Bristol Community College

Bristol Community College

Astronomy - Reference Resources

The reference collection is an excellent place to begin your research if you want to find:

  • a summary of a topic
  • background information on a topic
  • a list of recommended resources
  • factual information

When you find a reference book:

  • Scan the table of contents to see how it is organized.
  • Note its publication date to determine currency of the information.
  • Use the index to locate your topic within the book.

Scroll down for a list of some key resources in the field of Astronomy. These titles are located in the reference section.  You can click on this link to perform a search in SAILS using the topic Astronomy.
Ancient astronomy : an encyclopedia of cosmologies and myth
Ruggles (archaeoastronomy, U. of Leicester, England) assembles information from around the world about the beliefs and practices concerning the sky in the past, especially in prehistory, and the uses to which people put their knowledge of the sky. The topics range broadly, for example altitude, Celtic calendar, medicine wheels, pyramids of Gaza, statistical analysis, and Alexander Thom (1894-1985). Each entry is cross-reference to others, and cites mostly tertiary sources for further reading. Indexes are topical, geographical, chronological, and cultural. The glossary does not indicate pronunciation.
 REF QB 16 R84 2005
Concise catalog of deep-sky objects : astrophysical information for 500 galaxies, clusters, and nebulae
Here is a unique and fascinating reference book for those who want to go beyond the Messier objects! Entries for each of more than 500 deep-sky objects provide far more than the usual astronomical data - they also give fascinating facts about each object. These include physical factors, astrophysical information, evolution, unusual features - the list is almost endless." "The objects are all listed according to NGC number, i.e. in approximate order of location from west to east.
REF QB 856 F56 2003
Oxford dictionary of astronomy

REF QB 14 D52 2003
Philip's astronomy encyclopedia [electronic resource] Fully rev. and expanded ed.
      Click here to Access this Resource. 
On the shoulders of giants : the great works of physics and astronomy
Renowned physicist and author Stephen Hawking offers a compilation of the writings of some of the world's greatest thinkers in the fields of physics and astronomy. Covered are Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Sir Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein. Hawking first discusses the life and work of each thinker, followed by the text (or a selection) of his major work.
REF QC 6.2 O5 2002

Stars and planets 3rd ed.
"A concise and beautifully illustrated guide to the sky's best sights, and to the science behind them."--Mitchell Begelman, author of "Turn Right at Orion: Travels through the Cosmos" "Ridpath and Tirion are an unbeatable team. Ridpath writes concisely and movingly about the sky, and Tirion's charts are beautifully done and easy to follow. This is a superb guide to the night sky."--David H. Levy, author of "Shoemaker by Levy" (Princeton) and co-discoverer of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.
REF QB 64 R52 2001

Dictionary of astronomy [electronic resource]   2nd ed.
     Click here to Access this Resource.