Understanding the Universe: Introduction to Astronomy

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9781598032741: Understanding the Universe: Introduction to Astronomy
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"Who has not gazed with wonder at the night sky? The great canopy of stars stretching overhead suggests that our world is part of a vastly larger cosmos. But how large is it? Where do we fit in? And how did it all begin? These questions have puzzled stargazers for thousands of years, and the search for answers helped spark the great advances of the Scientific Revolution in the 16th and 17th centuries. But only in our own time has the full picture of the true immensity, variety, and surpassing strangeness of the universe come into focus.There is no doubt that we live in a golden age of astronomy. At this moment, space probes are flying to staggeringly distant destinations, experiments are underway to test bold ideas about the cosmos, and powerful new tools are probing the nature of matter. Astronomers everywhere are watching the skies with high-tech instruments, searching for clues that will extend our knowledge of the universe. Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition is a nontechnical description of where that picture stands today. Much has happened in astronomy in a few short years. Many of these discoveries are scientifically sophisticated, but the comprehensive scope of this course allows you to absorb the background you need to grasp such exciting recent developments. In 96 fascinating lessons, you'll survey the main concepts, methods, and discoveries in astronomy, from the constellations drawn by the ancients to the latest reports from planetary probes in our solar system.

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