Most helpful positive review
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
As good as it gets
on April 3, 2002
I had the fortune, and sometimes misfortune, to read a fair number of textbooks. All of them did promise to teach, though some proofed rather very disappointing on closer inspection.
This book on the other hand most certainly holds everything one can expect.
The book is divided into four parts: first, there is a small introction into the basics of astronomy, followed by a more in depth discussion of the solar system. The third part then covers stars and stellar evolution, while the final part is devoted to galaxies and cosmology.
The math required is minimal (i don't think the average high school graduate should have any problems), and a wealth of pictures and graphs, together with elaborate explanations in the text make sure, that this book will be a pleasure to learn from for the interested college student.
Every chapter (30 in all) ends with a short recapitulation of the most important concepts learned, a good number of review questions (to which the answers are supplied in the back of the book) and suggestions for further reading (books, magazines and weblinks).
The book comes also with a CD, on which there are further review tests to all chapters (of course with answers), as well as additional animations and much more.
As if that were not enough, there is a companion webside that offers additional tests and answers plus updated information, since after all, astronomy is progressing swiftly.
All in all, there cannot be much doubt that this is one of the best and most well rounded astronomy textbooks on the market. If you have to learn the basics of astronomy due to a course, or if you simply want to enrich your horizon, this book will make either task both easier and more enjoyable.