Astronomy For Dummies

Astronomy For Dummies

by Stephen P. Maran


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Astronomy For Dummies by Stephen P. Maran

Your updated guide to exploring the night sky

Do you know the difference between a red giant and a white dwarf? From asteroids to black holes, this easy-to-understand guide takes you on a grand tour of the universe. Featuring updated star maps, charts, and an insert with gorgeous full-color photographs, Astronomy For Dummies provides an easy-to-follow introduction to exploring the night sky. Plus, this new edition also comes with chapter quizzes online to help your understanding.

For as long as people have been walking the earth, those people have looked up into the night sky and wondered about the nature of the cosmos. Without the benefit of science to provide answers, they relied on myth and superstition to help them make sense of what they saw. Lucky for us, we live at a time when regular folks, equipped with nothing more than their naked eyes, can look up into the night sky and gain admittance to infinite wonders. If you know what to look for, you can make out planets, stars, galaxies, and even galactic clusters comprising hundreds of millions of stars and spanning millions of light-years.

Whether you're an amateur astronomer, space enthusiast, or enrolled in a first year astronomy course, Astronomy For Dummies gives you a reason to look into the heavens.

  • Includes updated schedules of coming eclipses of the Sun and Moon and a revised planetary appendix
  • Covers recent discoveries in space, such as water on the Moon and Pluto's demotion from "planet" status
  • Collects new websites, lists of telescope motels, sky-watching guides, and suggestions for beginner's telescopes and suppliers
  • Provides free online access to chapter quizzes to help you understand the content

Ever wonder what's out there in the big ol' universe? This is the book for you!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119374244
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 191,585
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Stephen P. Maran, PhD, is the retired assistant director of space sciences for information and outreach at the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center. An investigator of stars, nebulae, and comets, he worked on the Hubble Space Telescope, Space Shuttle missions, Skylab, and other NASA projects.

Table of Contents


PART I: Stalking the Cosmos.

Chapter 1: Seeing the Light: The Art and Science of Astronomy.

Chapter 2: Skywatching: Join the Crowd.

Chapter 3: The Way You Watch Tonight: Observing the Skies.

Chapter 4: Checking Out Visitors: Meteors, Comets, and Man-Made Moons.

PART II: Once Around the Solar System.

Chapter 5: Earth and Its Moon.

Chapter 6: Earth's Near Neighbors: Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

Chapter 7: The Asteroid Belt and Near Earth Objects.

Chapter 8: Jupiter and Saturn: Great Balls of Gas.

Chapter 9: Far Out! Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

PART III: Old Sol and Other Stars.

Chapter 10: The Sun: Star of the Earth.

Chapter 11: The Stars: Nuclear Reactors.

Chapter 12: Galaxies: The Milky Way and Beyond.

Chapter 13: Black Holes and Quasars.

PART IV: The Remarkable Universe.

Chapter 14: SETI and Planets of Other Suns.

Chapter 15: Dark Matter and Antimatter.

Chapter 16: The Big Bang and the Evolution of the Universe.

PART V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 17: Ten Strange Facts about Astronomy and Space.

Chapter 18: Ten Common Errors about Astronomy and Space.

PART VI: Appendixes.

Appendix A: Finding the Planets: 2000 to 2004.

Appendix B: Star Maps.

Appendix C: Glossary.


Book Registration Information.

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Astronomy for Dummies 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've become quite fond of the 'for Dummies' series and this book was a great addition to my collection (one of the few I have read cover to cover). It has great coverage of the planets, their moons and the objects further out. There are many sidebars to explain the more technical aspects of objects we see in the night sky. It is a very current and up-to-date book and my overall impression was very good. I would expect a dry text from an author with a Ph.D. but this was very light and with plenty of humor included. It suggests software and hardware, plenty of references to Web sites, even covering SETI. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the heavens above.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great starter book for amature astronomers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my daughter as a help to an Astronomy class she is taking. The book helped her get on track. She was previously getting 50's and now she is getting A's and B's. Sometimes putting things in "laymen'" terms is all that is needed.
Sharon60 More than 1 year ago
It wasn't helpful as I thought it would be, I was looking for a book that would tell about the stars and also the layout of the stars. I wanted to learn about the stars history also. Not the book I thought it would be like I said in the beginning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is just what I was looking for in an astronomy learning book. It is clear and informative. I will be referring to it over and over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Expensive is what comes to mind. Not worth it nothing to get you started in your journey into astronomy no star charts no planet locations.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
as an astronomey lover myself this book has been an eyeopening adventure through space i will read it over and over again