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Astronomy Today / Edition 8

Astronomy Today / Edition 8

by Eric Chaisson, Steve McMillan
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With Astronomy Today, Eighth Edition, trusted authors Eric Chaisson and Steve McMillan communicate their excitement about astronomy, delivering current and thorough science with insightful pedagogy. The text emphasizes critical thinking and visualization, and it focuses on the process of scientific discovery, teaching students “how we know what we know.” The Eighth Edition has been thoroughly updated with the latest astronomical discoveries and theories and improved pedagogical features.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780321901675
Publisher: Pearson
Publication date: 09/23/2013
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 832
Product dimensions: 8.80(w) x 10.80(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Eric Chaisson holds a Doctorate in Astrophysics from Harvard University, where he spent 10 years on the faculty of Arts and Sciences. For more than two decades thereafter, he served on the senior science staff at the Space Telescope Science Institute and held various professorships at Johns Hopkins and Tufts universities. He is now back at Harvard, where he teaches and conducts research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Eric has written 12 books on astronomy and has published nearly 200 scientific papers in professional journals.

Steve McMillan holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Cambridge University and a Doctorate in Astronomy from Harvard University. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University, where he continued his research in theoretical astrophysics, star clusters, and high-performance computing. Steve is currently Distinguished Professor of Physics at Drexel University and a frequent visiting researcher at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study and Leiden University. He has published more than 100 articles and scientific papers in professional journals.

Emily L. Rice, College of Staten Island, City University of New York

Emily holds bachelor’s degrees in physics and astronomy and German from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree and doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics from UCLA. After completing her Ph.D. she held a postdoctoral position at the American Museum of Natural History, where she is still a resident research associate. Emily is currently Assistant Professor at the College of Staten Island and doctoral faculty in physics at the Graduate Center, both part of the City University of New York. In addition to her research on low-mass stars, brown dwarfs, and exoplanets as co-PI of the Brown Dwarfs in New York City (BDNYC) group, she is the co-author of Astronomy Labs: A Concept Oriented Approach and co-founder of the astronomy fashion blog STARtorialist.

Table of Contents


1. Charting the Heavens: The Foundations of Astronomy

2. The Copernican Revolution: The Birth of Modern Science

3. Radiation: Information from the Cosmos

4. Spectroscopy: The Inner Workings of Atoms

5. Telescopes: The Tools of Astronomy


6. The Solar System: An Introduction to Comparative Planetology

7. Earth: Our Home in Space

8. The Moon and Mercury: Scorched and Battered Worlds

9. Venus: Earth’s Sister Planet

10. Mars: A Near Miss for Life?

11. Jupiter: Giant of the Solar System

12. Saturn: Spectacular Rings and Mysterious Moons

13. Uranus and Neptune: The Outer Worlds of the Solar System

14. Solar System Debris: Keys to Our Origin

15. The Formation of Planetary Systems: The Solar System and Beyond


16. The Sun: Our Parent Star

17. The Stars: Giants, Dwarfs, and the Main Sequence

18. The Interstellar Medium: Gas and Dust among the Stars

19. Star Formation: A Traumatic Birth

20. Stellar Evolution: The Life and Death of a Star

21. Stellar Explosions: Novae, Supernovae, and the Formation of the Elements

22. Neutron Stars and Black Holes: Strange States of Matter


23. The Milky Way Galaxy: A Spiral in Space

24. Galaxies: Building Blocks of the Universe

25. Galaxies and Dark Matter: The Large-Scale Structure of the Cosmos

26. Cosmology: The Big Bang and the Fate of the Universe

27. The Early Universe: Toward the Beginning of Time

28. Life in the Universe: Are We Alone?

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