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Resource Guides

Humor and Astronomy

A Resource Guide

© copyright 2019 Andrew Fraknoi. The right to distribute for any non-profit educational purpose, such as a class, is hereby granted.  For any other use, or to suggest additions,

contact the author at: fraknoi {at} fhda {dot} edu

Articles and Books

  • Chaple, Glenn

    “LOL Astronomy” in Astronomy, Apr. 2010, p. 56. Has a nice list of web sites for astronomical jokes and humor

  • “A Short List of Astronomical Daffy-nitions” in Mercury (the magazine of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific), Nov/Dec. 2005, p. 47. Humorous redefinitions of astronomical terms. A slightly updated version reprinted in The Planetarian.

  • “Stellar Types Mnemonic Competition Results” in Mercury, Jul/Aug. 1977, p. 21. (See also “OBAFGKM” in Mercury, Mar/Apr. 1995, p. 38.) Fred Walter’s class competition is described at link above.

  • Goldman, Stuart

    “Some Funny Stuff” in Sky & Telescope, July 2001, p. 70. Suggestions for astronomical humor on the web.

  • Goran, Morris

    A Treasury of Science Jokes. 1986, Lincoln-Herndon Press.

  • Grice, Noreen

    “A Shopper’s Guide to Astronomy” in The Griffith Observer, March 1998, p.2. Common products with astronomical names.

  • Mendillo, Michael & Hart, Richard

    “Total Solar Eclipses, Extraterrestrial Life, and the Existence of God” in Physics Today, Feb. 1974, p. 73. A tongue in cheek proof from the fact that total eclipses are visible only from Earth. (The Aug. 1974 issue had humorous letters in response.)

  • Munves, James

    “Black Holes” in The New Yorker, Apr. 11, 1977. A two-page humor piece.

  • Pasachoff, Jay & Weart, Spencer

    “A Modest Proposal: A Supplemental Grant for the Creation of the Universe” in Mercury, Jul/Aug. 1977, p. 22.

Web Sites and Articles

  • “A Call for More Scientific Truth in Product Labels” (a funny article by Susan Hewitt and Edward Subitzky from the Journal of Irreproducible Results, the science humor magazine, calling for warning labels with real physics on them):

  • (long single page with dozens of examples, some esoteric, some clear to students):

  • (Bob King) has a collection of astronomical jokes here.

  • “Astronomy Students Say the Strangest Things” (with an appendix “And So Do Professionals”):

  • “Pluto Tells All” (a humorous piece by a popular science fiction writer, after Pluto was “demoted” to dwarf planet).

  • Some astronomical bumper stickers, formerly available from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

  • Each April 1, the Astronomy Picture of the Day web site has a joke image.

  • (what common phrases really mean).

  • Compilation of Physics Jokes.

Astronomical Cartoons

  • There is now a Facebook group devoted to this subject.

  • Sidney Harris is arguably the best science cartoonist in the world. His cartoons are organized available at the link above.

  • Astronomy cartoons on Pinterest.

  • Astronomy cartoons for sale at CartoonStock.

  • Astronomy cartoons for sale at The Cartoonists Group

  • Astronomy and astronaut humor and souvenirs (by an amateur astronomer).

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