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Subject Librarian:

Carolyn Bishoff

Astronomy concerns the origin, evolution, composition, distance, and motion of all bodies and matter in the universe and astrophysics unravels the physical properties and structure of all cosmic matter. (See related subject page on physics.) The School of Physics and Astronomy provides a list of current topics studied at the University of Minnesota.

Article Databases and Indexes

* Premier Resources *

Provides access to scholarly and technical literature in three major areas: 1) astronomy and astrophysics 2) instrumentation; and 3) physics and geophysics. Literature includes journal articles, conference proceedings, NASA reports, and many Ph.D. theses.

Academic or Scholarly Articles Subject Indexes

The University of Minnesota Libraries is a contributing member institution supporting the arXiv. Open access to e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science and Quantitative Biology.

1861 - present (Doctoral dissertations)
1962 - present (Masters theses).
Doctoral dissertations are included for almost all North American graduate schools and many European universities. Masters theses from selected schools only. Provides citations for older titles.

Covers physics and astrophysics, electrical engineering, electronics, computing and control, and information technology. Primarily journal articles and conference papers, with some books, technical reports, and dissertations.

Indexes thousands of peer-reviewed journals from many disciplines. Includes conference proceedings. Can view reference lists and number of times an article has been cited.

Indexes over 11,000 international journals in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Coverage runs from 1975 to the present. Can view reference lists and number of times an article has been cited. Includes cited reference searching.

Catalogs and Bibliographies


Contains library records from catalogs all over the world. Useful for verifying title information and determining if other libraries in the area own a book.
The Libraries' subscription to this resource allows for 65 users at any one time. If you get a busy signal, please wait a few minutes and try accessing the site again.

General Reference Sources

Atlases & Maps

The web-based version of Google Sky first available through Google Earth. Also includes links to Google Moon and Google Mars.

Free Java applet that lets you use your web browser to see many types of astronomical information, in both graphical and numerical form. Sky View Café includes star charts, a 3-D orrery, displays of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, an astronomical event calendar, an ephemeris generator, and many other features.

Free interactive star chart that allows you to view star, planet, and astronomical object positions for any time and place. Java is required.

Biographical Sources

American Men and Women of Science is a biographical dictionary of the significant players in the physical, biological, and related sciences. Each edition includes biographical entries on approximately 120,000 living scientists, providing birthdate; birthplace; field of specialty; education; honorary degrees; current position; professional and career information; awards; memberships; research information; and addresses for each entrant where available. This resource is part of the Gale Virtual Reference Library.

A comprehensive list of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics. Includes biographical information, text of presentation speeches, and text of Nobel Lectures.

A resource for those educators and students who wish to explore the challenges and triumphs of women in astronomy of the past and present.


The electronic edition of this established dictionary contains over 4,200 entries on all aspects of astronomy from space exploration, to astrophysics, cosmology, the Big Bang theory, black holes, galaxy evolution, and SETI.


The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established 1899, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. The membership (~6,500) also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy.

This international list of past and future astronomy meetings is maintained by the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre of the National Research Council of Canada's Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics.

A comprehensive online source for researching graduate programs in the physical sciences, Astronomy and related fields. The site provides resources for students (general advice on exams, admission process, tips on how to survive and prosper in graduate school, funding, graduate research resources, jobs and career information, etc.), and resources for academics (recruitment tools, funding, jobs, education and employment data: latest trends, etc.)

The member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) are professional astronomers all over the world, at the Ph.D. level and beyond, and active in professional research and education in astronomy. As of September 2006, the IAU has 9,783 Individual Members in 87 countries worldwide. Of those 64 are National Members.


This self-contained reference provides a framework for understanding the origin and evolution of the solar system, historical discoveries, and details about planetary bodies and how they interact.

Handbooks and Manuals

This book is a compendium of mathematical formulas, tables, and graphs, a table of analytical integrals, differential equations, and numerical series; and includes tables of trigonometric and hyperbolic functions, tables for numerical integration, rules for differentiation and integration, and techniques for point interpolation and function approximation.

Internet Resources

Gateways & Megasites

An excellent and comprehensive list of Internet resources in the field. Oriented to advanced student and scholars.

The Portal to the Universe provides a global portal for online astronomy content, serving as an index and aggregator. The site itself features news, blogs, video podcasts, audio podcasts, images, videos and more. Web 2.0 collaborative tools, such as the ranking of different services according to popularity, help the user to sift constructively through the wealth of information available and will promote interactions within the astronomy multimedia community. A range of "widgets" (small applications) have also been developed to tap into all sorts of existing "live data", such as near-live pictures of the Sun, live positions of spacecraft or live observations from telescopes.

Periodical and Newspaper subscriptions

News Sources

News briefings and hot topics from the American Institute of Physics.

News stories for the current week from the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). Access to full-text stories may require that you register online (free).

Statistics and Data

Data Resources

The Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory provides authoritative products - almanacs, software, and web services - and precise astronomical data - Sun and Moon rise and set times, Moon phases, eclipses, seasons, positions of solar system objects, and other data.

NVO's objective is to enable new science by greatly enhancing access to data and computing resources. NVO makes it easy to locate, retrieve, and analyze data from archives and catalogs worldwide.

The SIMBAD astronomical database provides basic data, cross-identifications, bibliography and measurements for astronomical objects outside the solar system, ie Stars.

Style Manuals and Writing Guides

Bibliography Software

Citation managers are software packages used to create personalized databases of citation information and notes. They allow you to: import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources save links to pdfs and other documents, and in some cases save the document itself format citations for your papers and bibliographies using APA and many other styles include your own notes

Writing Guides

In addition to presenting methods for writing clearly and concisely and improving oral presentations, this compact book provides practical guidelines for preparing theses, dissertations, journal papers for publication, and proposals for research funding. Issues of authorship, peer review, plagiarism, record keeping, and copyright are addressed in detail, and case studies of research misconduct are presented to highlight the need for proactive attention to scientific integrity.

The main goal is to improve the oral communication skills of undergraduate mathematics and related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) students. To achieve these goals, the project developed a series of video vignettes that portray student-actors presenting a small portion of mathematical talk, roughly 30-90 seconds in length. The videos are also freely available online at

Library Information

Science and Engineering Library

Walter Library
East Bank, Minneapolis Campus
Circulation: (612) 624-3366; Reference: (612) 624-0224
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