The vast and unexplored regions of the universe have long been a fascination for humans. The night sky is filled with stars, which we know hold great potential to provide answers about our past and future. As early as the second century BC, people were dreaming up tales of space expeditions and trying to figure out what might be waiting in the dark recesses between the galaxies. In this article, you will learn more about some of these books that explore outer space in all its wonder.
The Starry Messenger, Galileo Galilei
This is the first book to discuss astronomy from an observational standpoint rather than the philosophical approach that had been practised by astronomers of the day. It recounts Galileo’s discovery of craters and mountains on the surface of Earth’s moon in addition to four moons orbiting Jupiter. Though his discoveries were later denounced because they contradicted Scripture, these findings proved to be a major contribution to astronomy.
The Solar System, Johannes Kepler
Unlike Galileo’s The Starry Messenger, this book is concerned primarily with planetary motion rather than discussion of astronomical observations. It was written in response to questions posed by Tycho Brahe about the elliptical paths that the planets follow through the night sky. Kepler also describes his three laws of planetary motion and discusses their consequences for society and future space travel.
A Journey to the Celestial Gardens, Cyrano de Bergerac
This book is an early work of science fiction as well as an important novel in its own right. De Bergerac wrote it as a fictional account of his journey to the Moon, which he reached by boarding a spaceship equipped with giant oars. Once there, he discovers fantastic beings living on the planet’s surface. Written in an entertaining style that conveys both elements of fantasy and science fiction, this novel is still read today by many enthusiasts who are interested in both genres.
The Conquest of Space, David Lasser
This is one of the first modern books to discuss space exploration. It was written at a time when the initial ideas about rockets were beginning to make their way into popular culture through pulp magazines and science fiction stories. Lasser presents a broad view of the possibilities for space travel by discussing the theories and experiments that many scientists had been working on at the time. He also discusses how his ideas might be used in order to expand human civilization beyond Earth’s surface.
Armageddon 2419 A.D., Philip Francis Nowlan
This is arguably one of the most important books in American science fiction because it was written just after advances in rocketry inspired a wave of new interest in space travel. The story is about the first attempt to colonize Mars, and it includes descriptions of advanced rockets and futuristic technologies such as air conditioning. This book also introduced Buck Rogers, one of the most well-known characters in science fiction history.
Starman Jones, Robert Heinlein
This novel tells a coming-of-age story that follows its protagonist through an intense period of self-discovery. After he finds out that his foster parents are actually his biological parents (he was smuggled out of Earth in his infancy by his real father), he decides to join the armed forces and become an astrogator for interstellar space ships, leading him on many different adventures.
There are many famous books about space. All these explore different aspects of how our universe works- from black holes to evolution – but they all give us an appreciation for what makes this world special. If you’re interested in learning more about astronomy or astrophysics, any one of these would be a great place to start