Astronomy: The Universe at a Glance, 1st edition

  • Eric Chaisson
  • Steve McMillan

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A modular and highly visual approach to introductory astronomy


Astronomy: The Universe at a Glance takes students on a spectacular journey across the vast cosmos. The Universe at a Glance introduces the structure and nature of the universe while emphasizing both the latest scientific findings and the process of scientific discovery. This new book by trusted authors Eric Chaisson and Steve McMillan reimagines their classic texts in a modularly organized, visual approach to learning. Here, the essential ideas, concepts, and discoveries of contemporary astronomy are presented in 15 chapters, each chapter composed of richly illustrated, two-page spreads designed to visually engage and instruct students.


Complete with spectacular graphics and concise, compelling chapters, The Universe at a Glance packs an immense amount of awe-inspiring insights into a brief modular volume. Uniting engaging prose, fascinating details, and easy-to-follow Learning Outcomes, this accessible account of astronomy is flexible and fun, an ideal complement to a dynamic introductory course. The text is integrated with MasteringAstronomy to create an unrivalled learning suite for students and instructors.


Personalize Learning with MasteringAstronomy®

MasteringAstronomy from Pearson is the leading online homework, tutorial, and assessment system, designed to improve results by engaging students before, during, and after class with powerful content. Instructors ensure students arrive ready to learn by assigning educationally effective content before class, and encourage critical thinking and retention with in-class resources such as Learning Catalytics. Students can further master concepts after class through traditional and adaptive homework assignments that provide hints and answer-specific feedback. The Mastering gradebook records scores for all automatically graded assignments in one place, while diagnostic tools give instructors access to rich data to assess student understanding and misconceptions.


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0321792998 / 9780321792990 Astronomy: The Universe at a Glance Plus MasteringAstronomy with eText -- Access Card Package, 1/e.

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Table of contents

About the Authors


1. The Night Sky 

 1.1 The Big Picture 

 1.2 The “Obvious” View 

 1.3 Earth’s Orbital Motion 

 1.4 The Motion of the Moon  

 1.5 Eclipses  

 1.6 The Scientific Method  

2. Light and Telescopes 

 2.1 Radiation

 2.2 The Electromagnetic Spectrum 

 2.3 The Radiation Laws 

 2.4 Spectroscopy

 2.5 Atoms and Molecules 

 2.6 Optical Telescopes

 2.7 Radio Telescopes

 2.8 Space-Based Astronomy 

3. The Solar System

 3.1 Planetary Motion

 3.2 Heliocentric Solar System

 3.3 The Birth of Modern Astronomy 

 3.4 The Laws of Planetary Motion

 3.5 Newton’s Laws

 3.6 Measuring Our Planetary System 

 3.7 Solar System Overview 

4. Earth And Its Moon 

 4.1 Bulk Properties of Earth and the Moon

 4.2 The Moon and Tides

 4.3 Inside Earth and the Moon

 4.4 Earth’s Atmosphere

 4.5 Surface Activity on Earth

 4.6 The Surface of the Moon

 4.7 Magnetospheres

5. The Eight Planets 

 5.1 Surfaces of the Terrestrial Planets

 5.2 Water on the Terrestrial Worlds

 5.3 Terrestrial Atmospheres 

 5.4 Jovian Atmospheres 

 5.5 Water in the Outer Solar System 

 5.6 Planetary Interiors

 5.7 Jovian Magnetic Fields 

6. Small Bodies In The Solar System

 6.1 The Galilean Moons of Jupiter 

 6.2 Io: A Moon of Volcanoes 

 6.3 Moons of the Outer Jovian Planets 

 6.4 The Medium-Size Jovian Moons 

 6.5 Saturn’s Rings 

 6.6 Formation of Planetary Rings

 6.7 Interplanetary Debris 

 6.8 Beyond Neptune

7. Formation of Planetary Systems

 7.1 Formation of Planetary Systems

 7.2 Planetesimals and Protoplanets

 7.3 Formation of the Jovian Planets

 7.4 Searching for Extrasolar Planets 

 7.5 Exoplanet Properties 

 7.6 Is Our Solar System Unusual? 

8. The Sun 

 8.1 Properties of the Sun

 8.2 The Solar Interior 

 8.3 Energy Transport in the Sun

 8.4 The Solar Atmosphere

 8.5 Sunspots

 8.6 The Active Sun

 8.7 Solar Energy

 8.8 Solar Neutrinos 

9. Measuring The Stars

 9.1 The Solar Neighborhood 

 9.2 Stellar Luminosities 

 9.3 Stellar Temperatures 

 9.4 Stellar Sizes 

 9.5 The Hertzsprung—Russell Diagram 

 9.6 Extending the Cosmic Distance Scale 

 9.7 Stellar Masses 

10. Star Formation and Evolution 

 10.1 Interstellar Matter

 10.2 Theory of Star Formation

 10.3 Observations of Star Formation 

 10.4 Evolution of a Sun-like Star 

 10.5 Red Giants, White Dwarfs

 10.6 Stars More Massive than the Sun

 10.7 Star Clusters

11. Stellar Explosions

 11.1 Novae

 11.2 Supernovae

 11.3 Supernova Remnants

 11.4 Formation of the Heaviest Elements

 11.5 Neutron Stars and Pulsars

 11.6 Gamma-Ray Bursts

 11.7 The Cycle of Stellar Evolution

12. Black Holes 

 12.1 Gravitational Collapse

 12.2 Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

 12.3 A New View of Gravity

 12.4 Curved Spacetime

 12.5 Space Travel Near Black Holes  212

 12.6 Observational Evidence for Black Holes 

13. The Milky Way Galaxy

 13.1 Our Parent Galaxy

 13.2 The Size and Shape of the Milky Way

 13.3 Surveying the Milky Way

 13.4 Formation of the Milky Way

 13.5 Galactic Spiral Arms

 13.6 The Mass of the Galaxy

 13.7 The Galactic Center 

14. Galaxies 

 14.1 Observations of Normal Galaxies

 14.2 Maps of Galaxies in Space 

 14.3 Galaxy Collisions 

 14.4 Hubble’s Law  

 14.5 Active Galaxies 

 14.6 Supermassive Black Holes

 14.7 Dark Matter

 14.8 Galaxy Origin and Evolution

15. Cosmology and The Universe 

 15.1 The Universe on the Largest Scales  

 15.2 The Expanding Universe 

 15.3 The Fate of the Cosmos  

 15.4 Cosmic Microwave Background  

 15.5 The Early Universe

 15.6 Cosmic Inflation  

 15.7 Formation of Large-Scale Structure


Appendix 1. Scientific Notation

Appendix 2. Astronomical Measurement

Appendix 3. Tables


Answers to End-of-Chapter Questions

Answers to True/False and Multiple Choice Questions

Photo Credits/Text Permissions


Published by Pearson (December 24th 2014) - Copyright © 2016