon, Seymour The Solar System: Facts and Exploration. 1995, Henry Holt.

Books for Adults

McNab, David and Younger, James The Planets. 1999, Yale University Press. This beautiful coffee-table book accompanies a PBS TV series of the same name. Written by a journalist and TV producer and accompanied by many color images, the text gives an overview of our modern understanding of the solar system.

Miller, Ron and Hartmann, William The Grand Tour: A Traveler’s Guide to the Solar System, 2nd ed. 1993, Workman. This paperback volume by two artists (one of whom is an astronomer) shows the planets in photographs and paintings. A good primer for beginners.

Morrison, David Exploring Planetary Worlds. 1993, Scientific American Library/W. H. Freeman. A clear, non-technical survey by one of the foremost astronomers who specializes in the planets.

A Few Useful Websites

The Nine Planets: A Multimedia Tour of the Solar System
Amateur astronomer and web wizard Bill Arnett keeps this likeable site of information, images, and links.

Views of the Solar System
Engineer and professional image processor Calvin Hamilton has assembled a site similar to Nine Planets, but with even more graphics and images.

Planetary Photojournal
This terrific site collects and organizes several thousand of the best images from recent NASA spacecraft. They are all in the public domain (paid for by your tax dollars) and can be downloaded in several different picture formats.

For more readings and web sites (including the best resources on individual planets and moons), see our Solar System Resource Guide on the web at: