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With this newly revised Eigth Edition of THE SOLAR SYSTEM, the authors' goals are to help you use astronomy to understand science--and use science to understand what we are. Fascinating, engaging, and visually vibrant, this text will help you answer two fundamental questions: What are we? And how do we know?
Introducing astronomy as a science that facilitates understanding of the meaning of our own existence as well as that of the physical universe, 27 chapters explore the sky per Newton and Einstein; and provide perspectives on the origin of the universe, the solar system, and extraterrestrial life. Seeds is an astronomy professor at Franklin and Marshall College, where he directs its Joseph R. Grundy Observatory. Includes attractive color graphics, discussion and review questions (some aimed at utilizing the Web), information on astronomical units, observing the sky with sky charts, a ten-page glossary, and answers to selected problems. The Sky software CD- ROM accesses "a personal planetarium." No date is given for the first edition. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
Seeds, a veteran of the astronomy textbook genre (as well as John W. Wetzel Professor of Astronomy at Franklin and Marshall College and director of the college's observatory) offers an introductory text for nonscience majors which features many colorful diagrams, sidebars, and two-page art spreads tackling subjects like the structure of Saturn's rings. The first set of chapters covers the scale of the universe; the motion of the Earth, Moon, and planets; the history of astronomy; light and telescopes; and starlight and atoms. The CD-ROM contains the student edition of The Sky, a planetarium program. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Michael A. Seeds has been Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Franklin and Marshall (F&M) College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, since 1970. In 1989, he received F&M College's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Seeds' love for the history of astronomy led him to create upper-level courses on Archaeoastronomy and Changing Concepts of the Universe. His research interests focus on variable stars and the automation of astronomical telescopes. Mike is coauthor with Dana Backman and Michele Montgomery of HORIZONS HYBRID: EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE, Thirteenth Edition, and UNIVERSE HYBRID: SOLAR SYSTEM, STARS AND GALAXIES, Eighth Edition, both published by Cengage Learning. He was Senior Consultant in the creation of the twenty-six-episode telecourse accompanying the book HORIZONS: EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE, Twelfth Edition.
Dana Backman works for the SETI Institute of Mountain View, California, as director of outreach for the SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) mission at NASA's Ames Research Center. He also teaches introductory astronomy, astrobiology, and cosmology courses in Stanford University's Continuing Studies Program. From 1991 to 2003, he taught in the physics and astronomy department at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he invented and taught a Life in the Universe course in the interdisciplinary Foundations program. Dr. Backman's research interests focus on infrared observations of planet formation, models of debris disks around nearby stars, and evolution of the solar system's Kuiper Belt. With Mike Seeds, he also coauthored HORIZONS: EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE, Twelfth Edition (2012); UNIVERSE: SOLAR SYSTEMS, STARS, AND GALAXIES, Seventh Edition (2012); and FOUNDATIONS OF ASTRONOMY (2013), all published by Cengage Learning. Dr. Backman earned his bachelor's degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his doctorate from the University of Hawai'i.
PART I: EXPLORING THE SKY. 1. Here and Now. Where Are You? When Is Now? Why Study Astronomy? 2. A User's Guide to the Sky. The Stars. The Sky and Celestial Motion. The Cycles of the Sun. Astronomical Influences on Earth's Climate. 3. Cycles of the Moon. The Changeable Moon. Lunar Eclipses. Solar Eclipses. Predicting Eclipses. 4. The Origin of Modern Astronomy. The Roots of Astronomy. The Copernican Revolution. Planetary Motion. Galileo Galilei. Modern Astronomy. 5. Gravity. Galileo and Newton. Orbital Motion and Tides. Einstein and Relativity. 6. Light and Telescopes. Radiation: Information from Space. Telescopes. Observations on Earth: Optical and Radio. Airborne and Space Observatories. Astronomical Instruments and Techniques. Nonelectromagnetic Astronomy. PART II: THE STARS. 7. Atoms and Spectra. Atoms. Interactions of Light and Matter. Understanding Spectra. 8. The Sun. The Solar Atmosphere. Solar Activity. Nuclear Fusion in the Sun. Perspective: Origins. PART IV: THE SOLAR SYSTEM. 19. The Origin of the Solar System. The Great Chain of Origins. A Survey of the Solar System. The Story of Planet Building. Planets Orbiting Other Stars. 20. Earth: The Standard of Comparative Planetology. A Travel Guide to the Terrestrial Planets. Earth as a Planet. The Solid Earth. Earth's Atmosphere. 21. The Moon and Mercury: Comparing Airless Worlds. The Moon. Mercury. 22. Comparative Planetology of Venus and Mars. Venus. Mars. The Moons of Mars. 23. Jupiter and Saturn. A Travel Guide to the Outer Solar System. Jupiter. Jupiter's Moons and Rings. Saturn. Saturn's Moons and Rings. 24. Uranus, Neptune, and the Kuiper Belt. Uranus. Neptune. The Kuiper Belt. 25. Meteorites, Asteroids, and Comets. Meteoroids, Meteors, and Meteorites. Asteroids. Comets. Asteroid and Comet Impacts. PART V: LIFE. 26. Astrobiology: Life on Other Worlds. The Nature of Life. Life in the Universe. Intelligent Life in the Universe. Afterword. Appendix A: Units and Astronomical Data. Introduction. Fundamental and Derived SI Units. Appendix B. Observing the Sky.