Additional reading and links

Unless otherwise noted, the level is appropriate for middle-school students and above. Popular books and textbooks are being published at such frequency that any bibliography is quickly out of date. The references that are listed here serve as a general view of what is usually available.

Web Sites

Brief information from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, with resources and a "Teachers' Corner".

The Sounds of Pulsars
Sound clips give a physical feeling for the rapid spinning of these incredible objects.

Best Image of the Crab Nebula
A huge, glorious mosaic (enhanced color) taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Astronomy, Astronomers, and the Steward Observatory
Good general information on astronomy and astronomers, plus what's up at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory today: telescopes, people, research.

Astronomy at Different Wavelengths
From Caltech, a readable explanation of how astronomers make use of many kinds of telescopes to study objects in wavelengths from radio to x-rays.

The Princeton Pulsar Group
The group offers some basic pulsar information and visual and sound clips for the public. The site also lets you see how they carry on their work (scientific papers, telescope schedules, etc.).

Jodrell Bank Observatory Pulsar Group
Another major research group in action, including college-level course materials complete with technical equations and a bit of history, and more links.

NASA Space Link
An educators' gateway to NASA's huge resources, mostly on spaceflight and the planets but including astronomy.

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day
Fascinating browsing on all astronomical topics.


Levy, David H. Skywatching (A Nature Company Guide). New York:Time-Life Books, 1995.

Bite-size chunks of information on astronomy including historical overview, astronomers today, skywatching guide with constellations etc., and descriptions of astronomical objects including pulsars.

DeVorkin, David, ed. Beyond Earth : Mapping the Universe. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and National Geographic Society, 2002.

A lavishly illustrated history of cosmology from ancient times to the present, particularly rich in information about instruments. By a leading historian of modern astronomy.

 Ferris, Timothy. The Whole Shebang: A State of the Universe(s). New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.

Little on pulsars, but this is among the best-written of the popular-level descriptions of the history and status of modern cosmology, by a premier science journalist. (Note however that the field advances so quickly that within a few years all books get partly out of date.)

Kaufmann, William J. III, and Roger Freedman. Universe. New York: W.H. Freeman, 5th ed., 1998.

Pasachoff, Jay. Astronomy: From the Earth to the Universe. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, 6th ed., 2002.

These are two of a number of readable and well-illustrated textbooks designed for introductory college astronomy courses, and accessible to an advanced high school student with a strong interest in science. Pulsars are discussed in chap. 23 of Kaufmann/Freedman and chapter 30 of Pasachoff.

Lyne, Andrew G., and Francis Graham-Smith. Pulsar Astronomy (Cambridge Astrophysics Series, Vol 16). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed., 1998

An authoritative technical work for advanced science students and practicing researchers, with a chapter on the history of pulsar discovery.


To keep abreast of the latest discoveries in astronomy, consult recent issues of Sky and Telescope and Science News, both available in most libraries.