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The Cosmic Perspective (7th Edition) 7th Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321839558
ISBN-10: 0321839552
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeffrey Bennett
Jeffrey Bennett holds a B.A. (1981) in biophysics from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.S. and Ph.D. (1987) in astrophysics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has taught at every level from preschool through graduate school, including more than 50 college classes in astronomy, physics, mathematics, and education. He served 2 years as a visiting senior scientist at NASA headquarters, where he created NASA’s “IDEAS” program, started a program to fly teachers aboard NASA’s airborne observatories (including SOFIA), and worked on numerous educational programs for the Hubble Space Telescope and other space science missions. He also proposed the idea for and helped develop both the Colorado Scale Model Solar System on the CU-Boulder campus and the Voyage Scale Model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In addition to this astronomy textbook, he is also lead author of college-level textbooks in astrobiology, mathematics, and statistics (all from Pearson); of critically acclaimed two books for the general public including , On the Cosmic Horizon (Pearson Addison-Wesley, 2001) and Beyond UFOs (Princeton University Press, 2008/2011) and Math for Life (Roberts & Co, 2012); and an of the award-winning series of children’s books that includes Max Goes to the Moon, Max Goes to Mars, Max Goes to Jupiter, and Max’s Ice Age AdventureThe Wizard Who Saved the World. When not working, he enjoys participating in masters swimming and in the daily adventures of life with his wife, Lisa; his children, Grant and Brooke; and his dog, Cosmo. His personal Web site is www.jeffreybennett.com.

 

Megan Donahue
Megan Donahue is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University. Her current research is mainly about using X-ray, UV, infrared, and visible light to study clusters of galaxies: their contents–dark matter, hot gas, galaxies, active galactic nuclei–and what they reveal about the contents of the universe and how galaxies form and evolve. She grew up on a farm in Nebraska and received an S.B.. in physics from MIT, where she began her research career as an X-ray astronomer. She has a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Colorado. Her Ph.D. thesis on theory and optical observations of intergalactic and intracluster gas won the 1993 Trumpler Award from the Astronomical Society for the Pacific for an outstanding astrophysics doctoral dissertation in North America. She continued postdoctoral research as a Carnegie Fellow at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, and later as an STScI Institute Fellow at Space Telescope. Megan was a staff astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute until 2003, when she joined the MSU faculty. Megan is married to Mark Voit, and they collaborate on many projects, including this textbook and the raising of their children, Michaela, Sebastian, and Angela. Between the births of Sebastian and Angela, Megan qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon. These days, Megan runs trails, orienteers, and plays piano and bass guitar whenever her children allow it.
 
Nicholas Schneider
Nicholas Schneider is an associate professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado and a researcher in the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. He received his B.A. in physics and astronomy from Dartmouth College in 1979 and his Ph.D. in planetary science from the University of Arizona in 1988. In 1991, he received the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award. His research interests include planetary atmospheres and planetary astronomy, with a focus on the odd case of Jupiter’s moon Io. He enjoys teaching at all levels and is active in efforts to improve undergraduate astronomy education. Off the job, he enjoys exploring the outdoors with his family and figuring out how things work.
 
Mark Voit
Mark Voit is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University. He earned his A.B. in astrophysical sciences at Princeton University and his Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of Colorado in 1990. He continued his studies at the California Institute of Technology, where he was a research fellow in theoretical astrophysics, and then moved on to Johns Hopkins University as a Hubble Fellow. Before going to Michigan State, Mark worked in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope, where he developed museum exhibitions about the Hubble Space Telescope and helped design NASA’s award-winning HubbleSite. His research interests range from interstellar processes in our own galaxy to the clustering of galaxies in the early universe. He is married to coauthor Megan Donahue, and cooks terrific meals for her and their three children. Mark likes getting outdoors whenever possible and particularly enjoys running, mountain biking, canoeing, orienteering, and adventure racing. He is also author of the popular book Hubble Space Telescope: New Views of the Universe.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cosmic Perspective
  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 7 edition (January 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321839552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321839558
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
which all non-science astronomy books will be measured. It has everything in it, and it's all explained in a straightforward way. Lots of color photos, pictures, and diagrams. There is a lot of material here. you don't HAVE to read it all, but you will probably want to. It's infectious. Several other amateur astronomers I work with have independently come to the same conclusion. We recommend this book first to all our students who show a strong desire to learn the subject.

You might not need the latest version. All it does is give you updates on what has happened in the field over the last few years, which you can find on the internet. You have a choice. You can get the latest version for $80 or a version a few years older that is 98% the same for $5.
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I would rate book 4/5 due to the poor quality of the paperback cover, but the information in the book is so good I have to rate it a 5/5. I wish this book was a hardcover because I'm planning on keeping it the rest of my life, but the paperback cover quality is very poor. The quality of the pages and ink are very good though. I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in our universe.

Anyways, I used this textbook for my Introduction to Astronomy course. This textbook is great in explaining concepts with only basic math (for a simple derivation of Einstein's Special Relativity, you only need to remember highschool geometry). The 1st chapter of the book is absolutely mindblowing as it ventures into the vast scale of the universe. The 3rd chapter, which address the nature of science, is well-written to give you a feel for how the scientific method works (everyone should read this section because there are so many misconceptions about the scientific method). The 2nd part of the book goes into key concepts mandatory for astronomy. These sections will be harder for people without a scientific background (i.e. those not in a science or engineering major). A lot of the students in the class struggled during these chapters not due to the mathematics, but due to the amount of information present in these chapters. What I learned during 3 years of physics and engineering is shrunken down to 3 compact chapters. But the authors do their best job to simplify concepts, and these sections were really fun to read. These chapters will show you how beautiful physics really is, and more importantly will set the foundation for the rest of the book.

Parts 3-7 will be the most interesting parts of the book (about 20 chapters total), depending on which subfield you enjoy.
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I'm a professional science writer and curriculum developer who is long out of college. This book is organizer beautifully for conceptually developing planetary geology, geophysics and astronomy on a readable level. Up-to-date with excellent graphics and a nicely done index, it is my go to reference guide. I prefer it over the Internet to help with the "big picture" ideas. I've read other textbooks cover to cover and the organizational flow, coupled with the through chapter development is outstanding. He begins with a page on pedagogy that says it all: Focus on the big picture, work on conceptual ideas, relate the material to what students already know and then idea more obscure details. I've taught for more than 20 years and this is a sound way to impart complex information.
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This book does a fantastic job of explaining complex topics such that a student with little (or even no) physics knowledge understand them quite well. This book is by far the best astronomy textbook for an intro class!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hugely expensive so I rented it...which is still expensive but it is excellent. Very thorough but lots of sidebars and almost conversational tone. I appreciate the attention to historical astronomy, especially the role of women astronomers.
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Format: Paperback
The cosmic perspective leads students through all of the major components of astronomy, from our solar system to black holes and distant galaxies. I loved every chapter without exception. The overall layout of the book is logical, elegant, and streamlined, the graphics and pictures are absolutely stunning, and the authors manage to explain every concept fully and effectively. 5 stars!!
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I got this book for a class at CU and LOVED it. I read ahead, read it the summer after the course, and it was great. It is written in a very easy-flowing fashion and the illustrations are actually helpful. The online practice quizzes also helped a ton in the course. I would recommend this book even if you're not enrolled in an astronomy course and just want to get a great, easy look at astronomy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Textbook review is a funny thing to write from a student's point of view. After all, these books are required. Our opinions are not high on the list of reasons we buy them. That being said, I had full access to this eBook through my class fees. I found it so fascinating that I did buy a used copy of the print book just to have. I like reading paper books and I'm happy to have this one on my shelf. It is written in a clear and easy to read way. Our class covered only the first half. I have skimmed sections of the second half just for fun since the class has concluded. There are many examples to try to help readers understand just how vast the universe really is. I love this book and the whole class experience that went along with it. It is written by people who know their stuff and are clearly passionate about it. The whole thing feels like an invitation from a team of real experts (who could out math me in the first 3 seconds) to an astronomy party. It's like they are nurturing a new generation of astrophysicists. It is very polished and coherent. Anyway, you get the picture. As far as required textbooks go, this one is a gem.
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