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48 Best Astronomy Books

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The Stars
A New Way to See Them
by H. A. Rey (Dec 06, 2016)
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This is a clear, vivid text with charts and maps showing the positions of the constellations the year round....
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Caroline Paul
NightWatch
A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe
by Terence Dickinson (Sep 12, 2006)
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Revised Fourth Edition: updated for use through 2025.The first three editions of NightWatch sold more than 600,000 copies, making it the top-selling stargazing guide in the world for the last 20 years. The key feature of this classic title is the section of star charts that are cherished by backyard astronomers everywhere. Each new edition has outs...
Wonders of the Solar System
by Brian Cox (Aug 20, 2013)
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In Wonders of the Solar System – the book of the acclaimed BBC TV series – Professor Brian Cox will take us on a journey of discovery where alien worlds from your imagination become places we can see, feel and visit.The Wonders of the Solar System – from the giant ice fountains of Enceladus to the liquid methane seas of Titan and from storms twice ...
Universe
The Definitive Visual Guide
by Martin Rees (May 19, 2008)
Goodreads Rating
Continuing in the bestselling tradition of Animal and Earth, this definitive guide takes readers on a tour from the solar system to the farthest limits of space. High school & older....
The Backyard Astronomer's Guide
by Terence Dickinson (Sep 12, 2008)
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An essential reference tool for both beginning and veteran sky observers. Drawing on decades of stargazing experience, the authors suggest what equipment to buy and what to avoid, describe observing techniques, and explain how to hunt down the most interesting celestial objects. Each chapter is illustrated with the latest, breathtaking astrophotogr...
Cosmos
A Field Guide
by Giles Sparrow (Oct 05, 2017)
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"Cosmos" explores the celestial panorama one step at a time and by illustrating the planets, moons, stars, nebulae, white dwarfs, black holes and other exotica that populate the heavens with over 450 of the most spectacular and up-to-date photographs and illustrations....
Turn Left at Orion
A Hundred Night Sky Objects to See in a Small Telescope - and How to Find Them
by Guy Consolmagno (Oct 22, 2000)
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A superb guidebook described in Bookwatch as 'the home astronomer's "bible"', Turn Left at Orion provides all the information beginning amateur astronomers need to observe the Moon, the planets and a whole host of celestial objects. Large format diagrams show these objects exactly as they appear in a small telescope and for each object there is inf...
Find the Constellations
by H. A. Rey (Dec 06, 2016)
Goodreads Rating
Containing star charts, a guide to the constellations, and details about seasons and the movement of the objects we see in the sky, this classic book makes H. A. Rey’s passion for astronomy evident on every page.Second edition updates concentrate on the planetary and solar system information in the latter part of the book. Facts and figures for eac...
The Astronomy Book
Big Ideas Simply Explained
by DK (Sep 05, 2017)
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An essential guide to milestone developments in astronomy, telling the story of our ideas about space, time, and the physics of the cosmos--from ancient times to the present day.From planets and stars to black holes and the Big Bang, take a journey through the wonders of the universe. Featuring topics from the Copernican Revolution to the mind-bogg...
Burnham's Celestial Handbook
An Observer's Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System, Vol. 1
by Robert Burnham Jr. (Jun 01, 1978)
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The three volume "Burnham's Celestial Handbook" series provides a constellation based, detailed and comprehensive guide to tens of thousands of celestial objects outside our solar system. The information presented includes: definitions, names, historical background, coordinates, classifications, physical descriptions, maps, charts, sketches, and ob...
The Five Ages of the Universe
Inside the Physics of Eternity
by Fred C. Adams (Jan 15, 2000)
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As the twentieth century closed, Fred Adams and Greg Laughlin captured the attention of the world by identifying the five ages of time. In The Five Ages of the Universe, Adams and Laughlin demonstrate that we can now understand the complete life story of the cosmos from beginning to end. Adams and Laughlin have been hailed as the creators of the d...
An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics
by Bradley W. Carroll (Dec 10, 1995)
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This exciting new text opens the entire field of modern astrophysics to the reader by using only the basic tools of physics. Designed for the junior- level astrophysics course, each topic is approached in the context of the major unresolved questions in astrophysics. The core chapters have been designed for a course in stellar structure and evoluti...
The Day We Found the Universe
by Marcia Bartusiak (Mar 09, 2010)
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On January 1, 1925, thirty-five-year-old Edwin Hubble announced the observation that ultimately established that our universe was a thousand trillion times larger than previously believed, filled with myriad galaxies like our own. This discovery dramatically reshaped how humans understood their place in the cosmos, and once and for all laid to rest...
StarTalk
Everything You Ever Need to Know About Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the Human Race, the Universe, and Beyond
by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Sep 13, 2016)
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This beautifully illustrated companion to celebrated scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s popular podcast and National Geographic Channel TV show is an eye-opening journey for anyone curious about the complexities of our universe. For decades, beloved astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has interpreted science with a combination of brainpower and charm t...
The Sun's Heartbeat
And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet
by Bob Berman (Jul 16, 2012)
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The beating heart of the sun is the very pulse of life on earth. And from the ancients who plotted its path at Stonehenge to the modern scientists who unraveled the nuclear fusion reaction that turns mass into energy, humankind has sought to solve its mysteries. In this lively biography of the sun, Bob Berman ranges from its stellar birth to its sp...
Burnham's Celestial Handbook
An Observer's Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System, Vol. 2
by Robert Burnham Jr. (Jan 31, 1978)
Goodreads Rating
The three volume "Burnham's Celestial Handbook" series provides a constellation based, detailed and comprehensive guide to tens of thousands of celestial objects outside our solar system. The information presented includes: definitions, names, historical background, coordinates, classifications, physical descriptions, maps, charts, sketches, and ob...
Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos
The Scientific Quest for the Secret of the Universe
by Dennis Overbye (Jan 01, 1991)
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In southern California, nearly a half century ago, a small band of researchers -- equipped with a new 200-inch telescope and a faith born of scientific optimism -- embarked on the greatest intellectual adventure in the history of humankind: the search for the origin and fate of the universe. Their quest would eventually engulf all of physics and as...
Burnham's Celestial Handbook
An Observer's Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System, Vol. 3
by Robert Burnham Jr. (Dec 31, 1978)
Goodreads Rating
The three volume "Burnham's Celestial Handbook" series provides a constellation based, detailed and comprehensive guide to tens of thousands of celestial objects outside our solar system. The information presented includes: definitions, names, historical background, coordinates, classifications, physical descriptions, maps, charts, sketches, and ob...
Universe
A Journey from Earth to the Edge of the Cosmos
by Nicholas Cheetham (Jul 21, 2009)
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Nicolas Cheetham gives a tour of the cosmos, beginning on Earth and ending at the edge of the Universe and the dawn of time. He leads us into a celestial panorama that extends for 130 billion trillion kilometres in every direction and allows us to explore nearly 200 of the astronomical views....
Deep-Sky Companions
The Messier Objects
by Stephen James O'Meara (Nov 30, 1998)
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Charles Messier (1730-1817) devoted much of his life to searching the skies for comets. As he continued his comet hunting, Messier added other curious deep-sky objects to the list, largely with help from a young rival, Pierre Mechain. By 1781 the Messier catalog had grown to 103 entries. Two centuries later, backyard observers still consider many o...
A Peterson Field Guide to Stars and Planets
by Jay M. Pasachoff Professor of Astronomy (Nov 22, 1999)
Goodreads Rating
The fourth edition of this best-selling field guide was revised and updated, and each printing brings further updates with the latest information. As of the 16th printing (December 2018), most of the time-sensitive material has been updated for the next decade. Twenty-four color Monthly Sky Maps show exactly what you’ll see when facing north or sou...
The Cambridge Star Atlas
by Wil Tirion (Mar 25, 2001)
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Developed by one of the foremost designers of astonomical maps, The Cambridge Star Atlas offers an unusual degree of breadth and detail for amateur and experienced astronomers. Northern and southern latitudes are included in a series of monthly sky charts and an atlas of the whole sky. Each of the 20 overlapping full color charts shows stars down t...
365 Starry Nights
An Introduction to Astronomy for Every Night of the Year
by Chet Raymo (Jan 30, 1990)
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THE AMATEUR STARGAZER'S ULTIMATE HOME COMPANION...
Norton's Star Atlas and Reference Handbook
by Ian Ridpath (Jul 28, 1998)
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Generations of amateur astronomers have called it simply Norton's: the most famous star atlas in the world. Now in a beautifully redesigned, two-color landmark 20th edition, this combination star atlas and reference guide has no match in the field.First published in 1910, prompted by the appearance of Halley's Comet, Norton's owes much of its legen...
Skywatching
by David H. Levy (Sep 01, 1995)
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Skywatching is a comprehensive, indispensable guide to the magic and mystery of the heavens, from the glow of the night's first star to the splendor of distant galaxies. Authoritative, lavishly photographed, and with illustrated guides to the wonders of the natural world around us. Clear, accessible format, charts, diagrams, field tips, practical p...
Calculating the Cosmos
How Mathematics Unveils the Universe
by Ian Stewart (Oct 24, 2016)
Goodreads Rating
In Calculating the Cosmos, Ian Stewart presents an exhilarating guide to the cosmos, from our solar system to the entire universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it's all going to end. He considers parallel universes, the fine-tuning o...
Stars and Planets
The Most Complete Guide to the Stars, Planets, Galaxies, and the Solar System - Fully Revised and Expanded Edition (Princeton Field Guides (45))
by Ian Ridpath (Jan 22, 2008)
Goodreads Rating
In this new edition of their classic work, Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion illuminate the night sky as never before, providing novice stargazers and professional astronomers alike with the most comprehensive and authoritative celestial field guide available. With superb color sky charts, diagrams, or photographs on almost every page, and clear and engag...
Astronomy Hacks
Tips And Tools For Observing The Night Sky
by Robert Bruce Thompson (Jun 27, 2005)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: AstronomyScience
Why use the traditional approach to study the stars when you can turn computers, handheld devices, and telescopes into out-of-this-world stargazing tools? Whether you're a first timer or an advanced hobbyist, you'll find Astronomy Hacks both useful and fun. From upgrading your optical finder to photographing stars, this book is the perfect cosmic c...
Tycho & Kepler
by Kitty Ferguson (Feb 28, 2002)
Goodreads Rating
On his deathbed in 1601, the Danish nobleman and greatest naked-eye astronomer, Tycho Brahe, begged his young colleague, Johannes Kepler, "Let me not seem to have lived in vain." For more than thirty years-- mostly in his native Denmark and then in Prague under the patronage of the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolph II-- Tycho had meticulously observed th...
Comet
by Carl Sagan (Nov 11, 1985)
Goodreads Rating
WHAT ARE THESE GRACEFUL VISITORS TO OUR SKIES? WE NOW KNOW THAT THEY BRING BOTH LIFE AND DEATH AND TEACH US ABOUT OUR ORIGINS.Comet begins with a breathtaking journey through space astride a comet. Pulitzer Prize-winning astronomer Carl Sagan, author of Cosmos and Contact, and writer Ann Druyan explore the origin, nature, and future of comets, and ...
Astrobiology
A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by David C. Catling (Dec 31, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Astrobiology is an exciting new subject, and one, arguably, more interdisciplinary than any other. Astrobiologists seek to understand the origin and evolution of life on Earth in order to illuminate and guide the search for life on other planets. In this Very Short Introduction, David C. Catling introduces the subject through our understanding of t...
Black Hole
How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled On by Hawking Became Loved
by Marcia Bartusiak (Mar 22, 2016)
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The contentious history of the idea of the black hole—the most fascinating and bizarre celestial object in the heavens For more than half a century, physicists and astronomers engaged in heated dispute over the possibility of black holes in the universe. The weirdly alien notion of a space-time abyss from which nothing escapes—not even light—seemed...
Seeing in the Dark
How Amateur Astronomers Are Discovering the Wonders of the Universe
by Timothy Ferris (Jul 08, 2003)
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In Seeing in the Dark, a poetic love letter to science and to the skies, Timothy Ferris invites us all to become stargazers. He recounts his own experiences as an enthralled lifelong amateur astronomer and reports from around the globe -- from England and Italy to the Florida Keys and the Chilean Andes -- on the revolution that's putting millions i...
The Whole Shebang
A State-of-the-Universe(s) Report
by Timothy Ferris (Jan 01, 1997)
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From the prizewinning author who has been called "the greatest science writer in the world" comes this delightfully comprehensive and comprehensible report on how science today envisions the universe as a whole. Timothy Ferris provides a clear, elegantly written overview of current research and a forecast of where cosmological theory is likely to g...
Einstein's Telescope
The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe
by Evalyn Gates (Feb 21, 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Dark energy. Dark matter. These strange and invisible substances don't just sound mysterious: their unexpected appearance in the cosmic census is upending long-held notions about the nature of the Universe. Astronomers have long known that the Universe is expanding, but everything they could see indicated that gravity should be slowing this spread....
The Planet Factory
Exoplanets and the Search for a Second Earth
by Elizabeth Tasker (Apr 23, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Twenty years ago, the search for planets outside the Solar System was a job restricted to science-fiction writers. Now it's one of the fastest-growing fields in astronomy with thousands of exoplanets discovered to date, and the number is rising fast.These new-found worlds are more alien than anything in fiction. Planets larger than Jupiter with yea...
Astronomy Today
Solar System, Vol. I (4th Edition)
by Eric Chaisson (Jan 14, 2002)
Goodreads Rating
This textbook takes an 'Earth-out' progression, covering the solar system, followed by the Sun, and then moves on to stars and galaxies. While the text is descriptive (largely conceptual) it does provide quantitative material, including worked examples in optional boxed sections....
The Eerie Silence
Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence
by Paul Davies (Apr 13, 2010)
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50 years ago, a young astronomer named Frank Drake pointed a radio telescope at nearby stars in the hope of picking up a signal from an alien civilization. Thus began one of the boldest scientific projects in history, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). But after a half century of scanning the skies, astronomers have little to repo...
Foundations of Astronomy
by Michael A. Seeds (Feb 09, 2006)
Goodreads Rating
With this newly revised 9th edition of FOUNDATIONS OF ASTRONOMY, Mike Seeds' goal is to help students use astronomy to understand science and use science to understand what we are. Fascinating and engaging, this text illustrates the scientific method and guides students to answer these fundamental questions: "What are we?" and "How do we know?" In ...
Astronomy For Dummies
by Stephen P. Maran (May 05, 2005)
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An accessible guide to the wonders of the night sky, now updated From asteroids to black holes, from quasars to white dwarfs, this new edition of Astronomy For Dummies takes backyard stargazers on a grand tour of the universe. Featuring star maps, charts, gorgeous full-color photographs, and easy-to-follow explanations, this fact-filled guide gives...
Planets
A Very Short Introduction
by David A. Rothery (Dec 08, 2010)
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From the rings of Saturn to the "canals" of Mars and the Great Red Dot of Jupiter, the planets of our Solar System have long fascinated humanity. Featuring many striking photos, this Very Short Introduction offers a fascinating portrait of the unique world of each planet as well as an illuminating discussion of moons, asteroids, and Trans-Neptunian...
The 4 Percent Universe
Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality
by Richard Panek (Oct 18, 2011)
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The epic, behind-the-scenes story of an astounding gap in our scientific knowledge of the cosmos.   In the past few years, a handful of scientists have been in a race to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only 4 percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, our books, and every planet, star, and galaxy. The rest—96 percent o...
Strange New Worlds
The Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System
by Ray Jayawardhana (Feb 19, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Soon astronomers expect to find alien Earths by the dozens in orbit around distant suns. Before the decade is out, telltale signs that they harbor life may be found. If they are, the ramifications for all areas of human thought and endeavor--from religion and philosophy to art and biology--will be breathtaking. In Strange New Worlds, renowned astro...
Exoplanets
Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life beyond Our Solar System
by Michael Summers (Feb 12, 2018)
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The past few years have seen an incredible explosion in our knowledge of the universe. Since its 2009 launch, the Kepler satellite has discovered more than two thousand exoplanets, or planets outside of our solar system. More and more exoplanets are being discovered all the time, and even more remarkable than the sheer number of exoplanets is their...
Chasing Venus
The Race to Measure the Heavens
by Andrea Wulf (Feb 25, 2013)
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The author of the highly acclaimed Founding Gardeners now gives us an enlightening chronicle of the first truly international scientific endeavor—the eighteenth-century quest to observe the transit of Venus and measure the solar system.   On June 6, 1761, the world paused to observe a momentous occasion: the first transit of Venus between the earth...
Galaxies
A Very Short Introduction
by John Gribbin (Jun 01, 2008)
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In this fascinating Very Short Introduction, popular science writer John Gribben tells the story of our growing understanding of galaxies, from the days before Galileo to our present-day observations of our many hundreds of millions of galactic neighbors. Not only are galaxies fascinating astronomical structures in themselves, but their study has r...
What If the Earth Had Two Moons?
by Neil Comins (Aug 02, 2011)
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“What if?” questions stimulate people to think in new ways, to refresh old ideas, and to make new discoveries. In What If the Earth Had Two Moons, Neil Comins leads us on a fascinating ten-world journey as we explore what our planet would be like under alternative astronomical conditions. In each case, the Earth would be different, often in surpris...
The Planets
by Dava Sobel (Oct 31, 2006)
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With her bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Dava Sobel introduced readers to her rare gift for weaving complex scientific concepts into a compelling narrative. Now Sobel brings her full talents to bear on what is perhaps her most ambitious topic to date-the planets of our solar system. Sobel explores the origins and oddities of the plane...