The best books on stargazing

The Books I Picked & Why

Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe

By Terence Dickinson, Roberta Cooke, Adolf Schaller

Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe

Why this book?

This classic book is a veritable encyclopedia of stargazing knowledge, including telescope operation, celestial mechanics, and astrophotography. Terence brings his decades of stargazing experience to bear, offering tips and tricks that will push your backyard observations to the next level. Even if you only have binoculars, this book contains more than enough stargazing activities to keep you busy for years.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope - And How to Find Them

By Guy Consolmagno, Dan M. Davis

Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope - And How to Find Them

Why this book?

Turn Left at Orion is arguably the most famous stargazing book of all time. This book dives deep into the nuances of amateur astronomy, from choosing the right stargazing location, to combatting dew on your lenses, and cleaning your optics. In addition to detailed star maps customized for various types of telescopes, it is filled with tables, listing literally thousands of potential stargazing targets for those blessed with dark skies, far from city lights. 


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

2021 Night Sky Almanac: A Month-By-Month Guide to North America's Skies from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

By Nicole Mortillaro

2021 Night Sky Almanac: A Month-By-Month Guide to North America's Skies from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

Why this book?

One of the challenges with stargazing books is that the sky is always changing. The planets are in a different place every night, new comets are discovered, and the timing of eclipses varies from year to year. This is why the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) produces an annual night sky Almanac. This simple guide details exactly which astronomical events will occur during each month of the current year! Also, the author, Nicole Mortillaro, is just a super cool person. Be sure to follow her on social media for the latest news about everything space!


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Cambridge Star Atlas

By Wil Tirion

The Cambridge Star Atlas

Why this book?

When you stargaze almost every night, you’re always looking for new targets. There comes a point in your astronomy career when it’s time to move up at a star atlas, which has well, pretty much everything there is to see in a backyard telescope! This book includes season star maps for both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, as well as basic lunar maps. 

Unlike my beginner stargazing books, which typically feature a single target per page, each chart in this book features several hundred targets. Note that most of the included galaxies are only visible from the darkest skies, far from city lights. So, be sure to have that red flashlight on hand and get ready for a busy night!


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

21st Century Atlas of the Moon

By Charles A. Wood, Maurice J. S. Collins

21st Century Atlas of the Moon

Why this book?

Stargazers find out pretty quickly that the Moon can be a nuisance. After first quarter, the Moon illuminates the entire sky, and washing out all but the brightest stars and deep-sky objects like galaxies and nebulae. Seasoned astronomers soon learn that if the Moon is up, it’s what you should be observing! The challenge is to appreciate what you’re seeing.

When I was doing research for my book, 50 things to see on the Moon, I observed the Moon every chance I got, making notes about what I saw. But early on, I had no idea what I was looking at! This lunar atlas helped me appreciate the Moon’s topography, geography, geology, and so much more.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Random Book Lists