Reference Works

This subject resource guide is available courtesy of Kali Morse ? 2009. She can be contacted at

IntroductionAtlases and BiographiesDatabasesJournalsObservatories and OrganizationsReference WorksWeb Resources


Cassisi, S. & Salaris, M. (2005). Evolution of Stars and Stellar Populations. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Evolution of Stars and Stellar Populations is a comprehensive presentation of the theory of stellar evolution and its application to the study of stellar populations in galaxies. Taking a unique approach to the subject, this self-contained text introduces first the theory of stellar evolution in a clear and accessible manner, with particular emphasis placed on explaining the evolution with time of observable stellar properties, such as luminosities and surface chemical abundances. This is followed by a detailed presentation and discussion of a broad range of related techniques, that are widely applied by researchers in the field to investigate the formation and evolution of galaxies.

Chobotov, V.A. (2002) Orbital mechanics (3rd Ed.). American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Retrieved from Knovel.

Designed to be used as a graduate student textbook and a ready reference for the busy professional, this 3rd edition includes more recent developments in space exploration.

Collins, P.D.B., Martin, A.D. & Squires, E.J. (1989). Particles Physics and Cosmology. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

This readable introduction to particle physics and cosmology discusses the interaction of these two fundamental branches of physics and considers recent advances beyond the standard models. Eight chapters comprise a brief introduction to the gauge theories of the strong and the electroweak interactions, the so-called grand unified theories, and general relativity. Ten more chapters address recent concepts such as composite fermions and bosons, supersymmetry, quantum gravity, supergravity, and strings theories, and relate them to modern cosmology and experimental astronomy.

Foukal, P.V. (2004). Solar Astrophysics. New York: WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

This revised edition describes our current understanding of the sun — from its deepest interior, via the layers of the directly observable atmosphere to the solar wind, right out to its farthest extension into interstellar space. It includes a comprehensive account of the history of solar astrophysics, along with an overview of the key instruments throughout the various periods. In contrast to other books on this subject, the choice of material deals even-handedly with the entire scope of important topics covered in solar research. The authors make the advances in our understanding of the sun accessible to students and non-specialists by careful use of relatively simple physical concepts. An incisive, reliable, and well-structured look at all that is fascinating and new in studies of the sun.

Griffin, M.D., & French, J.R. (2004). Space Vehicle Design (2nd Ed.). American Institute of Aeronautics and .Astronautics. Retrieved from Knovel.

The book provides the space systems engineer with the tools to evaluate the overall impact of candidate design concepts on the various component subsystems and the integrated system leading to the final design selection.

Iliadis, C. (2007). Nuclear Physics of Stars. Weinheim: WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

Thermonuclear reactions in stars is a major topic in the field of nuclear astrophysics, and deals with the topics of how precisely stars generate their energy through nuclear reactions, and how these nuclear reactions create the elements the stars, planets and ultimately we humans consist of. The present book treats these topics in detail. It also presents the nuclear reaction and structure theory, thermonuclear reaction rate formalism and stellar nucleosynthesis. The topics are discussed in a coherent way, enabling the reader to grasp their interconnections intuitively. The book serves both as a textbook, with many examples and end-of-chapter exercises, but also as a reference book for use by researchers working in the field of nuclear astrophysics.

Spitzer, L. (2004). Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium. New York: WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium discusses the nature of interstellar matter, with a strong emphasis on basic physical principles, and summarizes the present state of knowledge about the interstellar medium by providing the latest observational data. Physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium are treated, with frequent references to observational results. The overall equilibrium and dynamical state of the interstellar gas are described, with discussions of explosions produced by star birth and star death and the initial phases of cloud collapse leading to star formation.


Basu, D.K. (2001). Dictionary of Pure and Applied Physics. Boca Ratron, FL: CRC Press.
Retrieved from ENGnetBASE.

This dictionary contains over 3,000 terms from the range of pure and applied disciplines; offers self-contained definitions supported by equations and diagrams where appropriate; features definitions authored by leading scientists from research and academic institutions around the world; and reflects the current state of the art – includes terms from new and emerging technologies

Collins, W., Daintith, J., & Gould, W. (2006). Collins Dictionary of Astronomy. Glasglow: HarperCollins. Retrieved from Credo Reference.

A comprehensive dictionary, covering all aspects of astronomy, from telescopes to planets, stars to comets. The dictionary contains numerous terms, clearly explains complex terms, and has been fully revised and updated to include the latest missions, discoveries and equipment.

Heimerl, L. (2008). NASA Thesaurus. NASA Center for AeroSpace Information (CASI). Retrieved from

The NASA Thesaurus contains the authorized subject terms by which the documents in the NASA Aeronautics and Space Database are indexed and retrieved. The scope of this controlled vocabulary includes not only aerospace engineering, but all supporting areas of engineering and physics, the natural space sciences (astronomy, astrophysics, and planetary science), Earth science, and to some extent, the biological sciences. The Thesaurus contains over 18,460 terms, 4,300 definitions, and 4,480 USE references. Terms are organized within a hierarchical structure, and also include ?related terms? lists.

Ridpath, I. (2007). A Dictionary of Astronomy, 3rd ed.. London: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from Oxford Reference Online.

Readers will find a galaxy of informative, vividly written entries on everything from space exploration and the equipment involved, to astrophysics, cosmology, and the concept of time. The dictionary also features biographical entries on eminent astronomers–ranging from Galileo to Edwin Hubble–as well as world-wide coverage of observatories and telescopes. Appendices include tables of Apollo lunar landing missions, and the constellations. Entries are supported by numerous tables and diagrams.

Weisstein, E. (2009). Eric Weisstein?s World of Astronomy. Retrieved from

Over a decade in the making this encyclopedia contains information about atmospheres, calendars, galactic, astronomy, observational astronomy, remote sensing, our solar system, and stars.



A collection of pointers to potentially useful astronomy-related information available on the Internet. The database is maintained by the AstroWeb Consortium, a collaboration involving 9 individuals at 7 institutions.? The URLs are generally tested three times a day to verify aliveness.

Community of Science. Retrieved from Drexel library subscription.

This is actually three directories: Funding Opportunities, Papers Invited, and Scholar Universe.? The first is useful for learning about available funding as well as past recipients around the world.? The second includes conferences and journals seeking papers; about 10,000 conferences are listed each year.? And lastly, Scholar Universe provides information on more than one million scholars at 4-year universities and organizations worldwide.

Gale. (2009). Research Centers and Services Directory. Farmington Hill, MI. Retrieved from Dialog file 115.

The Research Centers and Services Directory database provides full contact information and descriptions of university, independent nonprofit, government, and commercial research and development centers, institutes, laboratories, bureaus, test facilities, experiment stations, research parks, foundations, councils, and other organizations that support and conduct research worldwide.

Google Astronomy Directory.

A broad directory for all aspects of astronomy which includes amateur astronomy, businesses, history, observatories, planetariums, stars, etc.

Sky & Telescope Astronomy Websites

The website list, compiled and updated regularly by the editors of Sky & Telescope, is geared toward amateur astronomers and space buffs. But it also includes links to other lists of useful resources.


Amsler, C. (2008). Particle Data Group. Regents of the University of California. Retrieved from –

The Particle Data Group is an international collaboration charged with summarizing Particle Physics, as well as related areas of Cosmology and Astrophysics. In 2008, the PDG consists of 170 authors from 108 institutions in 20 countries.? This site contains a wide variety of information in Astrophysics and Cosmology from reviews, tables and plots, to particle and data listings.

Angelo, J.A. (2000). Encyclopedia of Space Exploration. New York: Facts on File.

Humankind’s forays into outer space have symbolized an era of discovery and scientific achievement unrivalled in human history. This exciting historical period is surveyed in this encyclopedia which provides the answers to crucial questions readers have about the Universe and their place in it. In one easy-to-use resource, readers can have access to definitions and explanations of all terms and concepts relating to the field, including technical terms, advanced technologies, scientific theories, public agencies and private organizations.

Cohen, E.R., Lide, D.R., & Trigg, G.L. (2003). AIP physics desk reference (3rd Ed). New York: Springer.

This book is an indispensable tool for the researcher, professional and student in physics as well as other scientists who use physics data.

Francis, E.M. (2009). The Laws List. Retrieved from

Laws, rules, principles, effects, paradoxes, limits, constants, experiments, & thought-experiments in physics. The laws list is a list of various laws, rules, principles, and other related topics in physics and astronomy.

Gribben, J. (1997). Companion to the Cosmos. U.K.: Weidenfeld & Nicolson History.

Includes history, explanations of terminology, and a wide variety of astronomical information.

Johnson, T.V., McFadden, L., & Weissman, P.R. (2007). Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 2nd ed..Elsevier Inc. Retrieved from Credo Reference

Provides a framework for understanding the origin and evolution of the solar system, historical discoveries, and details about planetary bodies and how they interact.

Liddle, A. & Loveday, J. (2008). Oxford Companion to Cosmology. London: Oxford U Press.
Retrieved from Oxford Reference Online.

350+ in-depth entries – ranging from cosmic inflation and dark energy to Higgs boson and neutrinos – both illuminate the ideas behind the current understanding of the universe and outline the fundamental physics from which those ideas emerge. Subjects covered include the structure of the universe, the evolution of galaxies, galaxy clusters, and cold dark matter. It deals with both theoretical ideas, such as alternative cosmologies, as well as the various types of observational evidence, including redshift surveys and cosmic microwave background radiation.

Lide, D.R. (2009). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (89th Ed). Taylor and Francis. Retrieved from CHEMnetBASE.

This book of facts about chemistry and physics covers virtually every element, every physical formula, and every mathematical table.

Mark, H. (2003). Encyclopedia of Space Science and Technology. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Retrieved from NetLibrary

Written at a high technical level this encyclopedia contains articles that describe the technology of space exploration as well as the scientific results and their applications.

McGraw-Hill. (2009). McGraw-Hill?s Access Science. McGraw-Hill Companies. Retrieved from Drexel library subscription.

Includes articles, images and videos on topics ranging from astronomy, chemistry or food science, to military science, physics, or veterinary medicine.

Murdin, P. (2007). Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics. London: Taylor and Francis.
Retrieved from Drexel library subscription.

This unique resource covers the entire field of astronomy and astrophysics and this online version includes the full text of over 2,750 articles, plus sophisticated search and retrieval functionality, links to the primary literature, and is frequently updated with new material.

Ridpath, I. (2001). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Universe. New York: Watson-Guptill.

This richly illustrated encyclopedia provides an overview of what is known about the universe and of the physics essential to understanding it.? It is geared more toward undergraduates

Smith, R. (1998) The Solar System. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press. Retrieved from NetLibrary.

Contents are essays on topics within Astrophysics, Atmospheric Sciences, Biological Evolution, and Celestial Mechanics.


National Audubon Society. (1991). National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Night Sky (6th Ed). New York: Knopf.

The perfect companion volume for Hale-Bopp watchers, this guide explores the fabulous mysteries above, from planets in our solar system to the constellations in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, stars, galaxies (including the Milky Way), nebulae, astronomical bodies, objects, phenomena, and comets. Night Sky provides a concise guided tour of the heavens with 48 monthly sky charts of the northern sky and 88 constellation charts, each offering a detailed map of individual constellations. Essays on the universe, the solar system, and constellations introduce the reader to the wonders of the sky.

Pasachoff, J.M. (2000). A field guide to the stars and planets (4th Ed). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Retrieved from Drexel library subscription.

Presents tours of the stars, the planets, the sun, the moon, and other objects in the heavens.? Provides descriptions and figures, graphs, and tables of information in a form useful to novices, while providing this and other information in a style and quantity useful for those already quite knowledgeable in astronomy.

IntroductionAtlases and BiographiesDatabasesJournalsObservatories and OrganizationsReference WorksWeb Resources

This subject resource guide is available courtesy of Kali Morse ? 2009. She can be contacted at