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Astronomy: A Physical Perspective 1st Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471604990
ISBN-10: 0471604992
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Instructor's Manual with Solutions available. -- The publisher, John Wiley & Sons

Book Description

This fully revised and updated text is a comprehensive introduction to astronomical objects and phenomena. By applying some basic physical principles to a variety of situations, students will learn how to relate everyday physics to the astronomical world. The text contains useful equations, chapter summaries, worked examples and end-of-chapter problem sets. It is suitable for undergraduate students taking a first course in astronomy, and assumes a basic knowledge of physics with calculus. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 6, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471604992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471604990
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.6 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,587,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Green on December 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book offers a good introduction to astronomy, with chapters devoted to everything from telescope technology to general relativity and cosmology. Its explanations are generally clear and instructive, although the sections on subjects like nuclear and particle physics could be a little overwhelming to the uninitiated - it's simply a lot of information to present in a relatively small amount of space, but the author does a decent job. The book gives a good understanding of the science aspect of astronomy, but rushes through some of the technicalities, with, for example, a surprisingly brief and uninformative section (3 pages!) on astronomical coordinates and timekeeping.

My big complaint about this book is that it is chock full of errors! Some entire diagrams need to be replaced, and more importantly, there are way too many errors in the equations and exercises. As a student with weekly problem sets to get through, I found this quite frustrating. In one case, an entire exercise was an error and had to be replaced with a different question. If you're thinking of using this book for a course, make sure you find the list of after press corrections, and hand it out on the first day of class.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my bedside book for the study of the theoretical aspect of the science of astronomy. Has an intermediate level in terms of difficulty, and it is exactly what I was looking for. I did not find another like it. Highly recommended. (I'm an electrical engineer, amateur astronomer)
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Format: Paperback
I like this up-to-date textbook. I like the explanations, the diagrams, the marvellous photographs, the exercises. It covers pretty much everything I'd want as a teacher or student, and in well under 600 pages. Maybe the parts I liked best were the sections on relativity and cosmology. But it was all just great, as it sailed through telescopes, stars, spectra, binaries,the Sun, stellar evolution, the Milky Way, star formation, the interstellar medium, normal galaxies, active galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and the Sun's planetary system. The treatment of the solar planetary system included planetary atmospheres, surfaces, and interiors. It even talked about planetary resonances.

One weakness, to my way of thinking, was the overly brief appendix on astronomical coordinates and timekeeping. And there were a couple of minor topics I would have wanted to see mentioned. One was Gamma Ray Bursters. Another was Blue Stragglers.
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Format: Paperback
The book is awesome and appears to have been pretty complete by the time of first print, which was 2003. However, astronomy is a rapidly developing field and after more than ten years, some of the information is already outdated. This concerns in particular the field of extrasolar planets, which has boomed over the past ten years. The information on this hot topic is very limited. If not for that, I would have given the book a full five stars.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to agree with Ballpoint legs - this textbook is adequate as a survey, but when it comes to the mathematical, the textbook fails to provide clear explanations of concepts that then lead into examples with reliable solutions. I have trouble feeling that I have a deep understanding of the concepts, and I feel unprepared for the problem sets in my class. Unfortunately, this is the textbook assigned. So much for going to an Ivy League institution.
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