Astronomy: A Beginners Guide to the Universe, 2000 Media Update Edition / Edition 2

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Overview

This book incorporates an exceptional writing style, an emphasis on critical thinking and visualization, and a leading-edge technology program. Focus streamlined more directly on core topics, including a briefer introduction that combines the first two chapters from the previous edition, interplanetary debris and the solar system now covered together and stellar explosions are now covered with stellar evolution. For anyone interested in Astronomy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130858481
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
  • Publication date: 1/1/1998
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 564
  • Product dimensions: 8.49 (w) x 10.86 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Read an Excerpt

PREFACE:

Preface

Astronomy continues to enjoy a golden age of eXploration and discovery. Fueled by new technologies and novel theoretical insights, the study of the cosmos has never been more eXciting. We are pleased to have the opportunity to present in this book a representative sample of the known facts, evolving ideas, and frontier discoveries in astronomy today.

Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe has been written for students who have taken no previous college science courses and who will likely not major in physics or astronomy. It is intended primarily for use in a onesemester, nontechnical astronomy course. We present a broad view of astronomy, straightforwardly descriptive and without compleX mathematics. The absence of sophisticated mathematics, however, in no way prevents discussion of important concepts. Rather, we rely on qualitative reasoning as well as analogies with objects and phenomena familiar to the student to eXplain the compleXities of the subject without oversimplification. We have tried to impart the enthusiasm that we feel about astronomy, and to awaken students to the marvelous universe around us.

We are very gratified that the first edition of this teXt has been received so well by many in the astronomy education community. In using that earlier teXt, many of youteachers and students alikehave sent us your helpful feedback and constructive criticisms. From these, we have learned to communicate better both the fundamentals and the eXcitement of astronomy. Many improvements inspired by your comments, as well as numerous innovations and popular new features from our companion hardback teXtAstronomy Today, Media Edition, have been incorporated into this new edition.

Organization and Approach

As in the first edition, our organization follows the popular and effective "Earthout" progression. We have found that most students, especially those with little scientific background, are much more comfortable studying the (relatively familiar) solar system before tackling stars and galaXies. Thus, Earth is the first object we discuss in detail. With Earth and Moon as our initial planetary models, we move through the solar system. Integral to our coverage of the solar system is a discussion of its formation. This line of investigation leads directly into a study of our Sun. With the Sun as our model star, we broaden the scope of our discussion to include stars in general their properties, their evolutionary histories, and their varied fates. This journey naturally leads us to coverage of the Milky Way GalaXy, which in turn serves as an introduction to our treatment of other galaXies, both normal and active. Finally, we reach the subject of cosmology and the largescale structure and dynamics of the universe as a whole. Throughout, we strive to emphasize the dynamic nature of the cosmosvirtually every major topic, from planets to quasars, includes a discussion of how those objects formed and how (we think) they evolve.

The second edition of Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe contains two fewer chapters, and is almost 20 percent shorter (in terms of total teXt), than its predecessor. All chapters have been updated in content and several have seen significant internal reorganization. Specifically, the first two chapters have been restructured to create a brief Prologue, which presents some basic introductory materialthe essentials of the celestial sphere and angular measure, and some elementary geometry and a new Chapter 1, which discusses the motions of the Sun, the Moon, and the planets in a single chapter, resulting in a more concise and effective presentation. The solar system section has been reduced from 6 chapters to 5 by merging the overview of our planetary system with the discussion of its formation. Instructors presenting this material in a 1quarter course, who wish to (or have time to) cover only the essentials of the solar system before proceeding on to the study of stars and the rest of the universe, may want to teach only Chapter 4, and then move directly to Chapter 9 (the Sun). Finally, our discussion of stellar evolution, which was spread over two chapters in the first edition, has been reworked into a more succinct singlechapter format.

We continue to place much of the needed physics in the early chapters an approach derived from years of eXperience teaching thousands of students. Additional physical principles are developed as needed later, both in the teXt narrative and in the boXed More Precisely features (described below). We feel strongly that this is the most economical and efficient means of presentation. However, we acknowledge that not all instructors feel the same way. Accordingly, we have made the treatment of physics, as well as the more quantitative discussions, as modular as possible, so that these topics can be deferred to later stages of an astronomy course if desired.

The Illustration Program

Visualization plays an important role in both the teaching and the practice of astronomy, and we continue to place strong emphasis on this aspect of our book. We have tried to combine aesthetic beauty with scientific accuracy in the artist's conceptions that adorn the teXt, and we have sought to present the best and latest imagery of a wide range of cosmic objects. Each illustration has been carefully crafted to enhance student learning; each is pedagogically sound and tightly tied to nearby discussion of important scientific facts and ideas.

Compound Art. It is rare that a single image, be it a photograph or an artist's conception, can capture all aspects of a compleX subject. Wherever possible, multiplepart figures are used in an attempt to convey the greatest amount of information in the most vivid way:

  • Visible images are often presented along with their counterparts captured at other wavelengths.
  • Interpretive line drawings are often superimposed on or juXtaposed with real astronomical photographs, helping students to really "see" what the photographs reveal.
  • Breakouts often multiple ones are used to zoom in from widefield shots to closeups, so that detailed images can be understood in their larger conteXt.

EXplanatory Captions. Students often review a chapter by "looking at the pictures." For this reason, the captions in this book are often a bit longer and m detailed than those in other teXts.

FullSpectrum Coverage and Spectrum Icons. Increasingly, astronomers are eXploiting the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum to gather information about the cosmos. Throughout this book, images taken at radio, infrared, ultraviolet, X ray, or gamma ray wavelengths are used to supplement visiblelight images. As it is sometimes difficult (even for a professional) to tell at a glance which images are visiblelight photographs and which are falsecolor images created with other wavelengths, each photo in the teXt is provided with an icon that identifies the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation used to capture the image.

HR Diagrams and Acetate Overlays. All of the book's HR diagrams have been redrawn in a uniform format, using real data. In addition, a unique set of transparent acetate overlays dramatically demonstrate to students how the HR diagram helps us to organize our information about the stars and track their evolutionary histories.

Pedagogy

As with many other parts of our teXt, adopting instructors have helped guide us toward what is most helpful for effective student learning. With their assistance, we have revised both our inchapter and endofchapter pedagogical apparatus to increase its utility to students.

Learning Goals. Studies indicate that beginning students often have trouble prioritizing teXtual material. For this reason, a few (typically 5 or 6) welldefined Learning Goals are provided at the start of each chapter. These help students to structure their reading of the chapter and then test their mastery of key facts and concepts. The Goals are numbered, and crossreferenced to key sections in the body of each chapter. This inteXt highlighting of the most important aspects of the chapter also helps students to review. The Goals have also been reorganized and rephrased to make them more objectively testable, affording students better means of gauging their own progress.

Key Terms. Like all subjects, astronomy has its own specialized vocabulary. To aid student learning, the most important astronomical terms are boldfaced at their first appearance in the teXt. Each boldfaced Key Term is also incorporated in the appropriate chapter summary, together with the page number where it was defined. In addition, a full alphabetical glossary, defining each Key Term and locating its first use in the teXt, appears at the end of the book.

Interludes. These eXplore a variety of interesting supplementary topics.

More Precisely boXes. New to the second edition these provide more quantitative treatments of subjects discussed qualitatively in the teXt. Removing these more challenging topics from the main flow of the narrative and placing them within a separate modular element of the chapter design (so that they can be covered in class, assigned as supplementary material, or simply left as optional reading for those students who find them of interest) will allow instructors greater fleXibility in setting the level of their coverage.

CrossLinks. In astronomy, as in many 1 scientific disciplines, almost every topic seems to have some bearing on almost every other. In particular, the connection between the specifically astronomical material and the physical principles set forth early in the teXt is crucial. It is important that students, when they encounter, say, Hobble's Law in Chapter 16, recall what they learned about spectral lines and the Doppler shift in Chapter 2. Similarly, the discussions of the masses of binary star components (Chapter 10) and of galactic rotation (Chapter 14) both depend on the discussion of Kepler's and Newton's laws in Chapter 1. To remind students of these links, so that the reader can recall the principles on which later discussions rest, and if necessary, review them, we have inserted "crosslinks" throughout the teXt symbols that mark key intellectual bridges between material in different chapters. The links, denoted by the infinity symbol, together with a section reference, signal to students that the topic under discussion is related in some significant way to ideas developed earlier, and direct them to material that they might need to review before proceeding.

Chapter Summaries. The Chapter Summaries, a primary review tool for the student, have been eXpanded and improved for the second edition. All Key Terms introduced in each chapter are listed again, in conteXt and in boldface, in these Summaries, along with page references to the teXt discussion.

Questions, Problems, and Projects. Many elements of the endofchapter material have seen substantial reorganization:

  • Each chapter now incorporates some 2030 SelfTest Questions, roughly equally divided between "true/false" and "fillintheblank" formats, designed to allow students to assess their understanding of the chapter material. Answers to all these questions appear at the end of the book.
  • Each chapter has about 15 Review and Discussion Questions, which may be used for inclass review or for assignment. As with the SelfTest Questions, the material needed to answer Review Questions may be found within the chapter. The Discussion Questions eXplore particular topics more deeply, often asking for opinions, not just facts. As with all discussions, these questions usually have no single "correct" answer.
  • Several Problems in each chapter entail some numerical calculation; their answers are not contained verbatim within the chapter, but the information necessary to solve them has been presented in the teXt.
  • Each chapter ends with a few Projects meant to get the student out of the classroom and looking at the sky, although some entail research in libraries or other eXtracurricular activities.

CDROM. Following the enthusiastic response to the Astronomy Today, 2E 1997 Media Edition, this second edition of the Beginner's Guide comes complete with a fully integrated CDROM. Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide 2/e includes a free CD in the back of the teXt which includes a fully hyperlinked electronic version of the teXt to help the reader quickly find related information and assist in review, integrated animations and videos to bring teXt figures to life, links to our companion website, which is organized by teXt chapter and updated monthly, and a separate eXecutable multimedia study guide program.

A special feature of the CD for this teXt is a series of "EXtensions"12 page sections that eXpand on discussions in the printed teXt. In this way, we present essential material in the printbased teXt, but still provide additional material for those students who want to delve deeper into some topics, without making the teXt itself too long, detailed, or overwhelming. We are eXcited about the innovative use of media to complement the teXt and look forward to your response to it.

The CDROM material can be used on Macintosh and PC computers using any standard browser (such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft EXplorer). For those students who do not already have a browser, Microsoft's Internet EXplorer is included on the CD. A UNIX script for using the CD or a UNIX system is available at ftp://ftp.prenhall.com/pub/esm/physics.s085/chaissonbg/

Content Updates in the Second Edition

This second edition of the Beginner's Guide has been updated throughout, both in the teXt itself and in the CDROM eXtensions, with new and latebreaking information, including

  • the latest developments in telescope technology, covering both groundbased adaptive optics and interferometry, and the present status of the Hobble Space Telescope and other orbiting instruments (Chapter 3)
  • coverage of the recent widely viewed Comets Hyakutake and HaleBopp (Chapter 4)
  • the continuing story of the search for, and the apparent discovery of, planets orbiting stars other than our Sun (Chapter 4)
  • the search for life on Mars, including the possibility that fossilized bacteria may have been detected in a meteorite believed to have originated on the Martian surface (Chapter 6)
  • the Mars Pathfinder mission and plans for future visits to the red planet (Chapter 6)
  • the Galileo mission to Jupiter, and its main findings so far (Chapters 7 and 8)
  • revision of all distance scales throughout the teXt in light of the recent findings by the Hipparcos satellite. The Hipparcos mission is described in EXtension 10.1
  • Hubble Space Telescope observations of the Eagle Nebula, the Orion Nebula, and other starforming regions (Chapter 11)
  • the ongoing mystery of the cosmic gammaray bursts, and the recent strong evidence that at least one lies at cosmological distances (Chapter 13)
  • the Hubble Deep Field, and its significance to studies of galaXy formation and cosmic evolution (Chapter 15)
  • observations of quasar host galaXies, and how they relate to current theories of active galaXy evolution (Chapter 16)
  • a review of how the Hipparcos data impact the longstanding debate on the age of the universe (Chapter 17)

Supplementary Material

This edition is accompanied by an outstanding set of instructional aids.

World Wide Web Site. For both teachers and students we have a companion website specifically for Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide 2/e at http//www.prenhall.com/chaisson/bg

This powerful resource organizes material from a variety of sources on the web on a chapterbychapter basis, is updated monthly, and provides interactive online eXercises for each chapter.

Each chapter of the website for Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide 2/e has the following three categories of materials:

  • Online Archives annotated images, videos, animations and free downloadable software
  • Online Destinations annotated links to relevant websites
  • Online EXercises interactive questions for students to answer online; scoring and feedback are provided immediately.

Comets. This is an annual update kit for Astronomy containing videos, slides, and New York Times articles. The VHS tape in the Fall 1997 Comets kit includes 27 custom animations prepared by the Wright Center for Science Visualization to accompany Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe 2/e and Astronomy Today, 2/e 1997 Media Edition as well as three videos from the Space Telescope Science Institute, siX from the jet Propulsion Laboratories, a simulation on GalaXy Formation by Edward Bertschinger and a simulation from Roeland Van Der Marel called "A Black Hole in GalaXy M32." The slides, videos and animations can be shown in class; the collection of New York Times articles, called Themes of the Times, is published twice yearly and available free in quantity for your students using either teXt. A newsletter in the Comets kit provides descriptions of everything on the VHS tape and the slides and crossreferences them, as well as the Times articles, with appropriate chapters of the Chaisson/McMillan teXts. (

Read More Show Less

Preface

PREFACE:

Preface

Astronomy continues to enjoy a golden age of eXploration and discovery. Fueled by new technologies and novel theoretical insights, the study of the cosmos has never been more eXciting. We are pleased to have the opportunity to present in this book a representative sample of the known facts, evolving ideas, and frontier discoveries in astronomy today.

Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe has been written for students who have taken no previous college science courses and who will likely not major in physics or astronomy. It is intended primarily for use in a onesemester, nontechnical astronomy course. We present a broad view of astronomy, straightforwardly descriptive and without compleX mathematics. The absence of sophisticated mathematics, however, in no way prevents discussion of important concepts. Rather, we rely on qualitative reasoning as well as analogies with objects and phenomena familiar to the student to eXplain the compleXities of the subject without oversimplification. We have tried to impart the enthusiasm that we feel about astronomy, and to awaken students to the marvelous universe around us.

We are very gratified that the first edition of this teXt has been received so well by many in the astronomy education community. In using that earlier teXt, many of youteachers and students alikehave sent us your helpful feedback and constructive criticisms. From these, we have learned to communicate better both the fundamentals and the eXcitement of astronomy. Many improvements inspired by your comments, as well as numerous innovations and popular new features from our companion hardbackteXtAstronomy Today, Media Edition, have been incorporated into this new edition.

Organization and Approach

As in the first edition, our organization follows the popular and effective "Earthout" progression. We have found that most students, especially those with little scientific background, are much more comfortable studying the (relatively familiar) solar system before tackling stars and galaXies. Thus, Earth is the first object we discuss in detail. With Earth and Moon as our initial planetary models, we move through the solar system. Integral to our coverage of the solar system is a discussion of its formation. This line of investigation leads directly into a study of our Sun. With the Sun as our model star, we broaden the scope of our discussion to include stars in general their properties, their evolutionary histories, and their varied fates. This journey naturally leads us to coverage of the Milky Way GalaXy, which in turn serves as an introduction to our treatment of other galaXies, both normal and active. Finally, we reach the subject of cosmology and the largescale structure and dynamics of the universe as a whole. Throughout, we strive to emphasize the dynamic nature of the cosmosvirtually every major topic, from planets to quasars, includes a discussion of how those objects formed and how (we think) they evolve.

The second edition of Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe contains two fewer chapters, and is almost 20 percent shorter (in terms of total teXt), than its predecessor. All chapters have been updated in content and several have seen significant internal reorganization. Specifically, the first two chapters have been restructured to create a brief Prologue, which presents some basic introductory materialthe essentials of the celestial sphere and angular measure, and some elementary geometry and a new Chapter 1, which discusses the motions of the Sun, the Moon, and the planets in a single chapter, resulting in a more concise and effective presentation. The solar system section has been reduced from 6 chapters to 5 by merging the overview of our planetary system with the discussion of its formation. Instructors presenting this material in a 1quarter course, who wish to (or have time to) cover only the essentials of the solar system before proceeding on to the study of stars and the rest of the universe, may want to teach only Chapter 4, and then move directly to Chapter 9 (the Sun). Finally, our discussion of stellar evolution, which was spread over two chapters in the first edition, has been reworked into a more succinct singlechapter format.

We continue to place much of the needed physics in the early chapters an approach derived from years of eXperience teaching thousands of students. Additional physical principles are developed as needed later, both in the teXt narrative and in the boXed More Precisely features (described below). We feel strongly that this is the most economical and efficient means of presentation. However, we acknowledge that not all instructors feel the same way. Accordingly, we have made the treatment of physics, as well as the more quantitative discussions, as modular as possible, so that these topics can be deferred to later stages of an astronomy course if desired.

The Illustration Program

Visualization plays an important role in both the teaching and the practice of astronomy, and we continue to place strong emphasis on this aspect of our book. We have tried to combine aesthetic beauty with scientific accuracy in the artist's conceptions that adorn the teXt, and we have sought to present the best and latest imagery of a wide range of cosmic objects. Each illustration has been carefully crafted to enhance student learning; each is pedagogically sound and tightly tied to nearby discussion of important scientific facts and ideas.

Compound Art. It is rare that a single image, be it a photograph or an artist's conception, can capture all aspects of a compleX subject. Wherever possible, multiplepart figures are used in an attempt to convey the greatest amount of information in the most vivid way:

  • Visible images are often presented along with their counterparts captured at other wavelengths.
  • Interpretive line drawings are often superimposed on or juXtaposed with real astronomical photographs, helping students to really "see" what the photographs reveal.
  • Breakouts often multiple ones are used to zoom in from widefield shots to closeups, so that detailed images can be understood in their larger conteXt.

EXplanatory Captions. Students often review a chapter by "looking at the pictures." For this reason, the captions in this book are often a bit longer and m detailed than those in other teXts.

FullSpectrum Coverage and Spectrum Icons. Increasingly, astronomers are eXploiting the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum to gather information about the cosmos. Throughout this book, images taken at radio, infrared, ultraviolet, X ray, or gamma ray wavelengths are used to supplement visiblelight images. As it is sometimes difficult (even for a professional) to tell at a glance which images are visiblelight photographs and which are falsecolor images created with other wavelengths, each photo in the teXt is provided with an icon that identifies the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation used to capture the image.

HR Diagrams and Acetate Overlays. All of the book's HR diagrams have been redrawn in a uniform format, using real data. In addition, a unique set of transparent acetate overlays dramatically demonstrate to students how the HR diagram helps us to organize our information about the stars and track their evolutionary histories.

Pedagogy

As with many other parts of our teXt, adopting instructors have helped guide us toward what is most helpful for effective student learning. With their assistance, we have revised both our inchapter and endofchapter pedagogical apparatus to increase its utility to students.

Learning Goals. Studies indicate that beginning students often have trouble prioritizing teXtual material. For this reason, a few (typically 5 or 6) welldefined Learning Goals are provided at the start of each chapter. These help students to structure their reading of the chapter and then test their mastery of key facts and concepts. The Goals are numbered, and crossreferenced to key sections in the body of each chapter. This inteXt highlighting of the most important aspects of the chapter also helps students to review. The Goals have also been reorganized and rephrased to make them more objectively testable, affording students better means of gauging their own progress.

Key Terms. Like all subjects, astronomy has its own specialized vocabulary. To aid student learning, the most important astronomical terms are boldfaced at their first appearance in the teXt. Each boldfaced Key Term is also incorporated in the appropriate chapter summary, together with the page number where it was defined. In addition, a full alphabetical glossary, defining each Key Term and locating its first use in the teXt, appears at the end of the book.

Interludes. These eXplore a variety of interesting supplementary topics.

More Precisely boXes. New to the second edition these provide more quantitative treatments of subjects discussed qualitatively in the teXt. Removing these more challenging topics from the main flow of the narrative and placing them within a separate modular element of the chapter design (so that they can be covered in class, assigned as supplementary material, or simply left as optional reading for those students who find them of interest) will allow instructors greater fleXibility in setting the level of their coverage.

CrossLinks. In astronomy, as in many 1 scientific disciplines, almost every topic seems to have some bearing on almost every other. In particular, the connection between the specifically astronomical material and the physical principles set forth early in the teXt is crucial. It is important that students, when they encounter, say, Hobble's Law in Chapter 16, recall what they learned about spectral lines and the Doppler shift in Chapter 2. Similarly, the discussions of the masses of binary star components (Chapter 10) and of galactic rotation (Chapter 14) both depend on the discussion of Kepler's and Newton's laws in Chapter 1. To remind students of these links, so that the reader can recall the principles on which later discussions rest, and if necessary, review them, we have inserted "crosslinks" throughout the teXt symbols that mark key intellectual bridges between material in different chapters. The links, denoted by the infinity symbol, together with a section reference, signal to students that the topic under discussion is related in some significant way to ideas developed earlier, and direct them to material that they might need to review before proceeding.

Chapter Summaries. The Chapter Summaries, a primary review tool for the student, have been eXpanded and improved for the second edition. All Key Terms introduced in each chapter are listed again, in conteXt and in boldface, in these Summaries, along with page references to the teXt discussion.

Questions, Problems, and Projects. Many elements of the endofchapter material have seen substantial reorganization:

  • Each chapter now incorporates some 2030 SelfTest Questions, roughly equally divided between "true/false" and "fillintheblank" formats, designed to allow students to assess their understanding of the chapter material. Answers to all these questions appear at the end of the book.
  • Each chapter has about 15 Review and Discussion Questions, which may be used for inclass review or for assignment. As with the SelfTest Questions, the material needed to answer Review Questions may be found within the chapter. The Discussion Questions eXplore particular topics more deeply, often asking for opinions, not just facts. As with all discussions, these questions usually have no single "correct" answer.
  • Several Problems in each chapter entail some numerical calculation; their answers are not contained verbatim within the chapter, but the information necessary to solve them has been presented in the teXt.
  • Each chapter ends with a few Projects meant to get the student out of the classroom and looking at the sky, although some entail research in libraries or other eXtracurricular activities.

CDROM. Following the enthusiastic response to the Astronomy Today, 2E 1997 Media Edition, this second edition of the Beginner's Guide comes complete with a fully integrated CDROM. Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide 2/e includes a free CD in the back of the teXt which includes a fully hyperlinked electronic version of the teXt to help the reader quickly find related information and assist in review, integrated animations and videos to bring teXt figures to life, links to our companion website, which is organized by teXt chapter and updated monthly, and a separate eXecutable multimedia study guide program.

A special feature of the CD for this teXt is a series of "EXtensions"12 page sections that eXpand on discussions in the printed teXt. In this way, we present essential material in the printbased teXt, but still provide additional material for those students who want to delve deeper into some topics, without making the teXt itself too long, detailed, or overwhelming. We are eXcited about the innovative use of media to complement the teXt and look forward to your response to it.

The CDROM material can be used on Macintosh and PC computers using any standard browser (such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft EXplorer). For those students who do not already have a browser, Microsoft's Internet EXplorer is included on the CD. A UNIX script for using the CD or a UNIX system is available at ftp://ftp.prenhall.com/pub/esm/physics.s085/chaissonbg/

Content Updates in the Second Edition

This second edition of the Beginner's Guide has been updated throughout, both in the teXt itself and in the CDROM eXtensions, with new and latebreaking information, including

  • the latest developments in telescope technology, covering both groundbased adaptive optics and interferometry, and the present status of the Hobble Space Telescope and other orbiting instruments (Chapter 3)
  • coverage of the recent widely viewed Comets Hyakutake and HaleBopp (Chapter 4)
  • the continuing story of the search for, and the apparent discovery of, planets orbiting stars other than our Sun (Chapter 4)
  • the search for life on Mars, including the possibility that fossilized bacteria may have been detected in a meteorite believed to have originated on the Martian surface (Chapter 6)
  • the Mars Pathfinder mission and plans for future visits to the red planet (Chapter 6)
  • the Galileo mission to Jupiter, and its main findings so far (Chapters 7 and 8)
  • revision of all distance scales throughout the teXt in light of the recent findings by the Hipparcos satellite. The Hipparcos mission is described in EXtension 10.1
  • Hubble Space Telescope observations of the Eagle Nebula, the Orion Nebula, and other starforming regions (Chapter 11)
  • the ongoing mystery of the cosmic gammaray bursts, and the recent strong evidence that at least one lies at cosmological distances (Chapter 13)
  • the Hubble Deep Field, and its significance to studies of galaXy formation and cosmic evolution (Chapter 15)
  • observations of quasar host galaXies, and how they relate to current theories of active galaXy evolution (Chapter 16)
  • a review of how the Hipparcos data impact the longstanding debate on the age of the universe (Chapter 17)

Supplementary Material

This edition is accompanied by an outstanding set of instructional aids.

World Wide Web Site. For both teachers and students we have a companion website specifically for Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide 2/e at http//www.prenhall.com/chaisson/bg

This powerful resource organizes material from a variety of sources on the web on a chapterbychapter basis, is updated monthly, and provides interactive online eXercises for each chapter.

Each chapter of the website for Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide 2/e has the following three categories of materials:

  • Online Archives annotated images, videos, animations and free downloadable software
  • Online Destinations annotated links to relevant websites
  • Online EXercises interactive questions for students to answer online; scoring and feedback are provided immediately.

Comets. This is an annual update kit for Astronomy containing videos, slides, and New York Times articles. The VHS tape in the Fall 1997 Comets kit includes 27 custom animations prepared by the Wright Center for Science Visualization to accompany Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe 2/e and Astronomy Today, 2/e 1997 Media Edition as well as three videos from the Space Telescope Science Institute, siX from the jet Propulsion Laboratories, a simulation on GalaXy Formation by Edward Bertschinger and a simulation from Roeland Van Der Marel called "A Black Hole in GalaXy M32." The slides, videos and animations can be shown in class; the collection of New York Times articles, called Themes of the Times, is published twice yearly and available free in quantity for your students using either teXt. A newsletter in the Comets kit provides descriptions of everything on the VHS tape and the slides and crossreferences them, as well as the Times articles, with appropriate chapters of the Chaisson/McMillan teXts. (

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