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The Cosmic Perspective / Edition 6

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Overview

In this accessible, student-friendly text, astronomy is treated as a fundamental human endeavor rather than an enterprise reserved for professionals. The authors engage readers' curiosity through cutting-edge material that focuses on the themes of human achievement, physics in the universe, continuity of matter, the dynamic systems that sustain life, and astronomy and physics as foundations for our world view. Text discussions are complemented by a distinctive art program, with figures not seen before in astronomy texts. A rich website includes resources and coverage of current events.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A textbook for a one-term introductory course in astronomy for students who are not planning to major in mathematics or science, and also useful for anyone who is curious about the universe but not enough to wade through highly technical accounts. Based on their teaching both to college students and to the general public, scholars (U. of Colorado-Boulder and the Space Telescope Science Institute) decided it was time to rethink how to organize and teach the major concepts in astronomy in light of new discoveries. Color is used throughout, both for stunning photographs and for graphs and drawings. There is no bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321661647
  • Publisher: Benjamin-Cummings Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 3/28/2010
  • Edition number: 6
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Bennett
Jeffrey Bennett holds a B.A. (1981) in biophysics from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.S. and Ph.D. (1987) in astrophysics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has taught at every level from preschool through graduate school, including more than 50 college classes in astronomy, physics, mathematics, and education. He served 2 years as a visiting senior scientist at NASA headquarters, where he created NASA’s “IDEAS” program, started a program to fly teachers aboard NASA’s airborne observatories (including SOFIA), and worked on numerous educational programs for the Hubble Space Telescope and other space science missions. He also proposed the idea for and helped develop both the Colorado Scale Model Solar System on the CU-Boulder campus and the Voyage Scale Model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In addition to this astronomy textbook, he is also lead author of college-level textbooks in astrobiology, mathematics, and statistics (all from Pearson); of critically acclaimed two books for the general public including , On the Cosmic Horizon (Pearson Addison-Wesley, 2001) and Beyond UFOs (Princeton University Press, 2008/2011) and Math for Life (Roberts & Co, 2012); and an of the award-winning series of children’s books that includes Max Goes to the Moon, Max Goes to Mars, Max Goes to Jupiter, and Max’s Ice Age AdventureThe Wizard Who Saved the World. When not working, he enjoys participating in masters swimming and in the daily adventures of life with his wife, Lisa; his children, Grant and Brooke; and his dog, Cosmo. His personal Web site is www.jeffreybennett.com.

Megan Donahue
Megan Donahue is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University. Her current research is mainly about using X-ray, UV, infrared, and visible light to study clusters of galaxies: their contents–dark matter, hot gas, galaxies, active galactic nuclei–and what they reveal about the contents of the universe and how galaxies form and evolve. She grew up on a farm in Nebraska and received an S.B.. in physics from MIT, where she began her research career as an X-ray astronomer. She has a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Colorado. Her Ph.D. thesis on theory and optical observations of intergalactic and intracluster gas won the 1993 Trumpler Award from the Astronomical Society for the Pacific for an outstanding astrophysics doctoral dissertation in North America. She continued postdoctoral research as a Carnegie Fellow at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, and later as an STScI Institute Fellow at Space Telescope. Megan was a staff astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute until 2003, when she joined the MSU faculty. Megan is married to Mark Voit, and they collaborate on many projects, including this textbook and the raising of their children, Michaela, Sebastian, and Angela. Between the births of Sebastian and Angela, Megan qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon. These days, Megan runs trails, orienteers, and plays piano and bass guitar whenever her children allow it.

Nicholas Schneider
Nicholas Schneider is an associate professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado and a researcher in the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. He received his B.A. in physics and astronomy from Dartmouth College in 1979 and his Ph.D. in planetary science from the University of Arizona in 1988. In 1991, he received the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award. His research interests include planetary atmospheres and planetary astronomy, with a focus on the odd case of Jupiter’s moon Io. He enjoys teaching at all levels and is active in efforts to improve undergraduate astronomy education. Off the job, he enjoys exploring the outdoors with his family and figuring out how things work.

Mark Voit
Mark Voit is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University. He earned his A.B. in astrophysical sciences at Princeton University and his Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of Colorado in 1990. He continued his studies at the California Institute of Technology, where he was a research fellow in theoretical astrophysics, and then moved on to Johns Hopkins University as a Hubble Fellow. Before going to Michigan State, Mark worked in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope, where he developed museum exhibitions about the Hubble Space Telescope and helped design NASA’s award-winning HubbleSite. His research interests range from interstellar processes in our own galaxy to the clustering of galaxies in the early universe. He is married to coauthor Megan Donahue, and cooks terrific meals for her and their three children. Mark likes getting outdoors whenever possible and particularly enjoys running, mountain biking, canoeing, orienteering, and adventure racing. He is also author of the popular book Hubble Space Telescope: New Views of the Universe.

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Table of Contents

I. DEVELOPING PERSPECTIVE.

1. Our Place in the Universe.
2. Discovering the Universe for Yourself.
3. The Science of Astronomy.
S1. Celestial Timekeeping and Navigation.

II. KEY CONCEPTS FOR ASTRONOMY.

4. A Universe of Matter and Energy.
5. Universal Motion.
6. Light: The Cosmic Messenger.
7. Telescopes: Portals of Discovery.

III. LEARNING FROM OTHER WORLDS.

8. Our Solar System: An Introduction and Overview.
9. Formation of the Solar System.
10. Planetary Geology: Earth and the Other Terrestrial Worlds.
11. Planetary Atmospheres: Earth and the Other Terrestrial Worlds.
12. Jovian Planet Systems.
13. Remnants of Rock and Ice: Asteroids, Comets, and Pluto.
14. Planet Earth and Its Lessons on Life in the Universe.

IV. A DEEPER LOOK AT NATURE.

S2. Space and Time.
S3. Spacetime and Gravity.
S4. Building Blocks of the Universe.

V.STELLAR ALCHEMY.

15. Our Star.
16. Stars.
17. Star Stuff.
18. The Bizarre Stellar Graveyard.

VI. GALAXIES AND BEYOND.

19. Our Galaxy.
20. Galaxies: From Here to the Horizon.
21. Galaxy Evolution.
22. Dark Matter and the Fate of the Universe.
23. The Beginning of Time.
24. Life in the Universe.
Appendix A: A Few Mathematical Skills.
Appendix B: The Periodic Table of the Elements.
Appendix C: Planetary Data.
Appendix D: Stellar Data.
Appendix E:Constants.
Appendix F: Key Equations.
Star Charts.

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