The best books on the universe from Hubble to Hubble

David H. DeVorkin Author Of The Hubble Cosmos: 25 Years of New Vistas in Space
By David H. DeVorkin

Who am I?

I was trained in astronomy and astrophysics, was a staff observer at the Lick and Yerkes Observatories, and always have had a passion for researching and writing the history of modern astrophysics and space astronomy. I hold a PhD in the history of astronomy from the University of Leicester in England, am now a retired museum curator having been a planetarium lecturer, college professor, research associate for the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics, and guitar teacher in the early 1960s.


I wrote...

The Hubble Cosmos: 25 Years of New Vistas in Space

By David H. DeVorkin, Robert W. Smith,

Book cover of The Hubble Cosmos: 25 Years of New Vistas in Space

What is my book about?

Lavishly illustrated popular exposition of the Hubble Space Telescope, how and why it was created, who built it and fought for it, who used it, and how it has changed our view of the universe.

The books I picked & why

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Edwin Hubble

By Gale E. Christianson,

Book cover of Edwin Hubble

Why this book?

Comprehensive biography of the astronomer who confirmed that the universe is made of galaxies, and the galaxies are all moving away from one another. Based upon extensive archival research including diaries from the Hubble family.

Centennial History of the Carnegie Institution of Washington: Volume 1, the Mount Wilson Observatory: Breaking the Code of Cosmic Evolution

By Allan Sandage,

Book cover of Centennial History of the Carnegie Institution of Washington: Volume 1, the Mount Wilson Observatory: Breaking the Code of Cosmic Evolution

Why this book?

Exhaustive descriptive and semi-technical history of the observatory where Hubble spent most of his career, using the 100-inch Hooker reflector to explore the visual limits of the known Universe. Sandage, himself a famous astronomer and Hubble successor, places Hubble’s life and career in lucid institutional context.

The Space Telescope: A Study of NASA, Science, Technology, and Politics

By Robert W. Smith,

Book cover of The Space Telescope: A Study of NASA, Science, Technology, and Politics

Why this book?

Award-winning, highly authoritative, comprehensive, and accessible history of the long campaign for a large space telescope by astronomers and NASA program officers. One of the most penetrating studies of how NASA constructs and operates major space missions, and how access to space has changed “what it means to be an astronomer.”.

Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime

By Elizabeth A. Kessler,

Book cover of Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime

Why this book?

A penetrating, creative, and highly accessible exploration of how the incredible images from the Hubble Space Telescope were selected and produced. Most intriguing and revealing is an analysis of the context of these images within the history of frontier landscape art.

Handprints on Hubble: An Astronaut's Story of Invention

By Kathryn D. Sullivan,

Book cover of Handprints on Hubble: An Astronaut's Story of Invention

Why this book?

Highly exciting and engaging first-hand account by an astronaut of launching and then repairing the Hubble Space Telescope. The author provides her personal profile as a “Sputnik Baby,” life in science, and becoming the first female astronaut to leave the Shuttle.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA, and astronomers?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA, and astronomers.

The Hubble Space Telescope Explore 7 books about the Hubble Space Telescope
NASA Explore 36 books about NASA
Astronomers Explore 13 books about astronomers

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Life With Hubble: An Insider's View of the World’s Most Famous Telescope, Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, and Minding the Heavens: The Story of Our Discovery of the Milky Way if you like this list.