Essential Cosmic Perspective / Edition 4

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Overview

Built from the ground up on our new understanding of the universe, this reader-friendly book focuses on central ideas and unifying themes to provide a concise cosmic context. Scientific concepts are linked to everyday experience to help readers develop an appreciation for the scientific method and to see how physics and astronomy are foundations for understanding their world. Recent discoveries spark readers' curiosity in the universe as a whole. Updates include discoveries such as the accelerating universe/cosmological constant, the detection of more planets around other stars, the potential of water flow on Mars, and the latest theories on the very early universe. For college instructors and students, or anyone interested in astronomy and physics.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321507013
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 530
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 1.00 (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 the recently launched SOFIA observatory), 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. (He is pictured here with the model Sun.) In addition to this astronomy textbook, he has written college-level textbooks in astrobiology, mathematics, and statistics; two books for the general public, On the Cosmic Horizon (Pearson Addison-Wesley, 2001) and Beyond UFOs (Princeton University Press, 2008); and an 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 Adventure. 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 on 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 a B.A. 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, for a thesis on theory and optical observations of intergalactic and intracluster gas. That thesis 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 in optical and X-ray observations 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, 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 B.A. 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 was the scientist behind NASA’s Hubble Site. 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 they try to play outdoors with their three children whenever possible, enjoying hiking, camping, running, and orienteering. Mark 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.

II. KEY CONCEPTS FOR ASTRONOMY.

3. The Science of Astronomy.
4. A Universe of Matter and Energy.
5. Universal Motion.
6. Telescopes and Spacecraft.

III. LEARNING FROM OTHER WORLDS.

7. Formation of the Solar System.
8. The Terrestrial Worlds.
9. Jovian Planet Systems.
10. Remnants of Rock and Ice: Asteroids, Comets, and Pluto.
11. Planet Earth and Its Lessons on Life in the Universe.

IV. STELLAR ALCHEMY.

12. Our Star.
13. Stars.
14. Star Stuff.
15. The Bizarre Stellar Graveyard.

V. GALAXIES AND BEYOND.

16. Our Galaxy.
17. A Universe of Galaxies.
18. Dark Matter and the Fate of the Universe.
19. The Beginning of Time.
20. Interstellar Travel and the Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations.
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.
Glossary.
Acknowledgments.
Index.
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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    Perfect for Beginner Astronomy!

    This is an all-around great book for anyone, even those who just want to learn more about our intriguing solar system, galaxy, and universe! I bought this book with the original intention of just using it for a class and getting rid of it but it is so interesting with very relevant, well organized information in an easy to read format. I have a learning disability and the explanations in this book simplify everything to make it so easy to understand and remember! I rely solely on this book as my means of learning in the class (online based class) and I am getting an A in the class! Best of all, it includes two CD's full of information and study guides to ready you for tests and exams.
    The way the chapters and subjects are organized, it teaches you topic by topic what you need to know to understand how the universe works as we know it and is very honest when it comes to things that have not been discovered or things that may not be totally accurate because of insufficient evidence. They also talk about current theories that are being tested and hypotheses that are being tested. If you want to get into astronomy or just want to learn more, this book is definitely for you!

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