10 Best Space Books
The best space books inspire us with the infinite. We’ve selected the 10 best space books to sink your teeth (or aim your telescope) into right now.
At a Glance: Best Space Books
If you want to pick up a good Space book but don’t want to read our entire article, we’ve gotcha covered. Here are our 10 Best Space Books recommendations.
- NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe
- Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going
- Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth
- Lady Astronaut (3 Book Series)
- 50 Things to See with a Small Telescope
- The Mysteries of the Universe: Discover the best-kept secrets of space
- The Biggest Ideas in the Universe: Space, Time, and Motion
- Our Solar System: An Exploration of Planets, Moons, Asteroids, and Other Mysteries of Space
- How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure
- Earth and Space: Photographs from the Archives of NASA
Best Space Books
Here are our recommendations given the books that are on the shelves at the moment. If you are looking for our top space documentary choices, we also recommend you check out our list of top 10 space documentaries!
1. Best Stargazing: NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe
Author: Terence Dickinson
Stargazers of all ages love this fourth edition of NightWatch. The first three editions made this space book the world’s top-selling guide by selling more than 600,000 copies.
Readers and backyard astronomers love the star charts, which are perfect for any stargazer using binoculars or a small telescope. This edition includes new southern hemisphere charts.
You will find updated and detailed sections like these:
- Astrophotography – digital camera how-to’s, whether you have a telescope or not.
- Equipment – computerized telescope guide
- Time Tables through 2025 – solar and lunar eclipses, planet locations, and planetary conjunctions.
- Space observatory and probe images – the latest discovery pictures
NightWatch makes creating spectacular backyard family nights easy using its detailed star charts. It’s no wonder this space book sells so many copies.
2. Best Astrophysics Discussion: Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going
Authors: Neil deGrasse Tyson and James Trefil
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson follows up his StarTalk book with Cosmic Queries. Co-author James Trefil is also a physicist who has written over 50 books. Together this dynamic duo tackles the biggest questions of all.
- Are we alone in the universe?
- How did life begin?
- What place do humans have in the universe?
Cosmic Queries is a must-read space book for anyone wanting to understand the universe’s wonders. Tyson and Trefil use cutting-edge science to answer questions through data, theories, and observations.
Even if you don’t understand astrophysics like a professional, this space book entertains with its relatable way of explaining sophisticated concepts. It “offers a window into the complexities of the cosmos.”
Cosmic Queries inspires readers, no matter what age, to think beyond Earth and into the mysteries of interstellar space.
3. Best ET Space Book: Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth
Author: Avi Loeb
Extraterrestrial was an instant New York Times Bestseller, but that’s not the only reason it is one of our top ten space books. Author Avi Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University, its longest-standing Astronomy Department Chair, and author of 700 research articles and multiple books.
In Extraterrestrial, Loeb outlines his theory that Earth has likely already received visits from a distant star’s advanced alien technology. He challenges readers to think critically about the possibility that a 2017 soaring object moved so quickly and in such a strange orbit that it could only be alien technology. Was the Hawaiian observatory sighting Earth’s first interstellar visitor? Harvard’s top astronomer spills the tea.
Read Extraterrestrial for its background, and then check out Loeb’s newest space book release, Interstellar Unabridged POD: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Our Future in the Stars. We are linking you to a Kindle version because hardbacks and paperbacks sell out quickly.
4. Best Science Fiction: Lady Astronaut (3-book series)
Author: Mary Robinette Kowal
No list of best space books is complete without a fascinating science fiction series, and Lady Astronaut captures the imagination of space geeks everywhere.
This space book trilogy spins around Elma York, an early 1950s WASP pilot, and mathematician whose desire to become the first Lady Astronaut outweighs all else.
The book’s premise surrounds a cataclysmic meteorite wiping out the East Coast of the United States. The ensuing effort to colonize space requires humanity’s coming together to make it happen.
Civil rights, women’s liberation, and space travel collide in Elma York’s journey towards a pioneer colony on Mars. It’s all here in multiple award-winning Lady Astronaut.
- The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel (Lady Astronaut, 1)
- The Fated Sky: A Lady Astronaut Novel (Lady Astronaut, 2)
- The Relentless Moon: A Lady Astronaut Novel (Lady Astronaut, 3)
5. Best Backyard Astronomer: 50 Things to See with a Small Telescope
Author: John A Read
If you have a small telescope, this space book is for you! It has easy-to-follow star maps for viewing galaxies, planets, nebulae, and stars. If it’s visible from your backyard, this book tells you where to locate it in the night sky.
Eclipse charts and star maps have updates through 2030, so this is the only book you’ll need for quite some time. Learn to view asteroids and comets and track the Space Station, too.
6. Best Children’s Space Book: The Mysteries of the Universe: Discover the best-kept secrets of space
Author: Will Gater
The Mysteries of the Universe series of children’s books create magical worlds of knowledge that children immediately dive into. Will Gater’s Discover the best-kept secrets of space delivers the same captivating fascination.
Rocket to the stars and discover all the mysteries the universe holds. Children and adults will enjoy the storybook-like content that teaches while entertaining. Go on a journey to explore space objects close to Earth. Then get ready for adventure as you shoot into interstellar space for more astronomical destinations.
After your child falls in love with this fascinating space book, check out the entire Mysteries of the Universe series to learn about animals, nature, aquatic life, and dinosaurs.
7. Best Mind-Boggling Space Book: The Biggest Ideas in the Universe: Space, Time, and Motion
Author: Sean Carroll
Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist whose current interests include “foundational questions in quantum mechanics, spacetime, statistical mechanics, complexity, and cosmology, with occasional dabblings elsewhere.” How’s that for a space geek?
The Biggest Ideas in the Universe delves into how the universe works. Even though physics usually looks like long mathematical equations, Carroll explains how the equations are like poetry.
He contends that physics is like poems that let you “fly over sierras to discover a miraculous multidimensional landscape alive with radiant giants, warped space-time, and bewilderingly powerful forces.”
You may already know that our black hole knowledge stems from mathematics. This book also helps readers grasp Einstein’s theory of general relativity equation. Carroll’s book inspires and resonates with readers.
8. Best Exploration Space Book: Our Solar System: An Exploration of Planets, Moons, Asteroids, and Other Mysteries of Space
Author: Lisa Reichley
Our Solar System takes readers on a fact-filled flight through our universe’s astronomical bodies. It explores the cosmos from the Sun to the icy Kuiper Belt at the edges of our Solar System.
The reference guide delves into the planets: terrestrial, gas giants, and dwarf planets. Plus, readers explore satellites, asteroids, comets, and cosmic clouds. With 100 billion galaxies, this space book has a lot to show us.
You’ll love the out-of-this-world vibrant space images that capture the imagination and makes even the oldest among us want to be an astronaut.
9. Best Moon Book: How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure
Author: John Rocco
Award-winning author and illustrator John Rocco (Percy Jackson series) created this magnificent coffee-table illustrated guide to moon-landing’s people and technology.
Even though Neil Armstrong is the face of the moon landing mission, it took 400,000 behind-the-scenes heroes to get him there. Rocco tells the stories of the engineers, welders, mathematicians, factory workers, and seamstresses behind NASA’s accomplishments.
Readers appreciate the detailed research and beautiful illustrations in this oversized guide.
10. Best NASA Chronicles: Earth and Space: Photographs from the Archives of NASA
Author: Nirmala Nataraj, with Preface: Bill Nye
The last pick of best space books is Earth and Space: Photographs from the Archives of NASA. Part of a three-book series that even includes a coloring book, NASA archival photographs make this a stunning and mind-blowing journey through the universe.
You’ll get front-row seats and up-close views of the cosmos with dazzling imagery. Marvel as you turn page after page of space exploration. Step into the universe without leaving your living room.
So many excellent space book choices make it difficult to choose our favorite Space Book. We must go with Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth.
Loeb’s ability to question conventional thinking to propose this very unconventional theory captures the imagination and opens readers to the possibilities of who or what else is out there.