Last updated 2018 November 25 (still under construction)
The books listed here cover the topics of:
– asteroids and dwarf planets
– distant solar system bodies (excluding comets)
– tools and techniques
ASTEROIDS / DWARF PLANETS
Asteroids: Astronomical and Geological Bodies (1st Edition), by Thomas H. Burbine published by Cambridge University Press 2017
This book, in 394 pages, presents a comprehensive introduction to asteroid science, summarising the astronomical and geological characteristics of asteroids. The interdisciplinary nature of asteroid science is reflected in the broad range of topics covered, including asteroid and meteorite classification, chemical and physical properties of asteroids, observational techniques, cratering, and the discovery of asteroids and how they are named. Other chapters discuss past, present and future space missions and the threat that these bodies pose for Earth.
Weird Comets and Asteroids: The Strange Little Worlds of the Sun’s Family, by David A.J. Seargent, published by Springer (Astronomers’ Universe Series) 2017
This book concentrates on some of the odd aspects of comets and asteroids. Strange behaviour of comets, such as outbursts, and how asteroids can temporally act as comets are discussed. Recent years have seen the distinction between comets and asteroids become less prominent. Comets in “asteroid” orbits and vice versa have become almost commonplace and a clearer view of the role of small bodies in the formation of the Solar System and their effect on Earth has become apparent.
Asteroids IV, edited by Patrick Michel, Francesca E. DeMeo and William F. Bottke, published by The University of Arizona Press 2015
Over the past decade, asteroids have come to the forefront of planetary science. Nearly 150 international authorities through more than 40 chapters convey the definitive state of the field by detailing our current astronomical, compositional, geological, and geophysical knowledge of asteroids, as well as their unique physical processes and interrelationships with comets and meteorites.
Mitigation of Hazardous Comets and Asteroids by M J S Belton, T H Morgan, N Samarasinha and D K Yeomans, published by Cambridge University Press 2011
This book collects the latest thoughts and ideas of scientists concerned with mitigating the threat of hazardous asteroids and comets.
Asteroids and Dwarf Planets and How to Observe Them, by Roger Dymock, published by Springer 2010
One of a series of Springer Astronomers’ Observing Guides that explains why dwarf planets and the larger asteroids are being studied in depth. Many amateur astronomers are helping in this effort, sometimes even working with professional astronomers, to contribute to our knowledge and avert danger. Some people just enjoying locating these or the dwarf planets, such as Pluto, and then following their paths. Whatever your interest, this book will help you get started. It will tell you what you are looking at and why you should look. It will also help you learn how to look by way of observing methods and analysis.
Pluto and Charon, Ice Worlds on the Ragged Edge of the Solar System, Second Edition, by Alan Stern and Jacqueline Mitton, published by John Wiley and Sons 2005
This revised and expanded second edition includes many new findings about the physical properties of Pluto and Charon as well as the preparations for the New Horizons space mission.
Asteroids, Comets and Meteorites: Cosmic Invaders of Earth by Jon Erickson, published by Facts on File Inc 2002
‘Blending history, planetary evolution and recent scientific developments of natural debris that could potentially collide with Earth…..the text’s wealth of information makes it a thorough reference’ Sky and Telescope, September, 2003.
Asteroid Rendezvous: Near Shoemaker’s Adventures at Eros by J Bel and J Mitton, published by Cambridge University Press
Describes the mission to the NEA Eros from initial studies to the landing of the spacecraft on the asteroid and the resulting discoveries. Reviewed by R Miles in The Journal of The British Astronomical Association, February 2003.
Beyond Pluto by John Davies, published by Cambridge University Press 2001
An excellent book. It describes how the existence of asteroids/comets beyond the main belt was outlined in theory and then discoveries made to validate those theories. Reviewed by R Miles in The Journal of The British Astronomical Association, October 2001.
Doomsday Asteroid – Can We Survive by D W Cox and J H Chestek, published by Prometheus
‘The book shows that whilst they (the authors) nearly grasp the physics of their subject, time and again they fail in the essential detail’; J Shanklin, Journal of The British Astronomical Association, October 1997.
The Hunt for Planet X – New Worlds and the Fate of Pluto by Govert Schilling, published by Springer
The book is about the discovery of the Edgeworth – Kuiper belt and strongly focuses on the human side of the story, with many personal anecdotes. Probably the first popular-level book that gives an in-depth description of the discovery of Eris (2003 UB313), covers the row over the discovery priority of Haumea (2003 EL61) and the ‘demotion’ of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet.
Target Earth by Duncan Steel, published by Time-Life 2001
A Sequel to Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets ‘s well-written and authoritative work which successfully explains every facet of the subject’; R Miles, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, April 2001.
Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets: The Search for the Million Megaton Menace That Threatens Life on Earth, by Duncan Steel, published by John Wiley & Sons 1995
An account of the threat posed to life on Earth by asteroids and comets. Duncan Steel is one of the worlds leading experts in this area and his book is well worth a read. Reviewed by J Shanklin in the Journal of The British Astronomical Association, February 1996.
Asteroids, Their Nature and Utilization by Charles T. Kowal, published by Wiley-Blackwell 1994
The book reviews the latest developments in the field of asteroid research as well as describing the history and cataloguing of the various families of asteroids, observational techniques, the astronomical and geological significance of asteroids and possibilities for their future utilization. ‘This book contains much specialist information not readily available elsewhere. If your particular interest is asteroids then it is worth a second look’; A Hollis, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, June 1997.
Introduction to Asteroids by C J Cunningham, published by Willman-Bell Inc. 1988
Presents the scientific findings on asteroids, their impact on evolution, space missions and how they have been and can be observed. The author interviewed most of the key astronomers researching the subject at the time and the book is an insight into the historical development of the subject.
OTHER DISTANT SOLAR SYSTEM BODIES
Trans-Neptunian Objects and Comets: Saas-Fee Advanced Course 35. Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy, by D. Jewitt, A. Morbidelli and H. Rauer, published by Springer 2010
The three lecturers of the 35th Saas-Fee Advanced Course, which have been updated and collected in this volume, cover this field from observational, theoretical and numerical perspectives.
The Solar System Beyond Neptune, edited by M. A. Barucci, H. Boehnhardt, Dale P. Cruikshank and A. Morbidelli, published by The University of Arizona Press 2006
A comprehensive summary of our understanding of TNOs more than a decade ago.
Clyde Tombaugh, Discoverer of Planet Pluto by David H. Levy, published by Sky Publishing Corporation 2006
Describes the life of one of the American astronomer who discovered the planet (now dwarf planet) Pluto.
Encyclopedia of the Solar System (2nd Edition), by Lucy-Ann McFadden, Paul R Weissman and Torrence V Johnson, published by Academic Press 2007
This book contains chapters on the Solar System in general, each planet, asteroids, comets and meteors and extra-solar planets.
The Exoplanet Handbook (2nd Edition), by Michael Perryman published by Cambridge University Press 2018
Exoplanet research has expanded dramatically, with new state-of-the-art ground-based and space-based missions dedicated to their discovery and characterisation. With more than 3,500 exoplanets now known, the complexity of the discovery techniques, observations and physical characterisation have grown exponentially. This Handbook ties all these avenues of research together across a broad range of exoplanet science.
The Planet Factory: Exoplanets and the Search for a Second Earth, by Elizabeth Tasker published by Bloomsbury Sigma 2017
“Elizabeth Tasker is the perfect guide in this astronomical adventure story; she brings the world’s leading planet hunters vividly to life and demystifies the crucial technical details of the research with impressive clarity and a light, engaging touch.” – Michael D. Lemonick, Chief Opinion Editor at Scientific American and the author of Mirror Earth: The Search for Our Planet’s Twin.
Astrobiology. Understanding Life in the Universe, by Charles S. Cockell, published by Wiley Blackwell 2015
An introductory text for undergraduates that explores the structure of living things, the formation of the elements for life in the Universe, the biological and geological history of the Earth and the habitability of other planets in our own Solar System and beyond.
Planets: The Solar System & Extra-Solar Planets, by Astrid Z Ohlmeier, published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2013
A short compilation of information relating to exoplanets.
Exoplanets, by Sara Seager, published by The University of Arizona Press 2011
The study of exoplanets is now the fastest-growing field in space science. This source book on the topic serves as both an introduction for the non-specialist and a foundation for the techniques and equations used in exoplanet observation by those dedicated to the field.
Transiting ExtraSolar Planets: Theory and Applications, by Dimitris Mislis, published by LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing 2011
How our solar system was formed? How the Earth was formed? Is the Earth the only habitable planet? How probable is to discover a twin-Earth and how?
Exoplanet Observing for Amateurs (3rd Edition), by Bruce L. Gary, published by published by Reductionist Publications 2010
Free download of book’s PDF document is available as a zip-file.
How to Find a Habitable Planet, by James Kasting, published by Princeton University Press 2010
The author has worked closely with NASA in its mission to detect habitable worlds outside our solar system, and in this book he introduces readers to the advanced methodologies being used in this extraordinary quest. He addresses the compelling questions that planetary scientists grapple with today: What exactly makes a planet habitable? What are the signatures of life astronomers should look for when they scan the heavens for habitable worlds?
Transiting Exoplanets by Carole A. Haswell, published by Cambridge University Press
The methods used in the detection and characterisation of exoplanets are presented through the study of transiting systems in this unique textbook for advanced undergraduates (Open University).
The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies, published by Penguin Books
Where is everybody – Fifty solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the problem of extraterrestrial life by Stephen Webb, published by Copernicus Books 2002
Extraterrestrials- Where are they? by Ben Zuckerman and Michael H. Hart, published by Cambridge University Press 1995
The Hunt for Alien Life: A Wider Perspective by Peter Linde, published by Springer 2013
How to Build a Habitable Planet. The story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind by Charles H. Langmuir and Wally Broecker, published by Princeton University Press 2012
Pale Blue Dot – A vision of the human future in space by Carl Sagan, published by Random House 1994
TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
A Practical Guide to Lightcurve Photometry and Analysis (2nd Edition), by Brian D Warner, published by Springer (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series) 2016
Tools for amateur astronomers who wish to go beyond CCD imaging and step into `serious’ science. The text offers techniques for gathering, analyzing, and publishing data, and describes joint projects in which amateurs and students can take part. Readers learn to recognize and avoid common errors in gathering photometry data, with detailed examples for analysis. Includes reviews of available software, with screen shots and useful tips.
Setting-Up a Small Observatory: From Concept to Construction, by David Arditti, published by Springer (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series) 2009
Covers the all the details of design, siting and construction – once a basic type has been decided upon. It is written in a way that is equally applicable to the USA and UK and deals with matters that are basic to building and commissioning any amateur observatory. Uniquely, Arditti also considers the aesthetics of amateur observatories – fitting them in with family and neighbors, and maybe disguising them as more common garden buildings if necessary.
Introduction to Astronomical Photometry, by Edwin Budding and Osman Dermircan, published by Cambridge University Press 2007
‘The authors describe this book as ‘a textbook on astronomical photometry intended for university students, research starters, advanced amateurs and others with this special interest’. This is an accurate assessment of its level and audience’ David Boyd, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, October 2007
Digital Astrophotography – The State of the Art, by David Ratledge, published by Springer-Verlag 2006
Includes chapters by many acknowledged experts. Covers simple techniques and more serious work. ‘I can thoroughly recommend this book…If you are new to digital imaging it will help to get you started. If you are already an ‘expert’ it will inspire you to higher things…’ Nick James, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, August 2006.
Introduction to Digital Astrophotography: Imaging the Universe with a Digital Camera, by R Reeves, published by Willmann-Bell 2006
A compendium of night sky imaging that will be useful for many years to come. Includes virtually everything there is to know about digital cameras. Reviewed in ‘Sky and Telescope’, March 2006
The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing by Richard Berry and Jim Burnell, published by Willman-Bell 2005
This second edition is, to quote from the review in ‘Sky and Telescope’, May 2000, ‘the finest book to date to covering the entire gamut of digital astrophotography’. A CD-ROM of images allows you to try out the various methods of enhancement, astrometry and photometry using the AIP4WIN software included with the book.
Introduction to Digital Astrophotography: Imaging the Universe with a Digital Camera, by Robert Reeves, published by Willman-Bell 2006
…virtually everything there is to know about digital cameras… Reviewed by Sean Walker in Sky and Telescope, March 2006
Fundamentals of Astrometry by Jean Kovalevsky and Kenneth Seidelmann, published by Cambridge University Press 2004
This comprehensive reference will be invaluable for graduate students and research astronomers.
The New CCD Astronomy by R Wodaski, publishid by the New Astronomy Press
‘This book is loaded with the tricks and techniques that the best imagers use and it explains them in easy-to-understand language’; S Walker, Sky and Telescope, September 2002. Linked to a website which contains the entire book plus updates.
Orbital Motion A E Roy, published by the Institute of Physics
A comprehensive textbook encompassing the analytical methods of classical celestial mechanics. Described by A Hollis in his review of Solar System Dynamics as ‘The standard work on planetary dynamics for many years’.
A Practical Guide to CCD Astronomy Patrick Martinez and Alain Klotz, published by Cambridge University Press
Describes how a CCD camera works and then goes on to cover image acquisition and processing. ‘This is an invaluable guide in a field with few comparable publications’; Maurice Gavin, Journal of The British Astronomical Association, October 1998.
Solar System Dynamics by C D Murray and S F Dermott, Cambridge University Press
‘This book will be of interest to the advanced amateur as well as the academic interested in orbital evolution’; Andy Hollis, Journal of The British Astronomical Association, October 2000.
Theory of orbit determination by Cambridge University Press
This book presents new algorithms capable of handling the millions of bodies which could be observed by next generation surveys, and which can fully exploit tracking data with state-of-the-art levels of accuracy. After a general mathematical background and summary of classical algorithms, the new algorithms are introduced using the latest mathematical tools and results, to which the authors have personally contributed. Case studies based on actual astronomical surveys and space missions are provided, with applications of these new methods. Intended for graduate students and researchers in applied mathematics, physics, astronomy and aerospace engineering, this book is also of interest to non-professional astronomers.
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