Adapted from the newly revised FOUNDATIONS OF ASTRONOMY, Sixth Edition, THE SOLAR SYSTEM, Second Edition contains the introductory and historical astronomy chapters as well as the planets chapters and the last chapter, "Life on Other Worlds".
This newly revised and updated Second Edition shows students their place in the universe — not just their location, but also their role as planet dwellers in an evolving universe. Fascinating and engaging, the book illustrates how science works, and how scientists depend on evidence to test hypotheses.
Through a discussion of this interplay between evidence and hypothesis, the book provides not just a series of facts, but also a conceptual framework for understanding the logic of astronomical knowledge. Fascinating and vivid, the book conveys the author's love of the subject, shows students how the universe can be described by a small set of physical laws, and illustrates how they can comprehend their place in the universe by understanding these laws and not through memorization of facts. The book's use of mathematics is incorporated into the body of the text (as well as in separate sections for easy reference), but the arguments of the text do not depend on mathematical reasoning, allowing math-averse students to easily follow the story.
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.
1. The Scale of the Cosmos. 2. The Sky. 3. The Cycles of the Moon. 4. The Origin of Modern Astronomy. 5. Newton, Einstein, And Gravity. 6. Light and Telescopes. 7. Starlight and Atoms. 8. The Sun—Our Star. Perspective: Origins. 20. The Origin of the Solar System. 21. Planet Earth. 22. The Moon and Mercury: Airless Worlds. 23. Venus and Mars. 24. Jupiter and Saturn. 25. Uranus, Neptune, And Pluto. 26. Meteorites, Asteroids, And Comets. 27. Life on Other Worlds.