Lecture- Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Workbook
  • Copyright: 2012-08-03
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomyprovides a collection of 44 collaborative learning, inquiry-based activities to be used with introductory astronomy courses. Based on education research, these activities are "classroom ready" and lead to deeper, more complete understanding through a series of structured questions that prompt you to use reasoning and identify and correct their misconceptions. All content has been extensively field tested and six new tutorials have been added that respond to reviewer demand, numerous interviews, and nationally conducted workshops.

Author Biography

Edward Prather is the Executive Director of the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) and Associate Professor of Astronomy in Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona. Over the past fifteen years, Ed has been dedicated to improving Earth, Astronomy, and Space Science education through research, curriculum and assessment materials development, and instructor professional development on teaching and learning. He is also the recipient of the 2007 University of Arizona’s Provost Education Prize, the 2009 University of Arizona’s College of Sciences Innovations in Teaching award, and the 2011 American Association of Physics Teacher’s Halliday and Resnick Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching.


Tim Slater is the University of Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowed Chair of Science Education. He holds appointments as Professor in both the Department of Physics & Astronomy and the College of Education. An award-winning professor with more than 100 publications, he has spent the last six years as the Education Officer of the American Astronomical Society and served on the Board of Directors for the National Science Teachers Association, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the Society of College Science Teachers.


Jeff Adams earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Queen's University, in Kingston Ontario, Canada. After also becoming a certified high school mathematics and physics teacher, he joined the faculty at Montana State University, Bozeman, where he taught physics and astronomy, mentored graduate students, conducted research on student learning, and developed curricular materials for use in introductory physics and astronomy. In spring 2002, he received the College of Letters and Science award for outstanding teaching. Jeff is currently the Associate Provost for Academic Administration at Millersville University.


Gina Brissenden is the Associate Director of the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) and a Science Education Research Specialist in Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona.  She is also the former Education Specialist for the American Astronomical Society. Gina’s work focuses on improving Earth, Astronomy, and Space Science education through research, curriculum and assessment materials development, and instructor professional development on teaching and learning.

Table of Contents

The Night Sky



            Seasonal Stars

            Solar vs. Sidereal Day


            Star Charts

Fundamentals of Astronomy

            Kepler’s Second Law

            Kepler’s Third Law

            Newton’s Laws of Gravity

            Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes of Stars

            The Parsec

            Parallax and Distance

            Spectroscopic Parallax

Nature of Light in Astronomy

            Electromagnetic (EM) Spectrum of Light

            Telescopes and Earth’s Atmosphere

            Luminosity, Temperature, and Size

            Blackbody Radiation

            Types of Spectra

            Light and Atoms

            Analyzing Spectra

            Doppler Shift

Our Solar System

            The Cause of Moon Phases

            Predicting Moon Phases

            Path of the Sun


            Observing Retrograde Motion

            Earth’s Changing Surface

            Greenhouse Effect

            Temperature and Formation of Our Solar System

            Sun Size

Stars, Galaxies, and Beyond

            H-R Diagram

            Star Formation and Lifetimes

            Binary Stars

            Motion of Extrasolar Planets

            Stellar Evolution

            Milky Way Scales

            Galaxy Classification

            Dark Matter

            Looking at Distant Objects

            Making Sense of the Universe and Expansion

            Hubble's Law

            Expansion of the Universe

            Expansion, Lookback Time, and Distance

            “Big Bang”

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