ASTRONOMY: FROM THE EARTH TO THE UNIVERSE describes the current state of astronomy, both the fundamentals of astronomical knowledge that have been built up over decades and the exciting advances that are now taking place. The writing style is friendly and carefully detailed. It serves as a valuable reference for both beginners and astronomy enthusiasts. This book is organized as a number of stories. Individual chapters often tell what used to be known, how space and other modern observations have transformed our understanding, and then what is scheduled for the future. This is done with each planet. Consequently, an instructor can easily add photos (available as slides, overheads, CD-ROMs, and on the World Wide Web) and movies and keep a student's interest for a whole lecture on each planet, if desired. Students learn about astronomy through concrete examples, rather than merely being given overarching concepts without enough underpinning.
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Jay M. Pasachoff is Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams College, where he teaches the astronomy survey course and works with undergraduate students. He is also Director of the Hopkins Observatory there. Pasachoff has observed 35 solar eclipses and is Chair of the Working Group on Solar Eclipses of the International Astronomical Union. He is part of a group of scientists observing the atmosphere of Pluto through stellar occultations. He also works in radio astronomy, concentrating on cosmic deuterium and its consequences for cosmology. Further, he collaborates with an art historian on images of comets, the Moon, and eclipses. Pasachoff is U.S. National Liaison to the Commission on Astronomical Education and Development of the International Astronomical Union and is also Vice-President of the Commission. He has twice been Chair of the Astronomy Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he has been on the astronomy education committees of the American Astronomical Society, the American Physical Society, and the American Association of Physics Teachers. He is on the Council of Advisors of the Astronomy Education Review, the on-line journal sponsored by the American Astronomical Society and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. In addition to his college astronomy texts, Pasachoff has written the PETERSON FIELD GUIDE TO THE STARS AND PLANETS, and is author or co-author of textbooks in calculus and in physics as well as several junior-high-school textbooks. Pasachoff received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard and was at Caltech before going to Williams College. His sabbaticals and other leaves have been taken at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy, the Institut d'Astrophysique in Paris, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Pasachoff has been awarded the 2003 Education Prize of the American Astronomical Society.
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