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Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics [Hardcover]

Elske V.P. Smith , Kenneth C. Jacobs , M. Zeilik , Michael Zeilik
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Hardcover $299.97  
Hardcover, January 1987 --  
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Book Description

January 1987 0030044995 978-0030044991 2nd
This focused, advanced undergraduate text provides broad coverage of astronomy and astrophysics with a strong emphasis on physics. Many researchers, faculty, and graduate students use this book as a reference. This text has an algebra and trigonometry prerequisite, but calculus is preferred. Features: * "Concept Applications" are fully worked-out, in-chapter problems that focus on an important concept found within that chapter. * "Key Equations and Concepts" neatly summarize the important equations and concepts found in each chapter. New to this edition: * Many new problems have been added, most 3rd Edition problems remain. * Physics Prelude serves as preview and preorganizer of the physics at a level appropriate to the book and the course. * Reorganization of Part 3--Chapters on stellar evolution are now consecutive. * Key new astronomical material further enhances the text. * "Hale-Bopp Comet Update" has been added after Chapter 26.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews


Physics Prelude. Orbits in the Solar System. Orbits Outside the Solar System. Special Relativity. Particles and Forces. Stars. Radiation Processes. Cosmology. Part 1: The Solar System. 1. Celestial Mechanics and the Solar System. 2. The Solar System in Perspective. 3. The Dynamics of the Earth. 4. The Earth - Moon System. 5. The Terrestrial Planets: Mercury, Venus, and Mars. 6. The Jovian Planets. 7. Small Bodies and the Origin of the Solar System. Part 2: The Stars. 8. Electromagnetic Radiation and Matter. 9. Telescopes and Detectors. 10. The Sun: A Model Star. 11. Stars: Distances and Magnitudes. 12. Stars: Binary Systems. 13. Stars: The Hertzsprung - Russell Diagram. Part 3: The Milky Way Galaxy. 14. Our Galaxy: A Preview. 15. The Interstellar Medium and Star Birth. 16. The Evolution of Stars. 17. Star Deaths. 18. Variable and Violent Stars. 19. Galactic Rotation: Stellar Motions. 20. The Evolution of Our Galaxy. Part 4: The Universe. 21. Galaxies Beyond the Milky Way. 22. Hubble's Law and The Distance Scale. 23. Large-Scale Structure in the Universe. 24. Active Galaxies and Quasars. 25. Cosmology: The Big Bang and Beyond. 26. The New Cosmology. Hale-Bopp Comet Update. Appendices. Glossary. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Saunders College Publishing/Harcourt Brace; 2nd edition (January 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030044995
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030044991
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a worthy investment November 19, 2002
By A Customer
Don't bother with this book. I used it for an intro-level astro course, along with Frank Shu's Physical Universe. In the exact words of my professor, the only reason we even had to buy this book was because Shu's was written 20 years ago and is slightly out of date.... we used Shu for important concepts and this for basically nothing other than revising what is in Shu with more up-to-date information. This book is kind of expensive to be simply a tool for updating Shu (which, btw, is a great book)... also, the high number of errors and typos really make this book a "don't bother"
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good, general overview for a survey class April 26, 2002
This is not a MEATY text. It is a good INTRODUCTORY text that provides a decent overview of general astronomy, including: basic celestial mechanics, the solar system, absorption/emission, stars, H-R diagram, galaxies, interstellar medium, evolution, Hubble's law, active galaxies, cosmology. The level of detail seems appropriate for a survey course. For example, the authors do a good job of describing basic spectral issues (absorption, emission, line broadening, Boltzmann, the Saha equation, optical depth, etc), but they do not provide a detailed discussion of stellar atmospheres. If you have had an introduction to astronomy and want more depth, then look at Bohm-Vitense's books, Elmgreen's Galaxies & Galactic Structure, etc.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introductory book in astronomy/astrophysics December 10, 2003
By K B
I used this book in an independent study class in astronomy and astrophysics while I was an undergraduate. With the exception of the some errors in the equations in the opacity section I found this book to be clearly written and not too difficult. You will need to know your college physics and some math but that should be expected since this is not a descriptive text. If you want a descriptive astronomy text search elsewhere, if you want an introductory astrophysics text this is a good choice.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to astrophysics October 19, 1999
By A Customer
Zeilik & Gregory was the assigned text for my Astrophysics course. Overall, I found the book to be excellent in its presentation of the material and its organization. The authors are able to strike that rare (in physics textbooks) balance between narrative text and derived mathematics. In addition, this book uses the almost universal Meter-Kilogram-Second metric system, rather than the antiquated cemtimeter-gram-second system which is common in astronomy. My only complaint with the book is that it could have had more detailed and clearly written example problems. Even with this minor flaw, it's still an excellent book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There are better books out there! April 22, 2002
By A Customer
I had to use this book for a year. It's badly written with numerous errors and typos. Equations are written in a non-user-friendly format. Difficult concepts are not very well explained. Practice problems are sometimes very ambiguous. My professor even said this isn't the best book in the world. The only good thing about it is that it's directed toward a first-year astronomy audience. But it's worth it to buy a slightly harder book and understand it better. If you need it for a class, I guess you're stuck! But there are better books out there. Try "An Introduction to Modern Astrphysics" by Carroll and Ostile.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK General Study Book March 4, 2003
By A Customer
This book is a good compromise between the less analytical texts and some of the books geared toward astonomy majors. It is not a great book but I felt it was up to date and comprehensive. One note though, the authors assume you have a good grounding in undergrad math and physics. On several occasions I had to pull out one of my math or physics texts to review a subject so I could understand the material being presented.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs proofreading March 4, 2002
By A Customer
This book was the textbook for my introductory Astronomy course and we found than many of the constants were inconsistent in different sections and/or inaccurate. One specific example, the radius of earth in the appendix has the last two numbers reversed. There are numerous others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Obviously Physical Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy (Series of Books in Astronomy) is the standard by which all introductory astronomy books must be measured. This book is more expensive, less clear, has more typos and even glaring errors. But it's newer, and more "up to date." I'd explain to the students that we're going to use an old book and I'd fill in newer research as needed as we go along. It's not as if there are fundamental changes to how stars work, Galaxies form, or how telescopes work. (Especially not at an introductory level.)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Way too elementary, and too many errors.
This book is in its fourth edition and is extremely expensive. It is rife with errors e.g. the value for Planck's constant in the back-of-the-book reference table is incorrect. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Joshua D. O'byrne
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book/horrible quality printing
I can't find any fault with the actual material of the book in question. However, having an introductory astrophysics textbook printed entirely in greyscale? That is ridiculous. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Immanuel Kant
3.0 out of 5 stars Marked up but price was right
I did not expect much from a $40 book that sells new for over $200.00. But I needed it for M.I.T's online class.
Published 20 months ago by lasarus
4.0 out of 5 stars Book review
It was very good, reliable and the product is what I expected to be. Thank you for the safe shipping, I wish the shipping was a little faster though.
Published on September 24, 2009 by Omar Marwan Awartani
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad reference book for astrophysics students
This book is an ok reference book, if you've already seen the material in the book. The price is way too high. Whatever you do don't pay 180 bucks for this book. Read more
Published on September 13, 2007 by robot_12
5.0 out of 5 stars Intro to Astronomy
Nicely written textbook for the first year student in astronomy and astrophysics. Clearly written.
Published on January 10, 2007 by Scott Moulton
3.0 out of 5 stars good if you know whats up
i think this book is good if you already know a bit about astronomy and physics. it covers the topics it wants to very well, and very in depth. Read more
Published on September 4, 2003
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