Astronomy A Beginner's Guide to the Universe

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/3/2016
  • Publisher: Pearson

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For one-semester Introduction to Astronomy courses.


With the Eighth Edition of Astronomy: A Beginner’s Guide , trusted authors Eric Chaisson and Steve McMillan bring a renewed freshness and analysis to recent changes in our understanding of the cosmos. As with the other two books in their Astronomy suite (one for two-semester courses and the other, a brief visual book), the authors continue to emphasize three major themes: the process of science, the size and scale of the universe, and the evolution of the cosmos. This new edition ignites reader interest with new discoveries from the latest space missions and a new focus on reader-oriented engagement.


Note: You are purchasing a standalone product; MyLab™ & Mastering™ does not come packaged with this content. Students, if interested in purchasing this title with MyLab & Mastering, ask your instructor for the correct package ISBN and Course ID. Instructors, contact your Pearson representative for more information.

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0134054725 / 9780134054728     Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe Plus MasteringAstronomy with eText -- Access Card Package


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  • 0134060245 / 9780134060248     MasteringAstronomy with Pearson eText -- ValuePack Access Card -- for Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe
  • 0134087704 / 9780134087702     Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe

Author Biography

Eric Chaisson holds a doctorate in astrophysics from Harvard University, where he spent 10 years on the faculty of Arts and Sciences. For more than two decades thereafter, he served on the senior science staff at the Space Telescope Science Institute and held various professorships at Johns Hopkins and Tufts universities. He is now back at Harvard, where he teaches and conducts research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Eric has written 12 books on astronomy and has published nearly 200 scientific papers in professional journals.


Steve McMillan holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics from Cambridge University and a doctorate in astronomy from Harvard University. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University, where he continued his research in theoretical astrophysics, star clusters, and high-performance computing. Steve is currently Distinguished Professor of Physics at Drexel University and a frequent visiting researcher at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study and Leiden University. He has published more than 100 articles and scientific papers in professional journals.


Table of Contents


0. Charting the Heavens: The Foundations of Astronomy

1. The Copernican Revolution: The Birth of Modern Science

2. Light and Matter: The Inner Workings of the Cosmos

3. Telescopes: The Tools of Astronomy



4. The Solar System: Interplanetary Matter and the Birth of the Planets

5. Earth and Its Moon: Our Cosmic Backyard

6. The Terrestrial Planets: A Study in Contrasts

7. The Jovian Planets: Giants of the Solar System

8. Moons, Rings, and Plutoids: Small Worlds Among Giants



9. The Sun: Our Parent Star

10. Measuring the Stars: Giants, Dwarfs, and the Main Sequence

11. The Interstellar Medium: Star Formation in the Milky Way

12. Stellar Evolution: The Lives and Deaths of Stars

13. Neutron Stars and Black Holes: Strange States of Matter



14. The Milky Way Galaxy: A Spiral in Space

15. Normal and Active Galaxies: Building Blocks of the Universe

16. Hubble’s Law and Dark Matter: The Large-Scale Structure of the Cosmos

17. Cosmology: The Big Bang and the Fate of the Universe

18. Life in the Universe: Are We Alone?

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