Free Astronomy & Cosmology Textbooks

Astronomy and Cosmology are two distinct fields of study but they will live together here on The Free Textbook List, at least for now. Both fields study celestial objects, including the Earth. Astronomists focus on celestial objects like planets, comets, galaxies, nebulae, stars and star clusters. They study the evolution, meteorology, chemistry, motion and physics of these objects along with the evolution of the universe.

Cosmologists study the relationships of the structures of the universe, their origins, growth, size, shape and destiny. The Big Bang Theory is a major component of cosmology. It is something of a marriage of observational astronomy and particle physics.

NASA’s website will virtually always be the place to look for photographs of what can be found out in space. But, anyone looking for resources designed for students will hopefully find my list of free online astronomy and free online cosmology textbooks useful in their endeavors.

List of Free Astronomy & Cosmology Textbooks

A Review of the Universe

A Review of the Universe is a website/textbook hybrid. The work of a retired physicist hoping to make astronomy and cosmology accessible to all students.

Basics of Radio Astronomy

Written by: The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, The California Institute of Technology and NASA

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, The Cal Tech and NASA offer a workbook on the basics of radio astronomy and using the Goldstone-Apple Valley Radio Telescope.

Cosmic Evolution

Written by: Wright Centre for Science Education

The Wright Centre for Science Education offers a wonderfully informative multimedia website which details 12 billion years of cosmic evolution.

Foundations of Modern Cosmology

Written by: John F. Hawley (University of Virginia)

Survey of modern cosmology intended for both science and non-science majors. Free online textbook Foundations of Modern Cosmology by John F. Hawley.

Teach Astronomy

Written by: Dr. Chris Impey (The University of Arizona)

Free online astronomy textbook by Chris Impey. Astropedia Textbook: Universe Revealed is offered as a series of articles with hypertext definitions.

The Star Splitters – The High Energy Astronomy Observatories

Written by: Wallace H. Tucker

Free astronomy text that explains how the universe was formed, the history of NASA’s High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO) Program, and their discoveries.

Welcome to the Planets

Written by: NASA

Photos and planetary info from NASA’s planetary exploration, their missions, glossary of astronomical terms, historical figures and figures from mythology.

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