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San Francisco State University
A selective guide to information sources available from SF State's J. Paul Leonard Library.
Last Updated: May 22, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Get the Astronomy Research Guide Here

The following bibliography is a selective guide to information sources for the astronomy discipline available from SF State's J. Paul Leonard Library.  To view the entire research guide, simply click on the Astronomy Research Guide link below.  The lists of relevant online reference books, recommended databases, and selected Internet sites are duplicated following that link.

Online Reference books

  • Astronomical Almanac Online
    This almanac is published by the U.S. Nautical Almanac Office in the United States (USNO) and Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO) in the United Kingdom. It is updated annually.
  • Dictionary of Astronomy. By Martin Ince
    The second edition of the dictionary was published in 2001 by Peter Collin Publishing. "the aim of this dictionary is to define the terms used by astronomers from their own subject and from other sciences, especially physics, optics, space science and astronautics, and the environmental sciences, in such a way as to make modern developments in astronomy comprehensible and to make clear their importance in the history and texture of the subject."
  • Encyclopedia of the Solar System. Lucy-Ann McFadden, Paul R. Weissman, and Torrence V. Johnson, editors
    The second edition of this encyclopedia was published in 2007 by Academic Press. It begins with discussion of the origin of the solar system and its place in the galaxy. Chapters on the sun, the planets, planetary satellites, moos, comets, and Pluto follow.
  • Handbook of Practical Astronomy. Gunter D. Roth, editor
    This handbook was published by Spring in 2009. Topics covered include: spherical astronomy, optics, telescopes, astrophotography, photometry, sundials, the solar system, and stellar systems.
  • Meteor Showers: an Annotated Catalog. by Gary W. Kronk
    This handbook was published by Springer in 2014. It contains "both historical and current data on what the author believes to be the most active meteor showers in the sky. Data from the majority of the visual, photographic, video, and radar studies have been utilized."
  • Space Sciences. Pat Dasch, editor-in-chief
    This encyclopedia was published in 2002 by Macmillan Reference USA. The 341 entries which comprise this encyclopedia focus on the business of space exploration, planetary science and astronomy, human space exploration, and the outlook for the future exploration of space.

Recommended Databases

  • Academic Search Complete (EBSCOHost)  
    Dates vary. This multi-disciplinary database is an excellent source for articles from the core astronomy journals. Click on the blue "i" icon for list of selected titles.
  • Annual Reviews
    Dates vary. Allows direct access to Annual Review of Astronomy & Astrophysics. Annual Reviews articles are very useful as they synthesize vast amounts of primary research literature and identify the principal contributions that have been made in a field.
  • Applied Science & Technology Abstracts
    1913- . Search for articles from aeronautics and space science journals such as: Aerospace America, Aeronautical Journal, AIAA Journal, Astronautics & Aeronautics, Aviation Week & Space Technology, and The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences.
  • Web of Science Core Collection
    This is one of the Web of Science databases. To access this database, type in the words "Web of Science" in the Search for Database Name box. You will get one result. Click on that link. You are now at the home page for all of the Web of Science databases. You now need to use the All Databases pulldown menu, and select Web of Science Core Collection. This database indexes scholarly journals in all disciplines. You may also conduct cited reference searches (that is, search for articles that cite a specific author or article) by changing the pulldown next to the words Basic Search to Cited Reference Search.

Selected Internet Sites

  • American Association of Variable Star Observers
  • American Astronomical Society
  • Astronomical Data from the U.S. Naval Observatory
    "The Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory computes, from fundamental astronomical reference data, the position, brightness, and other observable characteristics of celestial bodies, as well as the circumstances of astronomical phenomena." The Astronomical Information Center section of this site provides "astronomical data, mainly in tabular form, for use in navigation, surveying, scientific research, litigation, accident reconstruction, and many other activities. Issued annually, the almanacs contain data for one year." The Data Services section of this site provides information of the phases of the moon, eclipses and transits, positions of selected celestial objects, and tables of sunrises/sunsets, etc.
  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific
  • Astronomy Net
    This web site is divided into the following sections: Astronomy, Science and Other Discussion Forums, Astronomy Articles, Astronomy Clubs, Amateur Radio Astronomy Net, Calendar of Events, Constellations, and Image Gallery.

  • Astronomy Online
    This site is an "information website dedicated to providing up-to-date links and information in all the major topics of Astronomy. It is divided into the following sections: Observation, Science, Solar System, Stars, Our Galaxy, Cosmology, Astrobiology, Exoplanets, Astrophotography.

  • AstronomyLinks
    "The mission of AstronomyLINKS is to provide an index of the best astronomy and space related web sites found around the world on the Internet."
  • Eric Weisttein's World of Astronomy
    This site is a web encyclopedia with over 588 entries that range in length from definitions to full articles.
  • Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature  
    "Planetary nomenclature, like terrestrial nomenclature, is used to uniquely identify a feature on the surface of a planet or satellite so that the feature can be easily located, described, and discussed."
  • Google Sky
    This site is a collaboration between Google, NASA, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the European space Agency, the Digital Sky Survey Consortium, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. This tool "provides and exciting way to browse and explore the universe. You can find the positions of the planets and constellations on the sky and even watching the birth of distant galaxies as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope."
  • HubbleSite
    This site is devoted to information about NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. It contains news and photographs of "stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae, and strange celestial phenomena" taken by the telescope; as well as an astronomy reference desk.
  • International Astronomical Union
  • Journey Though the Galaxy
    This site "is a "mini-net" of pages that explores our solar system, stars, extra-solar planets, the theories about the past and future of the universe, and human exploration of space."
  • Lunar and Planetary Institute
  • Nine Planets: A Multimedia Tour of the Solar System
    This site consists of approximately 100 pages, one page for each major body in the Solar System. It is intended for general audiences, little technical background is needed.

  • Planetary Society
    This Society's mission is to: "Empower the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration. It was founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman.

  • SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System
    "The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is a Digital Library portal for researchers in Astronomy and Physics, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under a NASA grant. The ADS maintains three bibliographic databases containing more than 10.8million records: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics, and arXiv e-prints. The main body of data in the ADS consists of bibliographic records."
  • Skyview: the Internet's Virtual Telescope
    "SkyView is a Virtual Observatory on the Net generating images of any part of the sky at wavelengths in all regimes from Radio to Gamma-Ray." This site is a service of the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA/ GSFC and the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
  • Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    This site states that it is " one of the most ambitious and influential surveys in the history of astronomy." "Deep, multi-color images covering more than a quarter of the sky and created 3-dimensional maps containing more than 930,000 galaxies and more than 120,000 quasars are provided." Funding comes from a number of private foundations, academic institutions and various governmental agencies from around the world.
  • U.S. National Virtual Observatory
    "The Virtual Observatory (VO) embodies the concept of large scale electronic integration of astronomy data, tools, and services on a global scale in a manner that provides easy access by individuals around the world. The primary emphasis of the VAO is to provide new scientific research capabilities to the astronomy community."

  • Views of the Solar System
    This website "presents a vivid multimedia adventure unfolding the splendor of the Sun, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and more. Discover the latest scientific information, or study the history of space exploration, rocketry, early astronauts, space missions, spacecraft through a vast archive of photographs, scientific facts, text, graphics and videos."

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Caroline Harnly
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