A lot of my friends and I would lay down in the driveway of my parents’ house as teenagers and look up at the stars. It was a far-off wonder to us, and we didn’t know what to make of it. People still study this. I don’t remember many astronomy lessons in school, but I’ve always wanted to learn more about it. It’s now time to look for astronomy books for people who are new to the subject.
List: If you’re like me and want to learn more about astronomy, this is the list for you. There are some books about space that are easy to read and understand. All you have to do is pick one and start reading.
General Astronomy Books For Beginners
Astronomy for Dummies by Stephen P. Maran
Readers give this book from the popular For Dummies series a lot of praise. It’s for people who aren’t very good at what they do, but there’s a lot of emphasis on stargazing. You might like this one if you want to learn about space with a telescope by your side.
Astronomy: A Beginner’s Guide to the Universe by Eric Chaisson and Steve McMillan
You might see this kind of book in a class on space. This book is great for people who want to learn about the basics of astronomy. Goodreads reviewers agree.
Astronomy: A Self-Teaching Guide by Dinah L. Moche
This workbook is like an astronomy class you can hold in your hands. It will help you learn how to do things on your own. To help you learn, it has learning goals, reviews, and self-tests with answer keys to make sure you’re actually learning as you read.
The Astronomy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained by DK
There are “all theories and people” in the Astronomy Book, but there are no star charts. If that sounds like what you want out of your first astronomy class, put this on your own syllabus and put it on there.
Astronomy 101: From the Sun and Moon to Wormholes and Warp Drive, Key Theories, Discoveries, and Facts about the Universe by Carolyn Collins Petersen
The title alone makes this book sound like a good choice for a beginner’s astronomy book. With this one, learn a little bit about everything so that you can go deeper into topics that you find interesting.
Astronomy Books For Beginners That Deal With Time & Space
The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking
People who want to learn about space and time should read Stephen Hawking, but I thought I’d say it anyway. This book, written for a “general audience,” explains how theoretical physics has changed since A Brief History of Time was written.
Space, Stars, and the Beginning of Time: What the Hubble Telescope Saw by Elaine Scott
Why don’t you ask us? Scott talks about what we’ve learned from the Hubble Telescope and how that has changed our understanding of time and space.
The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene
When Greene talks about String Theory and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in this book, he breaks them down into simple terms that non-experts can understand. To do this, he makes comparisons to things that happen to everyone. To get your first taste of complicated ideas about space, time, and reality, try this one. You might not be able to keep up, but you might be able to figure it out in the end.
Stargazing For Beginners
Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe by Terence Dickinson, Illustrated by Adolf Schaller
This guide to stargazing is at the top of the list for almost every search for stargazing texts. There’s a lot of time to get used to stargazing with the new edition, which will be accurate through 2025.
100 Things to See in the Night Sky From Planets and Satellites to Meteors and Constellations, Your Guide to Stargazing by Dean Regas
There you go. Seeing that Regas works at the Cincinnati Observatory made this girl very excited! But living in Cincinnati isn’t the only thing that makes him qualified. Regas co-hosts a PBS show about stargazing and has a lot of experience writing about the stars, so it’s likely that he knows what he’s talking about when he talks about the stars in this one.
Guide to the Stars by Ken Graun
This is a map, not a book. As long as you want to know where the constellations are in the night sky, this will be a good help. Best of all, it’s made for people who are just starting to look at the stars.
The Solar System & Planetary Guides
Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 2nd Edition by Lucy-Ann McFadden, Torrence Johnson, and Paul Weissman
This self-contained collection of information about the solar system is great for people who are just starting to learn about the solar system because it has a lot of information that is easy to read and understand for everyone.
Solar System: A Visual Exploration of the Planets, Moons, and Other Heavenly Bodies that Orbit Our Sun by Marcus Chown
Do you learn better when you see things in person? People who are new to the solar system will learn a lot from this book, which includes both text and stunning images.
Exploring the Solar System with Binoculars: A Beginner’s Guide to the Sun, Moon, and Planets by Stephen James O’Meara
For people who don’t have telescopes, this guide tells you what you can see with the naked eye or simple, hand-held binoculars, and how to look. If you want to look up at the sky and find cool things like planets, comets, and more, this book is for you. It will help you figure them out.
Catching Stardust: Comets, Asteroids, and the Birth of the Solar System by Natalie Starkey
It is important for scientists to study comets. When we look at how things move in space, we can learn more about Earth’s place in the solar system. In Catching Stardust, we learn all about comets and asteroids, as well as how we’ve been able to learn about Earth’s past and future by looking at them, too.
Photography: Night Sky: A Field Guide for Shooting After Dark by Jennifer Wu and James Martin
You know how hard it is to get a picture of nature’s beauty? You might not know this, but Jennifer Wu is an expert on taking pictures of the sky at night. This book will show you how to do the same thing.
Space Travel & Life On OTher Planets
This book was written by a man who has been taking pictures of the sky at night for 14 years. It shows you how to use special techniques to get good pictures.
Life on other planets and in space
Michio Kaku wrote a book called The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny After Earth.
Concerned about space from a “will humanity be able to live on this Earth?” point of view In this book, Kaku looks at space from a human future point of view. He talks about interstellar travel and humanity’s future outside of Earth.
Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
In this book, Mary Roach takes a very deep dive into the possible realities of living in space. in “Packing for Mars,” Roach talks about what space simulation studies have told us about what humans can and can’t do when they leave Earth.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
In the Oscar-nominated movie Hidden Figures, this is the book that it was based on. She tells the story of the African American women who worked for NASA as “human computers,” figuring out rocket trajectories for the Mars and Apollo missions, in the book.
Chasing Space: An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances by Leland Melvin
Want to learn about life in space from someone who has been there? You don’t need to look any further than Leland Melvin’s memoir. It tells how he became an astronaut and how he went on missions to the International Space Station.