Pathways to Astronomy

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2/15/2011
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math
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Pathways to Astronomybreaks down introductory astronomy into its component parts. The huge and fascinating field of astronomy is divided into 84 units. These units are woven together to flow naturally for the person who wants to read the text like a book, but it is also possible to assign them in different orders, or skip certain units altogether. Professors can customize the units to fit their course needs. They can select individual units for exploration in lecture while assigning easier units for self-study, or they can cover all the units in full depth in a content-rich course. With the short length of units, students can easily digest the material covered in an individual unit before moving onto the next unit. Pathways to Astronomyoffers the most complete technology media support package available. That technology media package includes: Starry Night Planetarium Software; ARIS (text web site providing a complete online electronic homework and course management system); 23 Interactives (on ARIS); Animations (on ARIS). Electronic Media Integration has been incorporated throughout the text by the use of icons to indicate where additional understanding can be gained through an animation or interactive.

Table of Contents

Looking Up Illustrations



Unit 1 Our Planetary Neighborhood

Unit 2 Beyond the Solar System

Unit 3 Astronomical Numbers

Unit 4 Foundations of Astronomy

Unit 5 The Night Sky

Unit 6 The Year

Unit 7 The Time of Day

Unit 8 Lunar Cycles

Unit 9 Calendars

Unit 10 Geometry of the Earth, Moon, and Sun

Unit 11 Planets: The Wandering Stars

Unit 12 The Beginnings of Modern Astronomy

Unit 13 Observing the Sky


Unit 14 Astronomical Motion: Inertia, Mass, and Force

Unit 15 Force, Acceleration, and Interaction

Unit 16 The Universal Law of Gravity

Unit 17 Measuring a Body’s Mass Using Orbital Motion

Unit 18 Orbital and Escape Velocities

Unit 19 Tides

Unit 20 Conservation Laws

Unit 21 The Dual Nature of Light and Matter

Unit 22 The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Unit 23 Thermal Radiation

Unit 24 Identifying Atoms by Their Spectra

Unit 25 The Doppler Shift

Unit 26 Special Relativity

Unit 27 General Relativity

Unit 28 Detecting Light

Unit 29 Collecting Light

Unit 30 Focusing Light

Unit 31 Telescope Resolution

Unit 32 The Earth’s Atmosphere and SpaceObservatories

Unit 33 Amateur Astronomy


Unit 34 The Structure of the Solar System

Unit 35 The Origin of the Solar System

Unit 36 Other Planetary Systems

Unit 37 The Earth as a Terrestrial Planet

Unit 38 Earth's Atmosphere and Hydrosphere

Unit 39 Our Moon

Unit 40 Mercury

Unit 41 Venus

Unit 42 Mars

Unit 43 Asteroids

Unit 44 Comparative Planetology

Unit 45 Jupiter and Saturn

Unit 46 Uranus and Neptune

Unit 47 Satellite Systems and Rings

Unit 48 Ice Worlds, Pluto, and Beyond

Unit 49 Comets

Unit 50 Impacts on Earth


Unit 51 The Sun, Our Star

Unit 52 The Sun’s Source of Power

Unit 53 Solar Activity

Unit 54 Surveying the Stars

Unit 55 The Luminosities of Stars

Unit 56 The Temperatures and Compositions of Stars

Unit 57 The Masses of Orbiting Stars

Unit 58 The Sizes of Stars

Unit 59 The H-R Diagram

Unit 60 Overview of Stellar Evolution

Unit 61 Star Formation

Unit 62 Main-Sequence Stars

Unit 63 Giant Stars

Unit 64 Variable Stars

Unit 65 Mass Loss and Death of Low-Mass Stars

Unit 66 Exploding White Dwarfs

Unit 67 Old Age and Death of Massive Stars

Unit 68 Neutron Stars

Unit 69 Black Holes

Unit 70 Star Clusters


Unit 71 Discovering the Milky Way

Unit 72 Stars of the Milky Way

Unit 73 Gas and Dust in the Milky Way

Unit 74 Mass and Motions in the Milky Way

Unit 75 A Universe of Galaxies

Unit 76 Types of Galaxies

Unit 77 Galaxy Clustering

Unit 78 Active Galactic Nuclei

Unit 79 Dark Matter

Unit 80 Cosmology

Unit 81 The Edges of the Universe

Unit 82 The Curvature of the Universe

Unit 83 The Beginnings of the Universe

Unit 84 Dark Energy and the Fate of the Universe

Unit 85 Astrobiology

Unit 86 The Search for Life Elsewhere

Answers to Test Yourself Questions




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