As this isn't a scientific article but a tool for creative system-building influenced by everything from press releases, popular astronomy and often conflicting scientific schools of thought, I've taken the liberty of making the reference list a bit manageable, more of "Some Suggested Further Reading Which I've Been Inspired By".


A decent college textbook in astronomy is invaluable. Many things like stellar evolution and orbital mechanics that this document barely touches on are covered in such works. Two good such textbooks are Abell's Exploration of the Universe (by David Morrison, Sidney Wolff and Andrew Fraknoi) and Astronomy: The Cosmic Journey (by William K. Hartmann and Chris Impey, it includes a CD too). The best multimedia astronomy computer program is RedShift 3 (Maris Multimedia) and you can find it in any decent software store for about the cost of a good astronomy textbook. RedShift 3 includes the Penguin Dictionary of Astronomy too. More specifically tying into the ideas of this document are Worlds Without End (by John S. Lewis), an interesting book from 1998 about how different planets would look and act. Another recent book (2000) is Rare Earth (by Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee), which discusses how rare advanced life could be. Both these books feature geoscience and biology as well and are worth looking into. For graphical inspiration, see Cycles of Fire (by William K. Hartmann and Ron Miller). The book is slightly dated (late 80's) but the illustrations are very nice.

The bolometric correction (ONE/1, Reference) is taken from Cameron Reed The Composite Observational-Theoretical HR Diagram (by Cameron Reed, in The Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, February/March 1998).


Some of this is certainly covered in the literature above, but not to the degree necessary for understanding the processes. One very popular and basic textbook on physical geography that covers about all Earth science divisions is Elements of Physical Geography (by Arthur N. Strahler and Alan H. Strahler). For more on climate and meteorology, another classic is Atmosphere, Weather and Climate (by Roger J. Barry and Richard J. Chorley). It is not an overly funny read, but a thorough one. Both these books are describing the Earth, but the basic processes and concepts are the same on all worlds. For a more specialized read on geomorphology I recommend the slightly complex but amazingly wide-scope Global Geomorphology (by Michael A. Summerfield). It has a chapter on extraterrestrial geomorphology. You probably would like to read a more basic physical geography book first, though.

The discussion of atmospheric effects on light is based upon information from Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation (by Thomas M. Lillesand and Ralph W. Kiefer).


A basic read on biology is the imaginative titled Biology (by James M. Barret, Peter Abramoff, A. Krishna Kumaran and William F. Millington). It is Earth biology, of course, but as for geoscience I'd say that it is necessary to get a grip on our own world before one makes up alien worlds. Simple microbial life forms can be further explored in Microbiology (by Daniel V. Lim); a good but a bit dated overview of bacteria, viruses and simple eukaryotes. The edition I have does not cover the very small rock-dwelling bacteria. Some knowledge about biochemistry can be useful too; Biochemistry (by Lubert Stryer) is a typical phone-book size textbook though you need some knowledge about basic chemistry first. Still, it may be a more interesting read to focus upon the zoology before getting into excessive detail. One zoology textbook that is easily read is Zoology (by Steven A. Miller and John P. Harley).

Discussions about alien life are generally more in the astronomy literature. One book, which is more of a collection of such ideas about extraterrestrial life (with a certain historical/SETI slant), is Here Be Dragons: Scientific Quest for Extraterrestrial Life (by David Koerner).


A collection of formulae and data is also likely to be useful. There are a lot of these, like Book of Data (Nuffield Advanced Science). A good encyclopedia often has much scientific references, too ... in my own country, Nationalencyclopedin is the best one.


There are tons of periodicals about geoscience and astronomy, but they are typically either very scientific (and thus rather hard to digest) or so much popular science that don't present a decently complete picture. I'd recommend anyone to read up-to-date textbooks (say, from the 90's) on the subjects first before putting too much weight on magazine articles, it is very easy to get overly influenced by the often biased and simplified picture these articles provide. Still, magazines such as Scientific American often can serve as inspiration or point toward "heavier" science.


Many news releases can be found on astronomy web sites (NASA, ESO, SpaceViews, various universities, newspapers, periodicals and observatories), of which there are too many to mention here. Use a search engine and locate the many link pages. There are also several sites that are devoted to system generation, exoplanets, astrobiology and such issues. They are often very nice, though their content varies.