Page edited by Pablo Garcia for Astronomy 10, Fall 2008

This section provides links to online textbooks and courses related to the subject of astronomy. Most of this books and courses are free and available for anybody to use. If a payment is required for the book or course to be displayed or downloaded, it will say so in the description of the link.

Books: is an incredibly useful website with thousands of books available for direct downloads. The link above takes the user to the astronomy section of the site loaded with hundreds of books for all ages and interests. This website allows users to download books as Adobe pdf flies without the need of 3rd party software. A fee is required in order to download a book and this fee changes according to the book and it's contents. This website is secured by, so all the information sent to the server is encrypted and it is not shared with another 3rd party.
The Online Books Page is a site providing links to over 30,000 free books. The site itself does not host any files, but instead provides links to several different pages that host the online textbooks. Because of this, the presentation of the books may vary, for example, a site may allow the user to read the book online from one's web browser only, another site may allow downloading a big pdf file with the contents of the book and another site may split a book into several pdf files, one for every chapter. The number of books presented in this site is relatively small compared to the number of books in, but this site provides links to free books only, so it is a good idea to start looking for books in this page.
The link above takes the user to the NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) Virtual Library. This site hosts the books contained in the ADS library. All of the books presented in this page can be viewed, downloaded and printed on demand. The number of books is limited, but the books cover a wide range of topics. A nice feature in this site is the ability to download books chapter by chapter, this can allow a person to download the chapter specific to the topic they are looking to do research on, instead of downloading the entire book. The topics covered in this books are intended for a professional audience and it may be difficult to understand for beginners.

Online Courses:**
UC Berkley provides this videos or webcasts free of charge and for anyone to download. This videos were recorded during actual classroom times. This course is an introducction to astronomy and is suitable for everyone, since it is an entry-level course. The course is divided into 42 different chapters covering several different topics. The media used is in RealPlayer format, so the user should download RealPlayer or VLC in order to watch the webcast. Because the video was recorded during the classroom period, often the instructor will devote time to announcements and other things.
Swinburne university, based in Australia offers a full online astronomy course with degree several degrees and certificates, as well as a 6 week short-term course. It is basically a full degree program online. Because the university is technically based in Australia, US students must seek accreditation by another local accrediting body or agency. The fees for units and tuition are also rather high, This online course is recommended for people who would like to obtain a degree in astronomy online only. is a website that provides links to other educational websites, like and arranges them in the same way a typical class would be arranged. This website is available free of charge. The major drawback of this page is the fact that the student is left alone and it is up to the student to do the research and study the topics by him or herself. There's also no instructor or adviser available for contact. This website does not offer certificates or letters of participation.