The Solar System

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9781439050361: The Solar System
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With this revised edition of THE SOLAR SYSTEM, author Mike Seeds' goal is to help you use astronomy to understand science -- and use science to understand what we are. Fascinating and engaging, this text will help you answer two fundamental questions: What are we? How do we know? Crafting a story about astronomy, Seeds shows you how to ask questions to gradually puzzle out the beautiful secrets of the physical world and our place in it. This edition addresses the newest developments and latest discoveries in the exciting study of astronomy, including new data on Jupiter's ring system; new observations of the shapes of stars; new evidence of dark energy, quasars, and galaxy collisions; and a look inside supernova explosions.

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About the Author:

Dana Backman works for the SETI Institute of Mountain View, California, as director of outreach for the SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) mission at NASA's Ames Research Center. He also teaches introductory astronomy, astrobiology, and cosmology courses in Stanford University's Continuing Studies Program. From 1991 to 2003, he taught in the physics and astronomy department at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he invented and taught a Life in the Universe course in the interdisciplinary Foundations program. Dr. Backman's research interests focus on infrared observations of planet formation, models of debris disks around nearby stars, and evolution of the solar system's Kuiper Belt. With Mike Seeds, he also coauthored HORIZONS: EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE, Twelfth Edition (2012); UNIVERSE: SOLAR SYSTEMS, STARS, AND GALAXIES, Seventh Edition (2012); and FOUNDATIONS OF ASTRONOMY (2013), all published by Cengage Learning. Dr. Backman earned his bachelor's degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his doctorate from the University of Hawai'i.

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Part I: EXPLORING THE SKY. 1. Here and Now 2. The Sky. 3. Cycles of the Moon. 4. The Origin of Modern Astronomy. 5. Gravity. 6. Light and Telescopes. Part II: THE STARS. 7. Atoms and Starlight. 8. The Sun. Perspective: Origins Part IV: THE SOLAR SYSTEM. 19. The Origin of the Solar System. 20. Earth: The Standard of Comparative Planetology. 21. The Moon and Mercury: Comparing Airless Worlds. 22. Comparative Planetology of Venus and Mars. 23. Comparative Planetology of Jupiter and Saturn. 24. Uranus, Neptune, and the Dwarf Planets. 25. Meteorites, Asteroids, and Comets. Part V: LIFE. 26. Astrobiology: Life on Other Worlds. Afterword. Appendix A: Units and Astronomical Data. Appendix B: Observing the Sky. Glossary. Answers to Even-Numbered Problems. Index.

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