Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe eBook (8e) : 9780134152189

Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe eBook (8e)

Chaisson,E et al
Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
Title type
NZ/Pacific customers only
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About the book: For one-semester Introduction to Astronomy courses.

With the 8th 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 textbooks in their Astronomy suite (one for two-semester courses and the other, a brief visual book), the authors continue to emphasise three major themes: the process of science, the size and scale of the universe, and the evolution of the cosmos. This new edition ignites student interest with new discoveries from the latest space missions and a new focus on student-oriented engagement.

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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?
Features & benefits
  • Process of Science and Discovery
    • The Process of Science is emphasised throughout the book as the authors strive to give students an understanding of how scientists think and work.
    • Students are encouraged to ask, “How do we know what we know?” and to learn the historical development of astronomy.


  • Art
    • Vivid, dynamic, and current art keeps students informed and engaged.
    • Part Openers are a concise, visual introduction to each of the book’s four main sections and emphasise the size, scale, and evolution of the universe.
    • Multi-part art employs a series of images to explain complex systems.
    • Complex scientific topics are explained to students simply, through everyday visual analogies.


  • Flexible Teaching Tools
    • NEW! Big Picture chapter-opening passages put the chapter in context of the course as it is developing.
    • NEW! Big Question sections tie back to Big Picture passages and emphasise the process of science. They spark student interest by posing the very questions – relevant to the chapter topic – that astronomers are currently investigating.
    • NEW! A two-page graphic on Space Mission programs gives students perspective on historical growth and activity of the space program through the present.
    • More Precisely boxes cover quantitative material outside of the main narrative, allowing you to choose whether or not to cover those topics.
    • Discovery boxes cover a variety of interesting topics, highlighting how discoveries were made and providing further insight into how scientific knowledge evolves, emphasising the process of science.
    • Concept Link icons refer students back to previous sections in the text to help them understand how concepts are related and allow them to more easily see the “big picture.”
    • Concept Checks and Process of Science Checks are critical-thinking questions that enable first-time readers of the chapter to actively engage in the learning process and check their understanding as they proceed. For students reviewing the chapter, these conceptual and process questions provide a quick quiz.
    • EXPANDED! Exoplanet coverage is substantially revised and increased to include our new understanding of planetary formation and the history of the universe.
    • INCREASED! More figure annotations help students focus on the key information conveyed by the illustrations and photos.
    • REVISED! Big Bang coverage is now integrated into earlier chapters
    • REVISED! A substantially revised chapter on Life in the Universe now includes information on viruses, extremophilic life, and habitable zones.
    • REVISED! All science has been thoroughly updated to keep pace with the latest discoveries.
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