Customer Reviews: Horizons: Exploring the Universe, 11th Edition
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on May 17, 2009
I reviewed a copy of the instructor's edition of as a candidate text for an Astronomy 101 class.

It is very pretty, and there is some good content, but it is not particularly well organized for a student.

The illustrations are numerous, large, and colorful. They are also crowded with insets, labels, and text in boxes.

The typography and page layout are noisy, inelegant, and distracting. I counted as many as 4 different typefaces (in three different colors) in the body text of a single spread.

The text is dense on the page, but the descriptions and explanations are interrupted by pointers to "Ace Astronomy" content, sidebars entitled "Window on Science", "Reasoning With Numbers", etc.

The index is sparse and oddly unhelpful.

The overall impression is that the author and editors are trying to cover too much material it too thin a book.

There are too many kinds of enhancements, and too many instances of enhanced content, inserted at the expense of a clear and orderly presentation.

The frequent revisions to include the most up-to-date images and information -- announced on the cover of each new edition like cover lines on a popular magazine-- make the book seem somewhat disposable. As discouraging a prospect for the student who wants to keep the text, as for the student who plans to sell it back to the bookstore.

I will not be using this text for my class.
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on June 30, 2010
I received this book for a correspondence course I am taking about astronomy. Although the book is filled with interesting astronomical and historical facts, and absolutely stunning images, there are a number of serious flaws that detract from the quality of this book.

The pages are thoroughly littered with little boxes containing sections entitled, "Reasoning with Numbers", "Building Scientific Arguments", and "Windows on Science", which I find very distracting. If that is not enough, text will often break mid-sentence into sections called, "Guided Discovery Figures", which consist of several pages of heavily captioned figures - this completely interrupts the flow of the text.

Having studied and taught mathematics extensively, I am of the opinion that if mathematics is introduced at all, it should be taken seriously. The "Reasoning with Numbers" sections and associated problems only feign seriousness. Formulas are introduced with no derivations, little motivation, and often gross simplifications. The student is then asked solve problems which mainly consist of plugging the numbers into a forumula; little can be gained through such mechanical manipulations. Many of the explanations about how astronomers compute quantities related to celestial bodies also contain gross simplifications. While it is clear to me that these computations lead to lower/upper bounds or mere approximations of the true quantities, less experienced readers might not be able to make such distinctions and become confused as a result. Either do it right, or leave it out.
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on April 20, 2011
This textbook was ordered for my son's Astronomy class. He bought the eBook and it was terrible. So we scrambled around to get him one that he could use. I ordered this book and it came within a few days! We all were very happy about this. The timely arrival of this textbook helped my son very much.
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on July 5, 2013
Class lectures were more interesting than the textbook, since my professor works with NASA JPL. Textbook is well constructed with examples and photos.
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on November 8, 2015
loved it
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on August 27, 2015
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on September 27, 2011
Very good, and kept in contact when my package was missing, I ended up getting my money back for the missing package. Very professional.
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on April 16, 2012
Although the product was as described and in great condition. The seller was horrible! I paid for expedited shipping so 3-6 days I didn't receive it until 2 weeks later. 1 and 1/2 week after the latest shipping expectation. I contacted the seller they said they would ship it out on the following monday and they didn't. Great products but not the best with shipping.
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on March 15, 2011
Book was necessary for college course, received book very quickly. Book was in fair condition at best. Rather dog eared on the edges. Thank you for the prompt delivery.
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on February 19, 2013
Couldn't tell you if it was the book or the professor, but I was really not into the class that used this book. I sold the book to another Amazon user.
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