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Astronomy Today [Hardcover]

Eric Chaisson , Steve McMillan

Price: 53.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

26 July 2004 0131445960 978-0131445963 5

For one- or two-semester introductory courses in astronomy.

Chaisson/McMillan is a trusted text that offers the most complete and innovative learning package available for introductory astronomy.  The goal of the Fifth Edition is to focus on the process of discovery and to better convey how science is done.  Particular attention was given to clearly and concisely presenting scientific terms to the non-science student.  Volume 1 includes Chapters 1-16, plus chapter 28. Volume 2 includes Chapters 1-5 plus 16-28.

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*The"Process of Science" is integrated into the text narrative. In particular the focus on scientific discovery and scientific method, or "how we know what we know", is now a much more integral part of the text (e.g. p. 6-8, 121-22, 160-65, 596-97, 611-12).*Part-opening essays emphasize the human endeavor aspect of science. Each part opener introduces a discovery and provides a historical context to the chapters that follow (e.g. p. 1, 140, 402, 600). "What role does your textbook play in your course?"*Student perspective--For this revision, the text's development editor read the text from a student perspective, helping the authors identify places they could clarify or simplify an explanation, better define a term, and discuss the process used in making a discovery. The result is a text that is truly accessible and useful resource for all students. *Expanded Glossary--200+ terms added, including definitions of words students may not know, but are not necessarily "scientific" terms (e.g. "flyby" now defined within chapter 6 Mariner 10 discussion on p. 152). "How can you involve your students in class and make large lectures more interactive?"*Lecture Tutorials -- Developed by Jeffrey Adams, Edward Prather, Timothy Slater and the Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER) team, class-tested lecture tutorials challenge students with thought-provoking questions that spark classroom discussion. Designed for large classes (300+) and scaleable for smaller sections. *Classroom Response Systems enhances the interactivity of a lecture course by asking students questions and providing instant feedback on key concepts from the chapter. "Do you have an observation component in your course?"*Starry Night Pro 4.0.5 provides everything the amateur astronomer or hobbyist needs to explore the heavens. Content Changes: *Thoroughly updated Chapter 5-- Reflects recent discoveries and innovations, such as Telescope Design in Section 5.1 *Introduction to solar system formation added to Chapter 6--Sets the stage for the planetary chapters (p. 144-45). *Reorganized Chapter 22--Expands the historical development of Special and General Relativity. *More contemporary coverage in Chapters 24 and 25--Reorganizes material to emphasize the connection between normal and active galaxies, and expands the discussion of black holes in galactic nuclei. *Updates include new discoveries and data, including: *New material in Chapter 7 on the Ozone Hole and Global Warming. *Expanded coverage in Chapters 6 and 10 of the most recent missions to Mars. *Updates in Chapter 10 on Martian oppositions, gullies, oceans, and ice. *Final update on the Galileo/GEM mission in Chapter 11. *Updated discussion of solar system formation in Chapter 15; expanded coverage of competing theories, planet migration, planetesimal ejection, plutinos, and the angular momentum problem. *Latest results in Chapter 23 on Sgr A* and the Galaxy's central black hole. This chapter also includes a new discussion of the Shapley-Curtis debate giving historical context to the "Measuring the Milky Way" section. *Extensive revision of Chapters 26 and 27 to include the most recent observations of cosmic acceleration and discussion of "dark energy" *Revised discussions of the cosmological constant and the age of the universe; results from the CBI and WMAP experiments suggesting a flat universe. *Updated coverage of Europa, Mars, interstellar organic molecules, extra solar planets, and SETI in Chapter 28.

From the Back Cover

Astronomy Today 4/e (ISBN 0-13-091542-4) is the more comprehensive text by this: proven team of authors. This twenty-eight chapter text begins with the foundations of the history of science and physics as they relate to astronomy (Part One), then proceeds with an "Earth-out" organization for coverage of the solar system (Part Two), stars and stellar evolution (Part Three), and galaxies and cosmology (Part Four). New with the fourth edition, the book is now available in two paperback splits:

Astronomy Today 4/e: The Solar System (ISBN 0-13-093560-3) covers Part One on foundations (Chapters 1-$); Part Two on the solar system (Chapters 6-15); the Sun chapter (Chapter 16); and the final chapter on life in the universe (Chapter 28).

Astronomy Today 4/e: Stars and Galaxies (ISBN 0-13-093571-9) includes Part One on foundations (Chapters 1-S); Part Three on stars and stellar evolution (Chapters 16-22); and Part Four on galaxies and cosmology (Chapters 23-28).

Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe 4/e (ISBN 0-13-100727-0) is the authors' briefer text. It covers the same scope of material in the same order as Astronomy Today 4/e, but with less detail and in fewer chapters (eighteen instead of twenty-eight) and fewer pages.

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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to read! 17 Feb 2005
By Peter - Published on Amazon.com
This book is really outstanding! It contains 757 pages of text (not counting the preface and appendix), about 480 (mostly quite smallish) photos, some 400 drawings/figures/illustrations and almost 50 tables. The writing style is very clear, not at all dry or overtly technical. It is a joy to read this book. I know of no other book that clarifies all kind of astronomical subjects as thoroughly and understandably as this book (and I did read many books on astronomy.....). Highly recommended!
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What astronomy lovers should know other than telescopes ... 26 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Written for non-science college students, this book is highly recommended for anyone interested in astronomy. Its breath, clarity, superb illustrations and software are first rate. Prentice Hall appears to hvae repurposed this text for amateur astronomers in another book, Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe, which is nearly identical, albeit abbreviated in areas. Both books are an excellent value and users need to decide whether the academic version is worth more. Having read "Astronomy Today" cover to cover, there is much than can be shortened, such as when the authors discuss difficulties encountered in obtaining astronomy knowledge, rather than the knowledge itself. Its generous illustrations reinforce much of the text, taking this philosophy further, it could have been that much of the text could take a back seat to more detailed illustrations. Nevertheless a marvelous job!
Marvin Gozum, MD
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astronomy Today 5th edition 11 Mar 2006
By jdtbaron - Published on Amazon.com
I have had a lifetime love of Astronomy but have lacked the mathmatical background for a thorough understanding. Most popular books on the subject rarely cover the field in the manner that I desire. Astronomy Today is a textbook for a beginning course in astronomy at the college level and does, in fact, cover a great deal of information without the need for mathmatical knowledge. The authors express their ideas and information in clear, concise language and clearly manifest an enthusiasm for their subject. I have enjoyed the book immensely.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a textbook almost worth the price! 8 April 2010
By Cryptapocalypse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased this text for our daughter, who is taking an introductory astronomy class. I never had the chance to take such a class myself but always had an interest in astronomy, so I started reading some of the chapters. To my great satisfaction, it was actually very well written, concise, and seemed to be up to date on the some of the more interesting and current issues in astronomy- dark matter/energy, inflationary universes, black holes, etc. It has an excellent explanation of black body radiation and how the emission profile of a celestial object gives can disclose both its temperature and much about its composition. It also takes care to show exactly what portion of the light specturm is used to generate each image (of which there are many beautiful ones included), which really helps understand why optical telescopes can't solve all the scientific mysteries (the center of the Milky Way can't even be seen in the visual spectrum due to dust). It also used a minimal amount of math, which takes away nothng from the points made. As a parent tired of forking over hundreds of dollars for textbooks that unnecessarily change edition every year (how is that possible, I ask?), I did not mind paying for this one.

Kudos to the authors for a very readable and useful text. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn about astronomy but never had the opportunity. The only material that I thought might be improved was the section covering the H-R diagrams of star evolution- it would help to have a simple diagram of a typical star as it progresses through the main sequence and beyond, gaining or losing mass. the luminosity and temperature portions of the process are well described, but it's a bit hard to put it all together. Is the H-R diagram really the most useful way to understand star evolution? Regardless, this book rates as an outstanding science textbook in my opinion.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Non-Science Major 7 Mar 2007
By John Matlock - Published on Amazon.com
This book is designed to be the astronomy book that non-science majors would use to meet their one-year of science requirement as part of their undergraduate degree. As such it is written without the mathematics content that would be normal in a course aimed at astronoly or physics students. In addition, this particular book has several advantages. To identify just a few:

1. Throughout the book there is an emphasis on teaching the scientific method. This area has been strengthened in this edition because (I'm guessing) the current attempts by the un-intelligent design people to disparage scientific theories.

2. Revised to include the latest discoveries being made by the Mars rovers and the down grading of poor Pluto to a minor planet.

3. Updating the current theories regarding dark matter and dark energy.

In summary this is a well written, well illustrated text, ideally suited for the non-scientists.
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