Revised: May 2012
Were it not for a handful of hobbyists, space flight would never have gotten off the ground. The nuclei of the teams that launched the first satellites, cosmonauts, and astronauts were science fiction fans who took their interests in astronomy and space flight so seriously that, in spite of the worldwide depression of the Thirties, they formed clubs in Germany, America, and the former Soviet Union to design and build rockets with their own resources. During the Space Race, the superpowers recognized that encouraging amateur astronomy and model rocketry would grow their technical workforces. Today, websites like the Zooniverse bring the challenge and pleasure of amateur astronomy to a linked-in nation. The NASA HQ library, as the only NASA library which the public can visit, offers this webpage as a list of resources that should be useful to anyone who would like to join the ranks of rocketeers and astronomers. You may also find useful resources in our webpages on Children's Space Resources and Science Fair Projects. Please exercise proper caution when embarking on a course of research, especially with one involving rockets or the Sun.
All items are available at the Headquarters Library, except as noted. NASA Headquarters employees and contractors: Call x0168 or email Library@hq.nasa.gov for information on borrowing or in-library use of any of these items. Members of the public: Contact your local library for the availability of these items. NASA Headquarters employees can request additional materials or research on this topic. The Library welcomes your comments or suggestions about this webpage.
- Bakich, Michael E. The Cambridge Guide to the Constellations. Cambridge, UK; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1995. ISBN: 0521465206
- QB802 .B35 1995 READY-REF
- Clark, Roger N. Visual Astronomy of the Deep Sky. Cambridge, UK; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press & Sky Publishing Corporation, 1990. ISBN: 0521361559
- QB64 .C58 1988 BOOKSTACKS
- Discovery Channel. Night Sky: An Explore Your World Handbook. New York, NY: Discovery Books, 1999. ISBN: 1563318016
- QB64 .N495 1999 BOOKSTACKS
- Ferris, Timothy. Seeing in the Dark: How Backyard Stargazers are Probing Deep Space and Guarding Earth from Interplanetary Peril. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 2002. ISBN: 0684865793
- QB43 .F47 2002 BOOKSTACKS
- Heywood, John. Radio Astronomy and How to Build Your Own Telescope. New York, NY: Arc Books, 1964.
- QB475 .H47 1963 BOOKSTACKS
- Johnson, Gaylord and Irving Adler. Discover the Stars. New York, NY: Sentinel Books, 1957.
- QB801.6 .J65 1957 BOOKSTACKS
- Kaler, James B. The Ever-changing Sky: A Guide to the Celestial Sphere. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1996. ISBN: 0521380537
- QB145 .K33 1996 BOOKSTACKS
- King-Hele, Desmond. Observing Earth Satellites.New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983. ISBN: 0442248776
- TL796.8 .K47 BOOKSTACKS
- Levy, David H. The Sky: A User's Guide. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1991. ISBN: 0521391121
- QB63 .L42 1991 BOOKSTACKS
- Muirden, James. Astronomy with Binoculars. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand, 1963.
- QB44.M95 A8 1963 BOOKSTACKS
- Binoculars are among the easiest tools for the newcomer to amateur astronomy.
- Newton, Jack. The Cambridge Deep-sky Album. Cambridge, UK; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1983. ISBN: 0521256682
- QB63 .N478 BOOKSTACKS
- Norton, Arthur Philip, and J. Gall Inglis. A Star Atlas and Reference Handbook (Epoch 1950) for Students and Amateurs. Edinburgh, UK: Gall and Inglis, 1959.
- QB65 .N882 1959 READY-REF
- Parkes, Mike. Starry Night Backyard. Toronto, Ont.: SPACE.com Canada, Inc., 2000.
- QB63 .S83 2000B CDROM
- Pasachoff, Jay M. Peterson First Guide to the Solar System. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1990. ISBN: 0395524512
- QB46 .P277 1990 BOOKSTACKS
- Sidgwick, J.B. Amateur Astronomer's Handbook. London, UK: Faber and Faber, 1955.
- QB44 .S56 BOOKSTACKS
- __________. Observational Astronomy for Amateurs. Hillside, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 1982. ISBN: 0894900676
- QB64 .S56 1982 BOOKSTACKS
- Stine, G. Harry. Handbook of Model Rocketry. New York, NY: Arco Pub., 1983. ISBN: 0668053585
- TL844 .S75 1983 BOOKSTACKS
- Taylor, Peter O. Observing the Sun. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1991. ISBN: 0521401100
- QB521.4 .T39 1991 BOOKSTACKS
- Texereau, Jean. How to Make a Telescope. Richmond, VA: Willmann-Bell, 1984. ISBN: 0943396042
- QB88 .T413 1984 BOOKSTACKS
- Vehrenberg, Hans. Atlas of Deep-sky Splendors. Cambridge, UK; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; Cambridge, MA: Sky Pub. Corp., 1983. ISBN: 0521258340.
- QB65 .V413 1983 BOOKSTACKS
- Webb, Thomas William. Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1962.
- QB64 .W36 BOOKSTACKS
- The Observer's Handbook
- This is an annual.
- Sky and Telescope
- NASA HQ library doesn't have an active subscription.
- Sport Rocketry
- NASA HQ library doesn't have an active subscription.
Benson, Tom. Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics. Sept. 23, 2010. [May 4, 2012].
Night Sky Network. 2012 [May 4, 2012].
Watanabe, Susan. Amateur Astronomy. Nov. 30, 2007 [May 4, 2012].
Astronomical League. 2012 [May 4, 2012].
Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Current Night Sky. May 2012 [May 4, 2012].
International Planetarium Society. March 11, 2012 [May 4, 2012].
Kronk, Gary. Meteor Showers Online. 2012 [May 4, 2012].
The site lists the major meteor showers for the year. Meteors can be observed without any special equipment.
National Association of Rocketry. April 28, 2012 [May 4, 2012].
United States Naval Observatory. The Sky This Week. 2012 [May 4, 2012].