A brief, introductory astronomy book designed for readers with little or no scientific background, A Beginner's Guide uses an exceptionally clear writing style. The authors present a broad view of astronomy without complex mathematics, yet the book discusses important concepts without simplification. The book's organization follows the popular and effective “Earth-Out” progression, starting with our planet and then moving through the solar system. A study of the Sun as a model star follows, then the book covers the Milky Way Galaxy, cosmology, and the universe as a whole. Because of its easy-to-read yet comprehensive coverage of astronomy, this book can serve as excellent reference material for those readers interested in learning about our universe. Personal Response System: Through a partnership with Interwrite PRS, this text is available with the PRS clicker system. The Instructor Resource Center on CD-ROM contains conceptual "clicker" questions in PowerPoint.
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Astronomy Today 4/e (ISBN 0-13-091542-4) is the more comprehensive text by this: proven team of authors. This twenty-eight chapter text begins with the foundations of the history of science and physics as they relate to astronomy (Part One), then proceeds with an "Earth-out" organization for coverage of the solar system (Part Two), stars and stellar evolution (Part Three), and galaxies and cosmology (Part Four). New with the fourth edition, the book is now available in two paperback splits:
Astronomy Today 4/e: The Solar System (ISBN 0-13-093560-3) covers Part One on foundations (Chapters 1-$); Part Two on the solar system (Chapters 6-15); the Sun chapter (Chapter 16); and the final chapter on life in the universe (Chapter 28).
Astronomy Today 4/e: Stars and Galaxies (ISBN 0-13-093571-9) includes Part One on foundations (Chapters 1-S); Part Three on stars and stellar evolution (Chapters 16-22); and Part Four on galaxies and cosmology (Chapters 23-28).
Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe 4/e (ISBN 0-13-100727-0) is the authors' briefer text. It covers the same scope of material in the same order as Astronomy Today 4/e, but with less detail and in fewer chapters (eighteen instead of twenty-eight) and fewer pages.About the Author:
Eric Chaisson. Eric holds a doctorate in astrophysics from Harvard University, where he spent ten years on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. For five years, Eric was a Senior Scientist and Director of Educational Programs at the Space Telescope Science Institute and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Johns Hopkins University. He then joined Tufts University, where he is now Professor of Physics, Professor of Education, and Director of the Wright Center for Innovative Science Education. He has written nine books on astronomy, which have received such literary awards as the Phi Beta Kappa Prize, two American Institute of Physics Awards, and Harvard's Smith-Weld Prize for Literary Merit. He has published more than 100 scientific papers in professional journals, and has also received Harvard's Bok Prize for original contributions to astrophysics.
Steve McMillan. Steve holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Mathematics from Cambridge University and a doctorate in Astronomy from Harvard University. He held post-doctoral positions at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University, where he continued his research in theoretical astrophysics, star clusters, and numerical modeling. Steve is currently Distinguished Professor of Physics at Drexel University and a frequent visiting researcher at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Tokyo. He has published more than 50 scientific papers in professional journals.
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