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Astronomy 2e

For Further Exploration

Astronomy 2eFor Further Exploration


Ansdell, M. “Revising the Story of Planetary Formation.” Sky & Telescope (May 2020): 34. Modern theories on how a planetary system forms around a star.

Cendes, Y. “The Sun’s Lost Siblings.” Astronomy (July 2020): 44. Trying to identify the stars that formed from the same nebula as the Sun.

Davidson, K. “Carl Sagan’s Coming of Age.” Astronomy (November 1999): 40. About the noted popularizer of science and how he developed his interest in Astronomy.

Garget, J. “Mysterious Microworlds.” Astronomy (July 2005): 32. A quick tour of a number of the moons in the solar system.

Hyman, R. “Wild Weather of the Solar System.” Astronomy (March 2022): 16. Briefly reviews the weather on different types of planets and moons.

Kross, J. “What’s in a Name?” Sky & Telescope (May 1995): 28. How worlds are named.

Redd, N. “Cataclysm in the Early Solar System.” Astronomy (February 2020): 28. On what studies of the Moon and Mars reveal about the early history of the planets.

Shostak, S. “Oh the Spaces We’ll Go.” Astronomy (October 2022): 12. On where future astronauts might travel in the solar system.

Soter, S. “What Is a Planet?” Scientific American (January 2007): 34. The IAU’s new definition of a planet in our solar system, and what happened to Pluto as a result. Also see: Runyon, K. & Stern, A. “An Organically Grown Planet Definition.” Astronomy (May 2018): 28. Argues against the IAU definition of a planet and for a broader view.

Talcott, R. “How the Solar System Came to Be.” Astronomy (November 2012): 24. On the formation period of the Sun and the planets.

Zastrow, M. “Bring it Back Home.” Astronomy (June 2021): 10. Two-page graphic summary of all the sample return missions we have sent or planned.


Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature: Outlines the rules for naming bodies and features in the solar system.

Planetary Photojournal: This NASA site features thousands of the best images from planetary exploration, with detailed captions and excellent indexing. You can find images by world, feature name, or mission, and download them in a number of formats. And the images are copyright-free because your tax dollars paid for them.

The following sites present introductory information and pictures about each of the worlds of our solar system:


Brown Dwarfs and Free Floating Planets: When You Are Just Too Small to Be a Star: A nontechnical talk by Gibor Basri of the University of California at Berkeley, discussing some of the controversies about the meaning of the word “planet” (1:32:52).

I Need Some Space: Shane Gellert uses NASA photography and models to show the various worlds with which we share our system (6:42)

Origins of the Solar System: A video from PBS that focuses on the evidence from meteorites, narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson (13:02).

Radiometric Dating: (A geological explanation of how we date rock layers on Earth, from the Discovery Channel) (5:03).

Radiometric Dating: Brief PBS Evolution series excerpt explaining how we use radioactive elements to date the Earth (1:38).

To Scale: The Solar System: Constructing a scale model of the solar system in the Nevada desert (7:06).

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