Astronomy: A Self-Teaching Guide

Astronomy: A Self-Teaching Guide

by Dinah L. Moche

Paperback(Eighth Edition)

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Astronomy: A Self-Teaching Guide by Dinah L. Moche

For a generation, Astronomy: A Self-Teaching Guide has introduced hundreds of thousands of readers worldwide to the night sky. Now this classic beginner's guide has been completely revised to bring it up to date with the latest discoveries. Updated with the latest, most accurate information, new online resources, and more than 100 new graphics and photos, this Eighth Edition features:


   ·Website addresses throughout for the best color images and astronomy resources online

   ·Technical ideas made simple without mathematics

   ·A beautiful updated full-color, glossy insert with spectacular images

   ·An interactive format with learning goals, reviews, self-tests, and answers for fast learning

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620459904
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 07/22/2014
Series: Wiley Self-Teaching Guides Series , #190
Edition description: Eighth Edition
Pages: 388
Sales rank: 298,119
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dinah L. Moché, Ph.D., is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the City University of New York. An award-winning author and lecturer, her books have sold over ten million copies in seven languages.

Read an Excerpt


Locate sky objects by their right ascension and declination on the celestial sphere.

Identify some bright stars and constellations visible each season.

Explain why the stars appear to move along arcs in the sky during the night.

Explain why some different constellations appear in the sky each season.

Explain the apparent daily and annual motions of the Sun.

Define the zodiac.

Describe how the starry sky looks when viewed from different latitudes on Earth.

Define a sidereal day and a solar day, and explain why they differ.

Explain how astronomers classify objects according to their apparent brightness (magnitude).

Explain why the polestar and the location of the vernal equinox change over a period of thousands of years.


On a clear, dark night the sky looks like a gigantic dome studded with stars. We can easily see why the ancients believed that the starry sky was a huge sphere turning around Earth. Today we know that stars are remote, blazing Suns racing through space at different distances from Earth. The Earth rotates, or turns, daily around its axis (the imaginary line running through its center between the North and South Poles).

But the picture of the sky as a huge, hollow globe of stars that turns around Earth is still useful. Astronomers call this fictitious picture of the sky the celestial sphere. “Celestial” comes from the Latin word for heaven. Astronomers use the celestial sphere to locate stars and galaxies and to plot the courses of the Sun, Moon, and planets throughout the year. When you look at the stars, imagine yourself inside the celestial sphere looking out (Figure 1.1).

Why do the stars on the celestial sphere appear to move during the night when you observe them from Earth? ________________________________________


Answer: Because the Earth is rotating on its axis inside the celestial sphere.

Table of Contents

List of Tables

Introduction Cosmic View 
Chapter 1 Understanding the Starry Sky 
Chapter 2 Light and Telescopes 
Chapter 3 The Stars 
Chapter 4 The Sun 
Chapter 5 Stellar Evolution 
Chapter 6 Galaxies 
Chapter 7 The Universe 
Chapter 8 Exploring the Solar System 
Chapter 9 The Planets 
Chapter 10 The Moon 
Chapter 11 Comets, Meteors, and Meteorites 
Chapter 12 Life on Other Worlds? 
Useful Resources and Web Sites

Periodicals: Print and Online


Books by Dinah L. Moché

Career Information

Almanacs, Observing Guides, and Star Atlases


Stunning Color Images and News Online


1. The Constellations 2. Physical and Astronomical Constants 3. Measurements and Symbols 4. Periodic Table of the Elements 5. The Nearest Stars 6. The Messier Objects

Star and Moon Maps

Spring Skies
Summer Skies
Autumn Skies
Winter Skies
Moon Map

Customer Reviews

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Astronomy 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy this book. I've learned a lot from it, and it's taught me a lot I didn't already know. I'm a beginner and I found this information to be very useful.
zwick More than 1 year ago
This book is an introduction to astronomy at about the junior high level. If that's what you're looking for, then it will work fine, but if you want something more advanced and substantial you should look elsewhere. B&N requires a star rating, so I gave it 4. It's not a bad book for what it does, but it doesn't teach what I was hoping it would.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Informing for beginners.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never read it,sounds cool