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Universe Ninth Edition Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1429231534
ISBN-10: 142923153X
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The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself by Sean Carroll
"The Big Picture" by Sean Carroll
The Big Picture is an unprecedented scientific worldview, a tour de force that will sit on shelves alongside the works of Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Daniel Dennett, and E. O. Wilson for years to come. Learn more | See related books
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About the Author

ROGER A. FREEDMAN, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA WILLIAM J. KAUFMANN, sometime of San Diego State University, USA
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: W. H. Freeman; Ninth Edition edition (January 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142923153X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1429231534
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.1 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
I'm the author of Universe w/ Starry Night Enthusiast CD-ROM, and I thank Lonewolf Astronomer for pointing out Amazon's error in describing the book as a hardcover --- it is in fact a softcover. I've asked Amazon to change their description to reflect this, and they have done so.

Lonewolf Astronomer included a link to Universe: The Solar System w/Starry Night Enthusiast CD-ROM, which is indeed cheaper than Universe. It is also quite a bit shorter, since it omits all of the chapters from Universe which concern stars, galaxies, and cosmology (Chapters 17-27).

Another abbreviated version of the book is Universe: Stars & Galaxies w/Starry Night Enthusiast CD-ROM, which includes all of the chapters from Universe on stars, galaxies, and cosmology but omits Chapters 9-15 on the solar system.

All three versions --- Universe, Universe: The Solar System, and Universe: Stars and Galaxies --- are available with the Starry Night Enthusiast CD-ROM.

Finally, in order to post this response, Amazon forced me to rate my own book. I hope the vast Amazon public will excuse the fact that I gave it five stars.
4 Comments 62 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This is a premier text for the fields of astromony and comsmology. Thorough, deep, professional, concise, technically and scientifically accurate, but also, imaginative, filled with the wonder of discovery and learning. Beginning with the ancient origins of astronomical pursuits, the reader is taken through the unfolding world of space and time. The electromagnetic spectrum, light and optics, telescopes, planet and solar system formations, stars-their nature, galaxies, quasars, black holes, all of these wonders are explored. Do yourself a flavor-get it!
Comment 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This book is beautiful. Well written, easy to read, with
nice and informative illustrations all over, full of
interesting details. The CD is also very interesting,
not only for Starry Night, but also because of very
illustrative simulations.
The level is between popular and introductory professional.
There is not much hard theory inside, but that was
probably not the aim of the authors.
Apart from a great thing to read for oneself, the niceness
of the edition makes it also a nice gift in my opinion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm an amateur astronomy nut, and have read several dozen books on astronomy, cosmology, etc. This is probably the most clear, in-depth, understandable treatment of astronomical issues that I have ever read. Be it stellar evolution, stellar death, theory of relativity, black holes, galactic evolution -- you name it -- this book presents the research clearly, and explains tough to explain issues in terms I can understand. Bravo! My only complaint is that it's a bit heavy on Solar System research (first half of the book); I found the last half more to my interest.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent, informative, interesting book. Also, the CD-ROM contains some very interesting things. Especially informative is the Starry Night software that allows you to view and travel to the cosmos in person. It is both educational and also quite fun!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most introductory astronomy texts take the descriptive approach and subject the student to very little mathematics. Such tomes assume that the student is taking the course to fulfill a core science requirement or to satiate non-technical interest. This text is a rare exception to this rule.

Throughout the book simple explanations of the scientific phenomena discussed are detailed using algebra and trigonometry. Basic formulas are illustrated and ample problems are given to drive home the mathematical nature of astronomy. This text is perfect for the freshman or sophomore science major who requires a deeper knowledge of astronomy than a non-mathematical text could provide.

Make no mistake, the text can be used easily in a general astronomy class that requires no math prerequisites. However, for the physics or astronomy major who is just starting her study of the subject, this text is the perfect blend of description and mathematics. It would also make a fine introductory graduate text for elementary and high-school teachers who wish to pursue a master's degree.

The software on the enclosed CD-ROM disks makes visualizing the concepts presented within the text much easier. If one's physics department doesn't have access to a planetarium the software offered remedies the problem quite nicely.
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