Explore Space


The wonders of space have always fascinated humans—and our curiosity about what's out there has driven scientists, astronauts, photographers and others to record what they've found in words and pictures. Here are some of the most recent records of those findings, and the people and science that made them possible.

Compiled by:
Paula G. O.
Alien Earths: The New Science of Planet Hunting in the Cosmos

Lisa Kaltenegger
523.24 Kal

As our witty and knowledgeable tour guide, Dr. Kaltenegger shows how we discover not merely new continents, like the explorers of old, but whole new worlds circling other stars and how we could spot life there. Worlds from where aliens may even be gazing back at us. What if we're not alone?

Apollo's Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings

Roger D Launius
Adult Nonfiction - 629.454 Lau

A space historian explores the many-faceted stories told about the meaning of the Apollo program and how it forever altered American society, and weaves in stories from important moments in Apollo’s history to draw readers into his analysis.

Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space

Adam Higginbotham
Adult Nonfiction - 363.124 Hig

A minute-by-minute story of the Challenger disaster based on new archival research and in-depth reporting. A riveting history that reads like a thriller.

The Cosmic Mystery Tour: A High-speed Journey Through Space & Time

Nicholas Mee
Adult Nonfiction - 523.1 Mee

This is a lively, inspiring beginner's guide to how the universe works. This book contains bite-sized chapters present the discoveries of modern physics, astronomy, and cosmology.


Ann Druyan
Adult Nonfiction - 520 Dru

A companion to the television series of the same name. Presents a tour through the unexplored realms of Earth and space, profiling the scientific visionaries of the past and present whose achievements are shaping the future. - (Baker & Taylor)

Dispatches From Planet 3: Thirty-two (Brief) Tales on the Solar System, the Milky Way, and Beyond

Marcia Bartusiak
Adult Nonfiction - 520.9 Bar

The galaxy, the multiverse, and the history of astronomy are explored in this engaging compilation of cosmological tales by multiple-award-winning science writer Marcia Bartusiak. In thirty-two concise and engrossing essays, the author provides a deeper understanding of the nature of the universe and those who strive to uncover its mysteries.

Earth-shattering: Violent Supernovas, Galactic Explosions, Biological Mayhem, Nuclear Meltdowns, and Other Hazards to Life in Our Universe

Bob Berman
Adult Nonfiction - 523.18 Ber

Examines cosmic collisions, exploding black holes, earthquakes, and tsunamis, discussing the science behind them and exploring the potential they have to destroy life.

Gravity's Century: From Einstein's Eclipse to Images of Black Holes

Ron Cowen
Adult Nonfiction - 530.11 Cow

Ron Cowen offers a sweeping account of the century of experimentation that has consistently confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity. He shows how we got from Eddington’s pivotal observations of the 1919 eclipse to the Event Horizon Telescope, aimed at starlight wrapping around the black hole at our galaxy’s center.

Our Moon: How Earth's Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us Who We Are

Rebecca Boyle
Adult Nonfiction - 523.3 Boy

Scientists advocate for a return to the moon to do research; governments and billionaires want to return to turn a profit from its mineral resources. Who gets to decide how we use a celestial body that, Boyle argues, belongs to everyone and no one? How can we learn to protect this beautiful, spectral thing that we all share?

Our Universe: An Astronomer's Guide

Jo Dunkley
Adult Nonfiction – 523.1 Dun

Jo Dunkley combines her expertise as an astrophysicist with her talents as a teacher and writer in this lively and exceptionally clear introduction to the structure and history of the universe and its enduring mysteries.

Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and Human Space Travel (for the Cosmically Curious)

Michael Wall
Adult Nonfiction - 576.839 Wal

A layman's guide to the cosmos is arranged in a question-and-answer format to discuss astronomy, physics, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, the practical realities of life for humans in outer space, and insights into space exploration.

Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11

Jim Donovan
Adult Nonfiction - 629.454 Don

Set amid the tensions of the Cold War and the upheavals of the sixties, and filled with first-person, behind-the-scenes details, Shoot for the Moon is a gripping account of the dangers, the challenges, and the sheer determination that defined not only Apollo 11, but also the Mercury and Gemini missions that came before it.

The Soviet Space Program: The Lunar Mission Years, 1959-1976

Eugen Reichl
Adult Nonfiction - 629.45 Rei

This book chronologically examines the fifty-nine missions the USSR sent or intended to send to the moon from 1959 to 1976. Eventually, the Soviets finally abandoned the idea of a manned moon landing and for the following decade and a half claimed that they never conducted such a program.

The Space Barons: Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos

Christian Davenport
Adult Nonfiction - 920 Dav

Traces the historic quest to rekindle the human exploration of space as navigated by billionaire entrepreneurs, sharing insights into how professional rivalry and Silicon Valley innovations are lowering the cost of space travel and exceeding the achievements of NASA.

Space Oddities: The Mysterious Anomalies Challenging Our Understanding of the Universe

Harry Cliff
Adult Nonfiction - 523.1 Cli

An eye-opening account of the inexplicable phenomena that science has only recently glimpsed, and that could transform our understanding of the fundamental nature of reality.

Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space

Gary Kitmacher
Adult Nonfiction - 629.442 Kit

A rich visual history of real and fictional space stations, illustrating pop culture's influence on the development of actual space stations and vice versa.

Spaceflight: The Complete Story, from Sputnik to Curiosity

Giles Sparrow
Adult Nonfiction - 629.41 Spa

This book is a celebration of human ingenuity and imagination. From the work of pioneers like Wernher von Braun, Yuri Gagarin, and Neil Armstrong to the triumphs and tragedies that followed, it reveals the people, science, and technology that have propelled us into the Space Age.

Universal Life: An Inside Look Behind the Race to Discover Life Beyond Earth

Alan Boss
Adult Nonfiction - 523.24 Bos

The Kepler space telescope spent four years looking for Earth-like planets in our galaxy. A revolution in thinking about our place in the universe resulted. Are Earths commonplace, or rare? Are we likely to be alone in the universe? Only Kepler could answer these questions. Author Alan Boss, the Chair of NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group, presents what the Kepler mission found.

Universe: From 13.8 Billion Years Ago to the Infinite Future

David M. Harland
Adult Nonfiction – 523.1 Har
Series: Owners' Workshop Manual

Written for those with good scientific knowledge and lay people alike, this book is a fascinating exploration of the complexities and astonishing depths of our universe, as well as a glimpse of how much we still have to learn about why and how it exists. Look for other Owners' Workshop Manual books at the Library on the Space Shuttle, Mars Rover, astronauts and more.