About This Textbook
Astronomy is written in clear non-technical language, with the occasional touch of humor and a wide range of clarifying illustrations. It has many analogies drawn from everyday life to help non-science majors appreciate, on their own terms, what our modern exploration of the universe is revealing. Astronomy was written, updated, and reviewed by a broad range of astronomers and astronomy educators in a strong community effort.
Astronomy has information and images from the New Horizons exploration of Pluto, the discovery of gravitational waves, the Rosetta Mission to Comet C-G, and many other recent projects in astronomy.
The discussion of exoplanets has been updated with recent information—indicating not just individual examples, but trends in what sorts of planets seem to be most common. Black holes receive their own chapter, and the role of supermassive black holes in active galaxies and galaxy evolution is clearly explained. It is designed to meet scope and sequence requirements of introductory astronomy courses nationwide. Because there are many different ways to teach introductory astronomy, we have made the text as flexible as we could.
Math examples are shown in separate sections throughout, so that you can leave out the math or require it as you deem best. Each section of a chapter treats a different aspect of the topic being covered; a number of sections could be omitted in shorter overview courses and can be included where you need more depth.
This book is written to help students understand the big picture rather than get lost in random factoids to memorize. The language is accessible and inviting. Helpful diagrams and summary tables review and encapsulate the ideas being covered. Each chapter contains interactive group activities you can assign to help students work in teams and pool their knowledge.
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