KEY MESSAGE: The Essential Cosmic Perspective, Fourth Edition has been thoroughly revised to include more quantitative coverage, an enhanced illustration and photo program, and an unparalleled new media package. Built from the ground up on our new understanding of the universe, the Fourth Edition retains all of the features that have made this text so popular, while adding new features and supplements that enhance the book’s pedagogy to make it the strongest text in the one-semester astronomy market. The Fourth Edition features optional quantitative reasoning boxes, basic equations throughout the text, new end-of-chapter problems, and a consolidated math appendix to emphasize quantitative understanding. Key figures have been annotated to guide reader interpretation of difficult concepts. New two-page illustrations throughout the text, and at the end of every part, visually tie together key concepts from across chapters to drive home main ideas in a meaningful way. Developing Perspective: Our Place in the Universe, Discovering the Universe for Yourself, The science of Astronomy. Key Concepts for Astronomy: Making Sense of the Universe: Understanding Motion, Energy, and Gravity, Light: The Cosmic Messenger Our Solar System and Its Origin, Earth and the Terrestrial Worlds, Jovian Planet Systems, Remnants of Rock and Ice: Asteroids, Comets, and the Kuiper Belt. Stars: Our Star, Surveying the Stars, Star Stuff, The Bizarre Stellar Graveyard. Galaxies and Beyond: Our Galaxy, A Universe ofGalaxies, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Fate of the Universe, The Beginning of Time. Life on Earth and Beyond: Life in the Universe. AUDIENCE: For all readers interested in astronomy and a new understanding of the universe.