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4.6 out of 5 stars18
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 10 February 2001
This is a first class textbook with so much information on astronomy. The CDrom provides an excellent picture of the night sky which is a big help for novice star gazing as it helps with the identification of the stars and constellations. Since I recieved this book I have spent hours looking at the CD. I find that the lay out of the book is easy to follow and has a wealth of information. The more difficult Mathematics is made simple to follow. My understanding of Astronomy has increased one hundred fold since I started to read it.
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on 30 May 2003
This book is extraordinarily good. It is very detailed but, most especially, it explains everything in simple, easy to understand, terms. The illustrations are also excellent. It has been (and will continue to be) a great help to me. I really cannot fault it!
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on 24 October 2003
Now THIS is a great book.
When I received it, I have to admit that I judged the book by it's cover as I hadn't read the advertisement properly, so was expecting a hardback (that's my error of course). On reading the introductory text once again I felt that maybe I'd made a mistake as the book was obviously an undergraduate textbook. Regardless, I persevered. Then, two weeks later, I'm wondering how on earth I managed to read every page, diagram and article in such a short space of time. This book is compulsive reading.
It is beautifully organised, and the planet-specific sections are truly the most enlightening pages I've ever read about the Solar System. The chapter on Mars is particularly brilliant in its portrayal of the red planet and the secrets it holds. The images are always useful and at times awe-inspiring.
How the Authors manage to convey such complex phenomenon to such a wide audience is incredibly effective. The most complex of astrophysical laws are made accessible to anyone with even a passing interest in Astronomy and Cosmology. The casual astronomer is going to feel right at home here, and so will the degree student. Trust me, it is a work of art.
Without doubt the most extensive, well crafted books I have ever read on the subject.
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on 23 January 2005
I brought this book to accompany I brought this book to accompany my degree level astrophysics module, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
The book is well written in a structured and easy to grasp manner, and is perfect for anyone, be it a student or someone with a casual interest in space or physics. It covers allot, starting with the very basic principles of physics, and working its way up steadily to the complex theories that make up our current ideas about objects like neutron stars and black holes. It gives a wonderfully diverse view of all areas of physics, but at the same time it avoids going to such a depth as to become complicated.
The included CD also contains many interesting video clips and photos bring the whole of the books text to life, enhancing and illustrating most of the points made.
A well recommended book, the only flaw I could find was that the edges were bashed on mine!
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on 23 March 1999
Simply the best book on astronomy in general that I have ever read. It caters for those taking a passing interest in the subject but also covers topics in depth. The text is easy to read and the pictures and graphics are first class. It nicely complements some of the dryer academic works and thus should also be of assistance to udergraduates.
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on 24 October 2006
Bought this book to supplement my astronomy course. An easy read covering the basics of astronomy with lots of nice pictures to keep you awake (lol). The CDs that come along with the book are very interactive and engaging, they are pretty useful too by providing further reads and weblinks.

Would definitely recommend this to students or anyone who wish to embark on the journey of 'universe'. As commented by another user, Freedman and Kaufmann really did an excellent job here by making hard to digest informations plain simple.
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on 16 July 2008
This is a great book. It has loads of really, really good information. It's very up to date and has great coverage of the subject matter.

It's not too in depth for the interested lay person, but it's not so high level as to be unengaging.

There are editions available that come with Starry Night planetarium software, or you can get this yourself quite cheap. There are loads of exercises that are well worth doing, many of which make use of this software.

I bought this book on recommendation, and I'm really glad I did.
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on 15 June 2009
Excellent new edition. Had edition 3 before, this new edition adds loads of up to date info but retains the intuitive teaching methods. The 'Starry Night' CD is also fantastic giving you a clear interactive view of the universe seen from any angle. A must for any would be amateur astronomer!!
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on 8 March 2004
I bought this book last week and was extremely disappointed by it's quality. The binding and paper quality is awful. It's a lot like a mail order catalogue or a large monthly PC magazine and at over £30 this is not acceptible, even for a paperback. The content, now I have a little more confidence that it won't fall apart in my hands, is excellent. It's not just a coffee table book with pretty pictures, but an up-to-date technical reference of all areas of astronomy. It doesn't make the mistake of turning into a text book of applied maths though, the 'tools of Astronomy' box-outs cover each of the more complicated ideas in astrophysics from first principles. Overall a great book, but thats down to the authors not the printers.
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on 16 January 2013
This book is used as the basis of the course by at least two of the universities that offer distance learning courses. It has by far the most complete range of information about astronomy and all the related sciences that I've seen. The explanations are very clearly presented, using SI units as well as the astronomical quirks like AUs and parsecs. Though the 6th edition does omit the last 10 lively years in the subject, the basic parameters have not really changed. Though the CD was included with this used copy, I have not been able to make it work. Nevertheless, there are so many free sorces of information on the Web, that this scarcely matters. As promised, the copy I received was in brand-new condition.
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