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Astronomy Today Hardcover – 6 Jul 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 7 edition (6 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321691431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321691439
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 3.6 x 27.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,723,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Eric Chaisson received his Ph.D. from and taught at Harvard for a number of years in Astrophysics. He is now associated with Tufts and Harvard. Eric has written nine books and received a number of literary awards along the way. Steve McMillan, a former Ph.D. candidate of Eric Chaisson’s, is a professor of Physics at Drexel University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By PotN88 on 1 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If there was ever a book that could help introduce even the most casual or curious reader into the world of astronomy, then this book ticks all the boxes. Very well written and thought out, it is easy to understand and minimalistic in mathematics so that it never appears daunting to the uninitiated. I must confess that I do miss all of the extra material and videos/simulations etc. that used to be available in a CD at the back of the book ... they appear to have foregone that for putting it all online instead, but that's just a minor nitpick since all the extra material is still easily accessible and free. Highly recommended for all astronomy students, and all those who want to learn a little bit more about the Universe we all live in!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Terrific! 13 Dec. 2011
By Rusty Hill - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a textbook, and covers the field very nicely. The organization is from the introduction of Earth, Moon and sky orientation, eclipses, and the like in the first chapter, to covering the Solar System in several chapters, including a chapter devoted to the Earth from a planetary perspective, to examining the life cycle of stars. In my Curriculum, the first part of the book is a 4 hour Planetary course, and the second part is a 4 hour Stellar course. The depth of information presented definitly calls for the 2 courses. The 28 chapters would be very difficult to cover in a single course. This book seems to be very complete as a source for information about the Universe, but is definitely introductory in nature. A professional Astronomer would find it quite basic.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Astronomy Today is one of the best astronomy books on the market for students, in my opinion. 12 Mar. 2013
By Christie W. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book on astronomy is written in an easy-to-read format that keeps the subject from being boring. I bought it for my son, who is a junior in highschool and being homeschooled. He really likes the book and is learning well from it. And since he loves math, he is intrigued by its use in this subject. Sometimes he just has to explain to his dad what he's learning and gets into a "teaching mode" and sounds like a professor. I love to see him so thoroughly enjoying learning!
As I mentioned, the format is great, and the pictures are terrific and numerous. The writer has a relaxed, yet informative style that keeps you interested. The subject mattter is broad; just what I hoped for in a book on astronomy. I paid almost as much on a dvd that was supposed to be enough material for grades 6-12, but was a real disappointment. I cannot recommend this book more highly. The questions at the end of each section are very pertinent and enhance the learning experience. A real plus!
Much thatnks to Mr. Eric Chaisson for an absolutely tremendous book on astronomy!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Very Good Intorduction 23 Jan. 2014
By John - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the first astronomy text that I have read. I found it to be excellent. The illustrasions are very well chosen & complement the text well. The style of writing is pleasant. I preffered it to the novel that I was also reading! It is light on math but there is so much for a novice to learn that was probably best. Each chapter is around 20 pages which for an easy 1 day read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I thoroughly enjoyed this book 3 Nov. 2014
By Ruth Benander - Published on
Format: Hardcover
During his second semester of college, my friend Ben Schulte took a Stars and Galaxies course in which he used this textbook (Astronomy Today by Eric Chaisson and Steve McMillan). Because he loves all things related to science, he thoroughly enjoyed this book. And so, I am going to give you his brief description of this book, and let him tell you why he liked it so much:

There are a total of 28 chapters in this book, each focusing on a different aspect of astronomy- ranging everywhere from our solar system and the electromagnetic spectrum, to black holes and dark matter. For the purposes of the course that I attended, we only studied a portion of the book. However, that doesn't mean I didn't get a full and enriching experience. I learned so much from studying the topics in this book, and my knowledge of the cosmos has greatly increased. I found the material to be fascinating, and if I can ever find the time, I think I’d like to read the whole book through and even re-read what I've already read!

The authors, Chaisson and McMillan, are excellent at their work and have written this book very well, with great knowledge of the subject matter and how to make the concepts understood. They have done a wonderful job laying out the information in their book in a way that is (usually) very easy to understand. The only reason I say, “usually”, is because some of the concepts discussed can be very complex and sometimes difficult to understand- at least for me. However, everybody has a different beginning knowledge of astronomy when starting this book, and everyone studies in a different way.

Regardless, Astronomy Today holds an immense amount of information spanning a wide variety of astrological topics. The authors discuss the explosion of stars, gamma rays, supernovae, interstellar dust, and so much more. The authors are faithful to provide any diagrams, photographs, or charts to aid in delivering the message ad information with clarity and understandability. This really helps when a difficult concept is brought up or you can't quite visualize an idea. After reading about so many unimaginable and mind-boggling facts and astronomical happenings, my interest and appreciation for astronomy and the features of our universe has greatly increased.

I have studied many other science books spanning from general science to marine biology, and I definitely say that this textbook joins them as excellent source for study and enriching learning. It’s a large book, which may seem intimidating at first, but once you get into it, I think you'll find that it’s a really great text.

And so, overall I give this book four and half stars out of five stars. (I didn't give it the full five stars because I don't agree with some of the data included regarding the age of the universe and so forth.) That being said, I highly recommend this book and have found it to be an invaluable source of information for the study of the cosmos.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Packed with information 13 April 2013
By Jeffrey Labond - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Huge amount of information, enough sidebars to create a second book. Mathematics is explained in enough detail to ensure it is understood and to pique curiosity about more detailed mathematics. The only criticism I have is that Uranus and Neptune were in a single chapter.
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