A recreation of the solar system (Image credit: Eric Vanderpool)

When you think of astronomy, what comes to mind? The planets? The stars? Meteor showers? To any levelheaded human being, astronomy can be a fascinating subject. It can also be a complicated one, especially for college students taking astronomy courses. That is why it is so important to have an astronomy textbook that is both comprehensive and easy to understand so that you are fully prepared for your exams and ready to start writing your final papers well in advance of when they are due.

According to TopTenTopTen.com, which is a website that ranks a bunch of different subjects, the following is a list of the top 10 astronomy textbooks. As you can see, these books span a range of over 30 years, so the ones that were published years ago must be extremely informative to still be in use today:

1) Astronomy Today by Eric Chaisson (2005 – Prentice Hall/Pearson)

2) Textbook on Spherical Astronomy by W.M. Smart and R.M. Green (1977 – Cambridge University Press)

3) Laboratory Textbook for Elementary Astronomy by Mariam Dittmann (2004 – Contemporary Publishing Company of Raleigh)

4) What Your Astronomy Textbook Won’t Tell You: Clear, Savvy Insights for Mastery by Norman Sperling and David Morrison (2003 – Everything In The Universe Publishers)

5) Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium by Jay Pasachoff (2004 – Brooks/Cole Publishing Company)

6) A Laboratory Textbook for Introductory Astronomy by Kermit E. Duckett (2007 – Contemporary Publishing Company of Raleigh)

7) Science Explorer: Astronomy: Interactive textbook by Michael J. Madilla (2002 – Prentice Hall/Pearson)

8) Mathematical Cosmology and Extragalactic Astronomy, Volume 68 (Pure and Applied Mathematics) by Irving Ezra Segal (1976 – Academic Press)

9) An Introduction to Astronomy: Designed as a Textbook for the Students of Yale College by Denison Olmsted (2008 – BiblioBazaar)

10) Horizons: Exploring the Universe (Astronomy) by Michael Seeds (1997 – Wadsworth Publishing Company)

Because there are new findings coming out frequently about astronomy and the solar system, textbook publishers of astronomy books must face the challenge of coming up with books that can sustain over time. But since the history of astronomy and the development of the planetary system up until now will never change, the historical perspective of astronomy is something that authors tend to focus on in many textbooks.

If you plan to take an astronomy course, don’t let Venus or Jupiter scare you off. Just be sure to take a class with a good professor and a good textbook like one of these. Go to Textbooks.org to compare prices on these books and plenty more.