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Space-Themed Audio Books

Jul/23/2023 / by Melanie Fourie

Delve into worlds beyond ours

Silhouette of telescope against twilight sky with moon and stars visible
Photo via Shutterstock

July 20 was Space Exploration Day. President Ronald Reagan also declared it National Moon Day to celebrate the first manned moon landing on that day in 1969. To honor the occasion, we recommend these space-themed audiobooks.

The Planets 

Written by Andrew Cohen and Professor Brian Cox and narrated by Samuel West, this audiobook complements the award-winning BBC series. This is a revolutionary look at the solar system, highlighting current findings that have increased our understanding of the planets, their moons, and their origins.

In this audiobook, Mercury is a victim of the growing strength of the sun, and Venus is reported to be suffocating in a poisonous and scorching environment. Mars has no future because it has no atmosphere, and though it’s twice as big as the other planets put together, Jupiter seems insignificant. The audiobook reveals that Saturn is the crowning glory of our solar system. The ice giant Uranus is tilted, and Neptune experiences perpetual nightfall and winds faster than the speed of sound. You’ll also learn about Pluto, the icy, tiny planet composed of rock.

The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know

Professor Joshua N. Winn wrote and narrated this audiobook. The Search for Exoplanets uncovers breakthroughs and discoveries made during the search for extrasolar planets.

Recent technological developments and interpretations of existing data have led to the conclusion that planetary systems, and maybe even a new Earth, can be in distant galaxies. You will learn about star systems that may host anything from a super-Earth to a mini-Neptune to a lava planet or something more outlandish. You’ll also learn the methods astronomers used to discover planets far from Earth.

Northern Lights

Author and narrator Tom Kerrs has prepared an excellent audio manual covering every part of the Aurora Borealis quest. It gives the listener all the information they’ll need to observe the aurora.

The chapter on photographing the Northern Lights provides detailed instructions for taking pictures, using smartphone cameras, and how to edit the photos. The book includes an interesting history of the evolution of the aurora and some trivia. For instance, did you know that in 1616, Galileo invented the word “aurora borealis” to describe the northern lights?

Apollo’s Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings

Author and space historian Roger D. Launius examines the Apollo program’s impact on American culture in this audiobook. Though several authors have described the Apollo program’s thrilling events earlier, Launius provides a fresh perspective by examining it from a variety of angles, while also infusing the book with anecdotes from pivotal points in Apollo’s history.

For instance, he describes conflicting accounts of the program’s achievements and shortcomings. Launius mentions the improvements in technology and science made possible by Apollo, but also the criticisms from both political camps regarding the high costs of the program. Both space enthusiasts and history scholars fascinated by the Apollo program will find something of value in this audiobook.

The Space Barons

In this audiobook by reporter Christian Davenport, listeners follow a band of self-made billionaires as they invest in a revival of the United States’ space program. These “space barons” are using Silicon Valley-style inventiveness to drastically reduce the expense of space travel and send humans even further than NASA has gone.

A new Space Age, fueled by some of the world’s wealthiest people (such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos), is described in this authoritative account. Drawing on years of reporting and exclusive discussions, the audiobook describes the space barons’ fight to remove governments’ monopoly on cosmic affairs as they set their sights on the moon, Mars, and beyond.