The Best Asteroid, Comet, And Meteorite Books

”What are the best books about Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors?” We looked at 156 of the top books about different kinds of space rocks, ice, and debris to answer that very question!

First off, the difference between Comets, Asteroids, and Meteorites.

Comets – Rock and ice ball originating from the outskirts of the solar system or beyond. Usually accompanied by an ice tail (Think Halley’s Comet)

Asteroid – Rock that orbits around, often in a belt, that can become loose and occasionally plummet towards planets on the hunt to end a species or decorate the surface of a non-atmosphere having planet or moon. (Think of the unrealistically dense clusters that space adventurers have to avoid in movies)

Meteorite – Comes after Meteors, which are the streak of light one sees when space rocks fall into the atmosphere (shooting stars). If a meteor doesn’t burn up in the atmosphere it becomes a meteorite, and something you should try and avoid if possible.

 

Below are over 150 of the best books featuring one, or all, of the listed space balls. The 13 books that appeared on multiple lists are below with images, summaries, and links to learn more/buy. The additional books, all appearing on 1 list, as well as the sources we used, can be found at the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!

 



Top 13 Books About Comets, Asteroids, & Meteorites



13 .) Eon by Greg Bear

eon-the-way-1-by-greg-bear
Lists It Appears On:

  • SF Encyclopedia
  • TOR

“The 21st century was on the brink of nuclear confrontation when the 300 kilometer-long stone flashed out of nothingness and into Earth’s orbit. NASA, NATO, and the UN sent explorers to the asteroid’s surface…and discovered marvels and mysteries to drive researchers mad.

For the Stone was from space–but perhaps not our space; it came from the future-but perhaps not our future; and within the hollowed asteroid was Thistledown. The remains of a vanished civilization. A human-English, Russian, and Chinese-speaking-civilization. Seven vast chambers containing forests, lakes, rivers, hanging cities…

And museums describing the Death; the catastrophic war that was about to occur; the horror and the long winter that would follow. But while scientists and politicians bickered about how to use the information to stop the Death, the Stone yielded a secret that made even Earth’s survival pale into insignificance.”

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12 .) Falling Stars by Mike D. Reynolds

falling-stars-a-guide-to-meteors-meteorites-by-mike-d-reynolds
Lists It Appears On:

  • Cutting Rocks
  • Very Well

Month-by-month information on meteor showers and how to make the most of watching them. Advice on starting and building a meteorite collection plus the scientific explanation of what meteors are and where they come from. Includes new information about recent space exploration and studies of meteors.

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11 .) Footfall by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven

footfall-by-larry-niven-jerry-pournelle
Lists It Appears On:

  • Kirkus
  • SF Encyclopedia

“They first appear as a series of dots on astronomical plates, heading from Saturn directly toward Earth. Since the ringed planet carries no life, scientists deduce the mysterious ship to be a visitor from another star.

The world’s frantic efforts to signal the aliens go unanswered. The first contact is hostile: the invaders blast a Soviet space station, seize the survivors, and then destroy every dam and installation on Earth with a hail of asteriods.

Now the conquerors are descending on the American heartland, demanding servile surrender–or death for all humans.”

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10 .) Meteorites – Messengers from Space by F. Heide and F. Wlotzka

meteorites-messengers-from-space
Lists It Appears On:

  • Meteor Lab
  • Frontier Trails

“Meteorites – as well as shooting stars and meteors – result from a collision of a solid body from space with our Earth, but only meteorites are able to penetrate the Earth’s protective shield, the atmosphere, and fall to the Earth’s surface. Apart from lunar samples, they are the only materials from beyond the Earth which we can probe and study.
This book gives a concise and up-to-date description of meteorites – fall phenomena, chemical and mineral composition, classification – as well as a discussion of their formation and origin, which also tells us the story of the formation of our planetary system. The text is understandable for laymen and students, but can also be used as an introduction to the field for students and scientists.”

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9 .) Rocks from Space by O. Richard Norton

rocks-from-space-meteorites-and-meteorite-hunters-by-o-richard-norton
Lists It Appears On:

  • Cutting Rocks
  • Meteor Lab

This popular guide to cosmic debris introduces the fascinating world of meteorites, asteroids, comets, and impact craters. With more than 50 new photographs and updated illustrations, new and expanded appendixes, and some fun cosmic humor, Rocks from Space

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8 .) Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets by Duncan Steel

rogue-asteroids-and-doomsday-comets-the-search-for-the-million-megaton-menace-that-threatens-life-on-earth-by-duncan-steel-arthur-c-clarke
Lists It Appears On:

  • About
  • Legendary Pharma

Could a giant asteroid or comet crash into Earth and destroy life as we know it? Many astronomers who once discredited the risks are now convinced. You will be too after reading Duncan Steel’s critically acclaimed examination of the evidence of Earth’s encounters with killer comets and asteroids.

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7 .) Shiva Descending by Gregory Benford

shiva-descending-by-gregory-benford-william-rotsler
Lists It Appears On:

  • Astrosociety
  • Kirkus

“The first strikes destroyed Cleveland, Tunis, and parts of Alaska, Canada, and Australia. That was barely the beginning.

The swarm– a cloud of meteors and asteroids 50,000 miles across–was coming. Hundred of missiles put Earth under siege forcing the world in a panicked hell of anarchy and catastrophe. Riots and orgies rampaged in the rubble. And worse waited.

Because at the swarm’s heart was Shiva–a 30 billion-ton comet set to hit earth with the force of 250,000 H-bombs. The impact would turn seas into vapor and mountains into dust. pray, scream, get drunk, or run amok–but no one could escape it. No one could survive it.

And no one could stop it.”

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6 .) The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

the-sparrow-the-sparrow-1-by-mary-doria-russell
Lists It Appears On:

  • Astronomy Cast
  • TOR

A visionary work that combines speculative fiction with deep philosophical inquiry, The Sparrow tells the story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who leads a scientific mission entrusted with a profound task: to make first contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life. The mission begins in faith, hope, and beauty, but a series of small misunderstandings brings it to a catastrophic end.

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5 .) What if an Asteroid Hit Earth? by Holly Cefrey

what-if-an-asteroid-hit-earth-by-holly-cefrey
Lists It Appears On:

  • About
  • Barnes & Noble

This series will make readers wonder what might happen if particular events occurred. Grounded in fact, each book assesses the possibility or threat of an event, from melting ice caps to a fuel shortage. Each book also offers suggestions on how to respond to these environmental and ecological challenges before it’s too late.

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4 .) The Hammer of God by Arthur Clarke

the-hammer-of-god-by-arthur-c-clarke
Lists It Appears On:

  • Astrosociety
  • Kirkus
  • Legendary Pharma

In the year 2110 technology has cured most of our worries. But even as humankind enters a new golden age, an amateur astronomer points his telescope at just the right corner of the night sky and sees disaster hurtling toward Earth: a chunk of rock that could annihilate civilization. While a few fanatics welcome the apocalyptic destruction as a sign from God, the greatest scientific minds of Earth desperately search for a way to avoid the inevitable. On board the starship Goliath Captain Robert Singh and his crew must race against time to redirect the meteor form its deadly collision course. Suddenly they find themselves on the most important mission in human history–a mission whose success may require the ultimate sacrifice.

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3 .) Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

lucifers-hammer-by-larry-niven-jerry-pournelle
Lists It Appears On:

  • Astrosociety
  • Kirkus
  • Legendary Pharma

The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival–a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known…

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2 .) Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids by Seymour Simon

comets-meteors-and-asteroids-by-seymour-simon
Lists It Appears On:

  • Very Well
  • About
  • Meteor Lab

Whether they appear as distant specks in an astronomer’s telescope or shoot brilliantly across the evening sky, comets, meteors, and asteroids have fascinated sky gazers throughout history. But where do these racing celestial bodies come from, and what can they teach us about our universe? Join Seymour Simon for a look at the fiery mystery and wild wonder of these luminous bodies of night.

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1 .) 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

2312-by-kim-stanley-robinson
Lists It Appears On:

  • Astronomy Cast
  • SF Encyclopedia
  • TOR

“The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity’s only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future.

The first event takes place on Mercury, on the city of Terminator, itself a miracle of engineering on an unprecedented scale. It is an unexpected death, but one that might have been foreseen. For Swan Er Hong, it is an event that will change her life. Swan was once a woman who designed worlds. Now she will be led into a plot to destroy them.”

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143 Additional Meteor, Meteorite, Asteroid, and Comet Books



 

Books Author Source
13 Planets: The Latest View of The Solar System David Aguilar Sacramento CLC
A Torrent of Faces James Blish’s and Norman L Knight SF Encyclopedia
Asteroid : Earth Destroyer or New Frontier? Patricia Barnes-Svarney Frontier Trails
Asteroid Impact Douglas Henderson About
Asteroid Pirates Royal W Heckman SF Encyclopedia
Asteroid Rendezvous: NEAR Shoemaker’s Adventures at Eros Jim Bell NASA HQ Library
Asteroid Strikes Victor Gentle and Janet Perry About
Asteroid: Earth Destroyer or New Frontier? P. Barnes-Svarney NASA
Asteroids : A History C. Peebles NASA
Asteroids : Their Nature and Utilization C. Kowal NASA
Asteroids and Comets Don Nardo Barnes & Noble
Asteroids II Edited by R. Binzel NASA
Asteroids III Edited by W. Bottke NASA
Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites: Cosmic Invaders of the Earth Jon Erickson About
Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors Gregory Vogt Frontier Trails
Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors (Secrets of Space) Carole Marsh, Arthur R. Upgren Frontier Trails
Asteroids, Meteorites, and Comets Revised Edition Linda T. Elkins-Tanton Barnes & Noble
Astronomical Odds: A Policy Framework for the Cosmic Impact Hazard Geoffrey S. Sommer NASA HQ Library
Backscatter” Gregory Benford Astrosociety
Between Planets Robert A Heinlein SF Encyclopedia
Beyond Pluto – Exploring the Outer Limits of the Solar System J. Davies NASA
Beyond the Solar System Mary Kay Carson Sacramento CLC
Calculating God Robert Sawyer Astrosociety
Comet and Asteroid Impact Hazards on a Populated Earth John S. Lewis About
Comet Halley Fred Hoyle Astrosociety
Comet of the Century – from Halley to Hale-Bopp F. Schaaf NASA
Comet Science – The Study of Remnants from the Birth of the Solar System J. Crovisier and T. Encrenaz NASA
Comet/Asteroid Impacts and Human Society: An Interdisciplinary Approach Peter T. Bobrowsky NASA HQ Library
Comets Isaac Asimov Astrosociety
Comets L. Wilkening NASA
Comets – A Chronological History of Observation, Science, Myth, and Folklore Science NASA
Comets – A Descriptive Catalog G. Kronk NASA
Comets and Asteroids (Davis, Amanda. Exploring Space.) Amanda Davis Frontier Trails
Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors Stuart Atkinson Sacramento CLC
Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids: Voyagers of the Solar System Very Well
Construction Shack Clifford D Simak SF Encyclopedia
Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth-object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies NASA HQ Library
Doomsday Asteroid: Can We Survive? Donald W. Cox & James H. Chestek About
Double Planet John Gribbin Astrosociety
Edge of Infinity Alastair Reynolds Astrosociety
Eight Keys to Eden Mark Clifton SF Encyclopedia
Element 79 Fred Hoyle Astrosociety
Exploring the Trans-Neptunian Solar System Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration NASA
Farside Cannon Roger MacBride Allen SF Encyclopedia
Fifty Years on the Space Frontier: Halo Orbits, Comets, Asteroids, and More Robert Willard Farquhar NASA HQ Library
Fire in the Sky: Comets and Meteors, the Decisive Centuries, in Art and Science Roberta J. M. Olson, Jay M. Pasachoff Frontier Trails
Fisherman’s Hope David Feintuch SF Encyclopedia
Garbage World Charles Platt SF Encyclopedia
Garden in the Void Poul Anderson SF Encyclopedia
Gateway Frederik Pohl SF Encyclopedia
Gray Lensman E E Smith SF Encyclopedia
Great Comets R. Burnham NASA
Heart of the Comet Gregory Benford Astrosociety
How the Meteorite Got to the Museum Jessie Hartland Sacramento CLC
I’ll Build Your Dream Castle Jack Vance SF Encyclopedia
Iceborn Gregory Benford Astrosociety
If an Asteroid Hit Earth Ray Spangenburg, Diane Moser, and Kit Moser About
Illegal Alien Robert Sawyer Astrosociety
Impact R. Fodor & G. Taylor Astrosociety
Impact Earth : Asteroids, Comets and Meteors : The Growing Threat Austen Atkinson Frontier Trails
Impact!: The Threat of Comets and Asteroids Gerrit L. Verschuur About
Inherit the Stars James P Hogan SF Encyclopedia
Journey Through Our Solar System Mae Jemison Sacramento CLC
Leviathan Wakes James S. A. Corey’ Astronomy Cast
Low-cost Innovation in Spaceflight: The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Howard E. McCurdy NASA HQ Library
Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids Isaac Asimov SF Encyclopedia
Macrolife George Zebrowski SF Encyclopedia
Marooned off Vesta Isaac Asimov SF Encyclopedia
Master of the Asteroid Clark Ashton Smith SF Encyclopedia
Matter’s End Gregory Benford Astrosociety
Mercenary Piers Anthony SF Encyclopedia
Meteor Showers F.S. Kim Very Well
Meteor: Perspectives on Asteroid Strikes Alex Woolf Barnes & Noble
Meteorite Craters Kathleen Mark Meteor Lab
Meteorite Craters and Impact Structures of the Earth Paul Hodge Frontier Trails
Meteorite Hunting: How to Find Treasure from Space – The Comprehensive Guide to Recovering, Identifying and Understanding Meteorites Geoffrey Notkin Cutting Rocks
Meteorites Caroline Smith, Sara Russel, Gretchen Benedix Cutting Rocks
Meteorites Bruce Stinchcomb Cutting Rocks
Meteorites Alain Carion Cutting Rocks
Meteorites and Their Parent Planets Harry Y. McSween, Jr. Meteor Lab
Meteorites: A Journey Through Space and Time Alex Bevan NASA HQ Library
Meteors (Sky & Telescope Observer’s Guides) Neil Bone, Leif J. Robinson (Designer) Frontier Trails
Misfit Robert A Heinlein SF Encyclopedia
Moonfall Jack McDevitt Kirkus
Moons & Planets – third edition William K. Hartmann Meteor Lab
Mother in the Sky with Diamonds James Tiptree Jr SF Encyclopedia
Near-Earth Object Survey and Deflection Analysis of Alternatives: Report to Congress NASA HQ Library
Near-Earth Objects (NEOS): Status of the Survey Program and Review of NASA’s 2007 Report to Congress NASA HQ Library
Neptune Crossing Jeff Carver Astrosociety
Observing Comets, Asteroids, Meteors, and the Zodiacal Light (Practical Astronomy Handbooks 5) Stephen J. Edberg, David H. Levy (Contributor) Frontier Trails
Our Solar System Seymour Simon Sacramento CLC
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space Carl Sagan Legendary Pharma
Physics of Meteoric Phenomena V.A. Bronshten Frontier Trails
Pirates of the Asteroids Paul French SF Encyclopedia
Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space Dominic Walliman Sacramento CLC
Prospectors of Space Malcolm Jameson SF Encyclopedia
Protector Larry Niven Kirkus
Pushing Ice Alastair Reynolds Astrosociety
Rendezvous in Space: the Science of Comets John C. Brandt, Robert C. Chapman Legendary Pharma
Reply Paid Gerald Heard SF Encyclopedia
Rosetta: ESA’s Mission to the Origin of the Solar System Rita Schulz NASA HQ Library
Saurus Eden Phillpotts SF Encyclopedia
Seetee Ship Jack Williamson SF Encyclopedia
Seetee Shock Jack Williamson SF Encyclopedia
Seveneves Neal Stephenson Astronomy Cast
Sol’s Children Donald Bingle Astrosociety
Space Cadet Robert A Heinlein SF Encyclopedia
Stardust to Planets Harry Y. McSween Meteor Lab
Starfire Paul Preuss SF Encyclopedia
Stranger in a Strange Land Robert A Heinlein SF Encyclopedia
Summertime on Icarus Arthur C Clarke SF Encyclopedia
Tales of Known Space Larry Niven SF Encyclopedia
Tales of the Flying Mountains Poul Anderson’ SF Encyclopedia
Terraforming Earth Jack Williamson Kirkus
The 100 Year Starship Mae Jemison Sacramento CLC
The Albian Message Oliver Morton Astrosociety
The Asteroid of Gold Clifford D Simak SF Encyclopedia
The Ceres Solution Bob Shaw SF Encyclopedia
The Death Star Fox B Holden SF Encyclopedia
The First Asteroid: Ceres, 1801-2001 NASA
The Frozen Year James Blish SF Encyclopedia
The Golden Planetoid Stanton A Coblentz SF Encyclopedia
The Horror on the Asteroid Edmond Hamilton SF Encyclopedia
The Kraken Wakes John Wyndham TOR
The Meteorite & Tektite Collector’s Handbook Philip M. Bagnal, William-Bell Meteor Lab
The New Solar System Kelly Beatty and Andrew Chaikin Meteor Lab
The Nine Billion Names of God Arthur C. Clark Astrosociety
The Planets Paul Preuss Astrosociety
The Precipice Ben Bova SF Encyclopedia
The Prison of the Stars Stanley Mullen SF Encyclopedia
The Rolling Stones Robert A Heinlein SF Encyclopedia
The Solar System Through Infographics Nadia Higgins Sacramento CLC
The Wailing Asteroid Murray Leinster’ SF Encyclopedia
The Weight of the Evidence Michael Innes Astrosociety
The Wind from a Burning Woman Greg Bear SF Encyclopedia
This Old Rock David G. Nordley Astrosociety
Time Probe Arthur Clark Astrosociety
Time: Manifold Stephen Baxter SF Encyclopedia
Titan Stephen Baxter TOR
To The Planets And Beyond Raman Prinja Sacramento CLC
Universe: Journey Into Deep Space Mike Goldsmith Sacramento CLC
Vacuum Diagrams Stephen Baxter Astrosociety
What’s So Mysterious about Meteorites? O. Richard Norton & Dorothy Sigler Very Well


15 Best Space Rock Book Sources



Source Article
About Top Nonfiction Comet and Asteroid Impacts and Collisions Books
Astronomy Cast Hollowing Asteroids in Science and Fiction
Astrosociety Science Fiction Stories with Good Astronomy & Physics: A Topical Index
Barnes & Noble Browse Asteroids comets
Cutting Rocks Meteorite Books
Frontier Trails Meteor & Comet Books
Kirkus Read All About It: Planetary Destruction by Asteroid, Meteor and Comet
Legendary Pharma Three good BOOKS on the subject are
Meteor Lab RECOMMENDED READING LIST
NASA Books on Planetary and Lunar Science
NASA HQ Library Asteroids, Comets, Meteors, and Near-Earth Objects
Sacramento CLC Solar System & Comets
SF Encyclopedia Asteroids
TOR Five Books About Asteroids and Their Uses
Very Well Books About Meteors and Meteorites

 

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