For Further Exploration


Goodman, A. “Recycling the Universe.” Sky & Telescope November (2000): 44. Review of how stellar evolution, the interstellar medium, and supernovae all work together to recycle cosmic material.

Greenberg, J. “The Secrets of Stardust.” Scientific American December (2000): 70. The makeup and evolutionary role of solid particles between the stars.

Knapp, G. “The Stuff between the Stars.” Sky & Telescope May (1995): 20. An introduction to the interstellar medium.

Nadis, S. “Searching for the Molecules of Life in Space.” Sky & Telescope January (2002): 32. Recent observations of water in the interstellar medium by satellite telescopes.

Olinto, A. “Solving the Mystery of Cosmic Rays.” Astronomy April (2014): 30. What accelerates them to such high energies.

Reynolds, R. “The Gas between the Stars.” Scientific American January (2002): 34. On the interstellar medium.

Websites and Apps

Barnard, E. E., Biographical Memoir:

Cosmicopia: NASA’s learning site explains about the history and modern understanding of cosmic rays.

DECO: A smart-phone app for turning your phone into a cosmic-ray detector.

Hubble Space Telescope Images of Nebulae: Click on any of the beautiful images in this collection, and you are taken to a page with more information; while looking at these images, you may also want to browse through the slide sequence on the meaning of colors in the Hubble pictures (

Interstellar Medium Online Tutorial: Nontechnical introduction to the interstellar medium (ISM) and how we study it; by the University of New Hampshire astronomy department.

Messier Catalog of Nebulae, Clusters, and Galaxies: Astronomer Fred Espenak provides the full catalog, with information and images. (The Wikipedia list does something similar:

Nebulae: What Are They?: Concise introduction by Matt Williams.


Barnard 68: The Hole in the Sky: About this dark cloud and dark clouds in interstellar space in general (02:08).

Horsehead Nebula in New Light: Tour of the dark nebula in different wavelengths; no audio narration, just music, but explanatory material appears on the screen (03:03).

Hubblecast 65: A Whole New View of the Horsehead Nebula: Report on nebulae in general and about the Horsehead specifically, with ESO astronomer Joe Liske (06:03).

Interstellar Reddening: Video demonstrating how reddening works, with Scott Miller of Penn State; a bit nerdy but useful (03:45).

Hubble Field Guide to the Nebulae: Video briefly explaining the difference between types of nebulae (04:24).

This book was adapted from the following: Fraknoi, A., Morrison, D., & Wolff, S. C. (2016). For Further Exploration In Astronomy. OpenStax. under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0
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PPSC AST 1120: Stellar Astronomy by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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