Hellfire requested that I post a list of classic papers that one could use for reference when trying to understand the current state of astronomy and cosmology. I'll do so here, but if I could politely ask the following: - Please do not debate the veracity of the papers in this thread. In fact, I think it would be best just to use this thread as a reference, so make a new thread if you want to discuss the content of any of the papers. - If you would like to contribute a paper, please ensure that it's mainstream and that it has lot of citations (>~ 300). Citation counts can be found here. - When contributing a paper, please include a brief description in more pedagogical terms than given in the abstract. That should do it. I'll add new papers as time permits and as I think of them. The sample that I provide will certainly be biased and incomplete, as my exposure is limited and a lot of the classic papers come from the institution at which I'm studying, so please do not take exception to any of my choices. I'll list them in categories (like cosmology, stellar astronomy, etc.) for ease of reference.