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Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe (6th Edition) 6th Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321605108
ISBN-10: 0321605101
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Key Benefit:

For one-semester Introduction to Astronomy courses.

 

WithAstronomy: A Beginner's Guide,Sixth Edition,trusted authors Eric Chaisson and Steve McMillan communicate their excitement about astronomy and awaken readers to the universe around them. Thoroughly updated, the revised edition focuses on the process of scientific discovery and scientific method, making “how we know what we know a more integral part of the book with attention to clearly and concisely presenting scientific terms to the non-science reader. The authors incorporate three themes in this briefer version of their two textbooks; process of science, the size and scale of the universe as well as the evolution of the universe.A Beginner's Guideemphasizes critical thinking and visualization, and is now available with a custom tailored leading-edge technology program. 

TheSixth Editionfeatures an even greater focus on the process of science, MasteringAstronomy,(tm)and a dedicated myeBook.

Key Topics:

Charting the Heavens : The Foundations of Astronomy, The Copernican Revolution: The Birth of Modern Science, Light and Matter: The Inner Workings of the Cosmos, Telescopes: The Tools of Astronomy, The Solar System: Interplanetary Matter and the Birth of the Planets, Earth and Its Moon: Our Cosmic Backyard, The Terrestrial Planets: A Study in Contrasts, The Jovian Planets: Giants of the Solar System, Moons, Rings, and Plutoids: Small Worlds Among Giants, The Sun: Our Parent Star, Measuring the Stars: Giants, Dwarfs, and the Main Sequence, The Interstellar Medium: Star Formation in the Milky Way,  Stellar Evolution: The Lives and Deaths of Stars, Neutron Stars and Black Holes: Strange States of Matter, The Milky Way Galaxy: A Spiral in Space,

Normal and Active Galaxies: Building Blocks of the Universe, Hubble's Law and Dark Matter: The Large-Scale Structure of the Cosmos, Cosmology: The Big Bang and the Fate of the Universe, Life in the Universe: Are We Alone?

Market:Intended for those interested in learning the basics of astronomy

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Eric Chaisson

Eric holds a doctorate in astrophysics from Harvard University, where he spent 10 years on the faculty of Arts and Sciences. For several years thereafter, he was a senior scientist and director of educational programs at the Space Telescope Science Institute and adjunct professor of physics at Johns Hopkins University. For the past decade, Eric has been at Tufts University, where he is a

research professor in the Department of Physics and in the School of Education, and director of the Wright Center for Innovative Science Education. He has written 12 books on astronomy, which have received such literary awards as the Phi Beta Kappa Prize, two American Institute of Physics Awards, and Harvard’s Smith-Weld Prize for Literary Merit. He has published more than 100 scientific papers in professional journals and has also received Harvard’s Bok Prize for original contributions to astrophysics.

 
Steve McMillan

Steve holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics from Cambridge University and a doctorate in astronomy

from Harvard University. He held post-doctoral positions  at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University, where he continued his research in theoretical astrophysics, star clusters, and numerical modeling. Steve is currently Distinguished Professor of Physics at Drexel University and a frequent visiting researcher at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Amsterdam. He has published more than 70 scientific papers in professional journals.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 6 edition (July 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321605101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321605108
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 0.8 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For anyone who has a vague interest in astronomy, this would be the book to read. Albeit not entirely simple, this is a relatively straight forward book that uses excellent examples to explain difficult concepts. There are many charts and diagrams. How exactly does a black hole work? What's the difference between a nova and a supernova (not as simple as you might think)? Why do we get meteor showers? There is a bit of mathematics involved, but nothing too intimidating. This is an excellent textbook. Best of all, a CD-ROM is included with lots of multimedia content, study questions, and links to more sources. Avoid other dry textbooks and purchase this one.
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Format: Paperback
I purchased the "International" edition of this book in a local book store so I'm assuming the difference being the conversion to metric units.
Although this book was wrapped and I couldn't open the book it immediately stood out from the rest of the books. So this was actually a wild guess but it turned out a real good one.

This book is so well written that you need very little knowledge of astronomy in advance. The average person with basic education could pick this one up and let himself/herself be guided from the first chapters where the basics of spectroscopy and gravitation are explained, followed by the A-Z of our neighboring planets, our star and the rest of the milky way, ending with the final chapters that deal with such topics as black holes and general relativity.

And what makes it even more great is that a code is included that enables you to view interactive animations and videos on the Pearson website which will clear up things that otherwise may look confusing in still pictures.

Very much recommended for people who aren't familiar with the workings of our solar system and universe.
They will learn all the basics (and they are a lot) of the universe.
But for people who are already familiar with astronomy will find this a good reference.

It is also updated with the latest theories and findings, including NASA info from 2008.
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Format: Paperback
This textbook is an adequate basic astronomy text that covers all of the bases and as might be expected has many updates reflecting recent research in the field. However, much of the really cool photography, demonstrations, animations, and illustrations are not in the book but are supposed to be on the web-site to which purchasers are given free access for more than an academic year. Although the book was released months ago, the web-site will not be available before the end of May 2006. The Prentice Hall Product Support people took over three weeks to find this out and were unable to offer any other solution to the problem which was shared by half of my class section. Do not purchase this book; it is a ripoff. If you must buy it, buy an older edition that comes with the CD (which the rest of my section purchased.) You won't have to deal with Prentice-Hall. Even better, try "Discovering the Universe" which is better written and comes with a CD.
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By A Customer on July 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is exactly what it claims to be: "A Beginners Guide to the Universe." I had a vague interest in astronomy and picked up this book to see if this interest could be further developed. There was information about a wide variety of topics: the planets, telescopes, and, of course, stars. While the reading was not thrilling, it never got too specified which would have made it hard to read. There were also some nice little pieces of history here and there, which I really liked. All in all, a good basic source of information about all aspects of astronomy.
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Format: Paperback
This book is written at a level for non-math or science majors to understand, but that does not mean it is lower quality. Instead of trying to weed out the weak students with challenging problems, this book aims to introduce a ton of different astronomy concepts to the public. I found it very informative. I've taken physical chemistry, and found this astronomy book's explanation of quantum chemistry to be accurate, even though it only covers the very basics. If you want to learn how astronomers determined the size of the solar system or how far away stars are, or how different types of telescopes work and what they are good for, and you want a fast, easy read, this is the book for you. It covers everything. It only goes deep enough to explain stuff, but does not go so deep to get you lost in the details. Each topic is covered in half a page to a page tops, and is just detailed enough not to leave you wondering about anything.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I rented because I didn't realize how much I'd like astronomy, wish I had just bought it. Lots of good info. Loses a star for me simply for a terrible reference in the back of the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For required college reading, this was one of the best science text books I've ever had. The content was easy to understand for the most part, and flowed well from chapter to chapter. It was written in 2013, so it does need updating due to all the events that occurred just the summer of 2015 alone (i.e. Pluto flyby). Otherwise, great astronomy text book!
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Format: Paperback
I am using this book for my Astronomy class and it does have a lot of very good information in it. It is also easy to read and understand. They include pictures and diagrams which also help out. I am 4 weeks into my class and I am glad we are using this book.
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