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Astronomy: Recommended Readings

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posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 12:18 PM
So you want to do some research on astronomy in the real world, like say going to one o those archaic places called a library and reading a book. A *real* book! Well here’s some books that may interest you. I've divided this into two sections: Research and Field Guides. If you have any additions, please u2u them to me.

The Cambridge Atlas of Astronomy
Introduction by Sir Bernard Lovell
Edited by Jean Audouze and Guy Israël
Published by Cambridge University Press, 1985

This book is possibly the best astronomy book ever created. It may have some dense material for people new to the field, but its wealth of information and explanations make it easy to understand. I'd rate it for someone with some familiarity with astronomy and advanced concepts.

The Astronomy and Astrophysics Encyclopedia
Foreward by Carl Sagan
Edited by Stephan P. Maran
Published by Van Nostrand Reinhold and Cambridge University Press, 1991

It's an encyclopedia. Have a question about the Magellenic Clouds, flip to the 'M' section. Recommended for anyone doing research on a specific topic since may be pretty hard to read front to back. Also, it's one of the three astronomy books that I own that is younger than me, if that says anything.

The Encyclopedia of Stars & Planets
Antonin Rükl
Edited by Storm Dunlop
Published by Ivy Leaf, 1992

A great resource for someone with an interest in astronomy. Though not as detailed as the previously listed book, it is a lot easier to just sit down and read. Great for a beginner in astronomy.

Celestial Treasury
Marc Lachièze-Rey and Jean-Pierre Luminet
Published by the Cambridge University Press, 2001

I actually only bought this book within the past few days. It was my inspiration for this post, actaually. Though I'm not done reading it, it gives a highly detailed description of astronomy throughout the ages and how it has affected science, religion, philosophy, literature, and art. Great for anyone who likes history of the sciences.

Field Guides
A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets Second Edition, Revised
Donald H. Menzel and Jay M. Pasachoff
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983

One of the best field guides available for novice and intermediate observational astronomers. It has several sky charts spanning throughout the year as well as dozens of highly detailed color plates of several nebulae, clusters, and planets.

Universe Guide to Stars and Planets
Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion
Published by Universe Books, 1985

More detailed sky charts than the previously listed book, but not as many color plates. This does break down observations by constellations, which makes finding deep-sky objects a bit easier. I recommend this one for beginners in observational astronomy.

Burnham's Celestial Handbook An Observer's Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System
Volume One: Andromeda through Cetus
Volume Two: Chamaeleon through Orion
Volume Three: Pavo through Vulpecula
Robert Burnham, Jr.
Published by Dover Books, 1966

Highly technical. Great for those who are advanced in observational astronomy or astrophotography. Has information on nearly every double/multiple stars, nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies in each constellation.

So that's it so far on my list. I own all of these books, most of which were hand me downs from my father. I've read them all, and these are where I get a lot of my knowledge about astronomy. I hope they can help some of you gain some knowledge.


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