Synopses & Reviews
ASTRONOMY: FROM THE EARTH TO THE UNIVERSE describes the current state of astronomy, both the fundamentals of astronomical knowledge that have been built up over decades and the exciting advances that are now taking place. The writing style is friendly and carefully detailed. It serves as a valuable reference for both beginners and astronomy enthusiasts. This book is organized as a number of stories. Individual chapters often tell what used to be known, how space and other modern observations have transformed our understanding, and then what is scheduled for the future. This is done with each planet. Consequently, an instructor can easily add photos (available as slides, overheads, CD-ROMs, and on the World Wide Web) and movies and keep a student's interest for a whole lecture on each planet, if desired. Students learn about astronomy through concrete examples, rather than merely being given overarching concepts without enough underpinning.
About the Author
Jay M. Pasachoff is Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams College, where he teaches the astronomy survey course and works with undergraduate students. He is also Director of the Hopkins Observatory there. Pasachoff has observed 35 solar eclips
Table of Contents
PART 1: A SENSE OF THE UNIVERSE. 1. PROLOGUE: THE UNIVERSE. A Sense of Scale A Deeper View Measuring System. A Deeper View Exponential Notation. A Sense of Speed. A Sense of Time. 2. THE EARLY HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY. Egyptian and Other Early Astronomy. Greek Astronomy: The Earth at the Center. In Review: Ptolemaic Terms. A Deeper Discussion: Eratosthenes and the Size of the Earth. Other Ancient Astronomy. Astronomy of the Middle Ages. A Deeper Discussion: Stellar Parallaxes and the Motion of the Earth. Nicolaus Copernicus: The Sun at the Center. Tycho Brahe. Biography: Copernicus and His Contemporaries. Feature: Archaeoastronomy. Biography Tycho Brahe. 3. THE ORIGIN OF MODERN ASTRONOMY. Johannes Kepler. Biography: Johannes Kepler. In Review: Summary of Keplers Laws of Planetary Motion. Galileo. Biography: Galileo. Isaac Newton. A Deeper Discussion: Keplers Third Law, Newton, and Planetary Masses. Biography Isaac Newton. 4. LIGHT AND TELESCOPES. The Spectrum. What a Telescope Is. A Deeper Discussion: Angular Measure. Lenses and Telescopes. Reflecting Telescopes. Light-Gathering Power and Seeing. Spectroscopy. Spectral Lines. The Doppler Effect. Observing at Short Wavelengths. Observing at Long Wavelengths. 5. OBSERVATORIES AND SPACECRAFT. Optical Observatories. Wide-Field Telescopes. The Hubble Space Telescope. Recording the Data. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Observing at Short Wavelengths. Astronomers Notebook: A Night at Mauna Kea. Observing at Long Wavelengths. 6. THE SKY AND THE CALENDAR. The Constellations. Twinkling. Coordinate Systems. Motions in the Sky. Positions of the Sun, Moon, and Planets. Time and the International Date Line. Calendars. PART 2: THE SOLAR SYSTEM. 7. THE STRUCTURE AND ORIGIN OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM. The Sun: Our Star. The Phases of the Moon and Planets. Eclipses. Astronomers Notebook: A Solar Eclipse Expedition. The Revolution and Rotation of the Planets. Theories of Cosmogony. 8. OUR EARTH. The Earths Interior. Plate Tectonics. Tides. The Earths Atmosphere. Water, Global Warming, the Ozone Hole, and Life. In Review: Global Warming vs. Ozone Hole. The Van Allen Belts. The Aurora and the Magnetosphere. 9. OUR MOON. The Appearance of the Moon. Lunar Exploration. A Deeper Discussion: Sidereal and Synodic Periods. The Results from Apollo. A Deeper Discussion: Radioactivity. The Origin of the Moon. Current and Future Lunar Studies. 10. MERCURY. The Rotation of Mercury. Ground-Based Visual Observations. Mariner 10, the Only Spacecraft to Mercury. Whats In a Name? Naming the Features of Mercury. Mercury Research Rejuvenated. More Mercury Missions at Last. 11. VENUS. The Atmosphere of Venus. Transits of Venus. The Rotation of Venus. The Temperature of Venus. The Surface of Venus. Space Studies of Venus. Whats In a Name? Naming the Features of Venus. 12. MARS. Characteristics of Mars. Early Space Observations. Main Features of Marss Surface and Atmosphere. Viking Orbiters. Viking Landers. Satellites of Mars. Failed Missions to Mars. Mars Pathfinder. Mars Global Surveyor. Future Mars Missions. Rocks from Mars. 13. JUPITER. Fundamental Properties. Jupiters Moons: Early Views. Spacecraft Observations. A Deeper Discussion: Jupiters Satellites in Mythology. A Deeper Discussion: Comet Shoemaker-Levy Crashes Into Jupiter. Jupiters Moons Close Up. Jupiters Ring. Future Study of Jupiter. A Deeper Discussion: Gravity Assists. 14. SATURN. Saturn from the Earth. A Deeper Discussion: The Roche Limit. A Deeper Discussion: Cassinis Division. Saturn from Space. Beyond Saturn. Cassini. 15. URANUS. Uranus Seen from Earth. The Rotation of Uranus. Uranuss Rings. Voyager 2 at Uranus. Whats In a Name? Naming the Moons of Uranus. 16. NEPTUNE. Neptune from Earth. Voyager 2 at Neptune. Neptunes Rings. Neptunes Moons. Whats In a Name? Naming the Rings of Neptune. Voyager Departs. Current Observations of Neptune. 17. PLUTO AND THE KUIPER BELT. Plutos Mass. Plutos Size and Surface. Plutos Atmosphere. What Is Pluto? Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. Further Planets in Our Solar System? Pluto Express. 18. EXTRASOLAR PLANETS: NEW SOLAR SYSTEMS. Older Searches for Planets. Pulsar Planets. Extrasolar Planets in Sunlike Systems. Brown Dwarfs. Solar Systems in Formation. 19. HALLEYS AND OTHER COMETS. Observing Comets. The Composition of Comets. A Deeper Discussion: Discovering a Comet. The Origin and Evolution of Comets. Halleys Comet. Chiron and the Centaurs. A Comet Crashes on Jupiter. Future Comet Studies. 20. METEORITES AND ASTEROIDS. Meteoroids and Meteorites. A Deeper Discussion: The Tunguska Explosion. Asteroids. A Deeper Discussion: The Extinction of the Dinosaurs. Photo Gallery: Eros: Asteroid Orbited Up Close. Asteroids Observed from Space. 21. LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE. The Origin of Life. Other Solar Systems? The Statistics of Extraterrestrial Life. A Deeper Discussion: The Probability of Life in the Universe. Interstellar Communication. The Search for Intelligent Life. UFOs and the Scientific Method. PART 3: THE SUN. 22. OUR STAR, THE SUN. The Photosphere. The Chromosphere. The Corona. Solar Eclipses. 23. SOLAR ACTIVITY AND THE EARTH. Sunspots. A Deeper Discussion: The Origin of Sunspots. Flares. Photo Gallery: Solar Observatories in Space. Plages, Filaments, and Prominences. Solar-Terrestrial Relations. The Solar Wind. The Solar Constant. PART 4: THE STARS. 24. STARS AND THEIR SPECTRA. The Colors of the Stars. A Deeper Discussion: Wiens Displacement Law. Plancks Law and Black Bodies. A Deeper Discussion: The Stefan-Boltzmann Law . The Formation of Spectral Lines. The Hydrogen Spectrum. Spectral Types. In Review K. 25. STELLAR DISTANCES AND MOTIONS. Light from the Stars. Stellar Distances. Absolute Magnitudes. A Deeper Discussion: Linking Apparent Magnitude, Absolute Magnitude, and Distance. The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram. Spectroscopic Parallax. The Doppler Effect. Stellar Motions. 26. DOUBLES, VARIABLES, AND CLUSTERS. Binary Stars. Stellar Masses. Stellar Sizes. Variable Stars. A Deeper Discussion: Naming Variable Stars. Clusters and Stellar Populations. A Deeper Discussion: Comparing Types of Star Clusters. PART 5: STELLAR EVOLUTION. 27. THE BIRTH, YOUTH, AND MIDDLE AGE OF STARS. Stars in Formation. Nuclear Energy in Stars. Atoms. Energy Cycles in Stars. The Stellar Prime of Life. The Solar Neutrino Experiment. Dying Stars. 28. THE AGING AND DEATH OF STARS LIKE THE SUN. Red Giants. Planetary Nebulae. White Dwarfs. Observing White Dwarfs. Novae Astronomers Notebook: Observing with the Hubble Space Telescope. 29. SUPERNOVAE. Red Supergiants. Types of Supernovae. Detecting Supernovae. Supernovae and Their Remnants. Supernova 1987A. Cosmic Rays. 30. PULSARS AND NEUTRON STARS. Neutron Stars. The Discovery of Pulsars. What Are Pulsars? The Crab, Pulsars, and Supernovae. Slowing Pulsars and the Fast Pulsar. The Binary Pulsar and Pulsar Planets. Gravitational Waves. X-Ray Binaries. SS433: The Star That Is Coming and Going. 31. BLACK HOLES. Einsteins General Theory of Relativity. A Deeper Discussion: The Special and General Theories of Relativity. The Formation of a Stellar Black Hole. In Review: Updike on Relativity. The Photon Sphere. The Event Horizon. Rotating Black Holes. Detecting a Black Hole. Non-stellar Black Holes. PART 6: THE MILKY WAY GALAXY. 32. THE STRUCTURE OF THE MILKY WAY GALAXY. Nebulae. The New Subdivision of Our Galaxy. The Center of Our Galaxy and Infrared Studies. All-Sky Maps of Our Galaxy. The Spiral Structure of the Galaxy. 33. THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM. H I and H II Regions. Interstellar Dust. A Deeper Discussion: Why Is the Sky Blue? A Deeper Discussion: Mapping in the Infrared Sky. The Radio Spectral Line from Interstellar Hydrogen. Photo Gallery: New Views of Nebulae. Radio Spectral Lines from Molecules. Measuring the Mass of Our Galaxy. Molecular Hydrogen. The Formation of Stars. A Case Study: The Orion Molecular Cloud. PART 7: GALAXIES AND COSMOLOGY. 34. TYPES OF GALAXIES. Types of Galaxies. The Hubble Classification. The Centers of Galaxies. Interacting Galaxies. Clusters of Galaxies. Galactic Arcs and Gravitational Lensing. Active Galaxies. Radio Interferometry Astronomers Notebook: Observing with the VLA. 35. GALAXIES AND THE EXPANDING UNIVERSE. Hubbles Law. The Expanding Universe. The Distance Scale of the Universe. Finding Hubbles Constant. Motions, Gravitational Pulls, Evolution, and Hubbles Constant. Superclusters and the Great Wall. The Most Distant Galaxies. The Origin of Galaxies. 36. QUASARS. The Discovery of Quasars. The Redshift in Quasars. The Importance of Quasars. Feeding the Monster. The Origin of the Redshifts. Associations of Galaxies with Quasars. Quasars with the Hubble Space Telescope. Superluminal Velocities. Quasars at Short Wavelengths. Double Quasars. 37. COSMOLOGY. Olberss Paradox. The Big-Bang Theory. A Deeper Discussion: Einsteins Principle of Equivalence. The Steady-State Theory. The Cosmic Background Radiation. 38. THE PAST AND FUTURE OF THE UNIVERSE. The Creation of the Elements. The Future of the Universe. Forces in the Universe. Superstrings and Shadow Matter. The Inflationary Universe. Cosmic String and Texture. The Hubble Deep Field. In Review: Keeping Strings Straight. COBE: Has It Shown the Link to the Big Bang? Epilogue. Appendices. Selected Readings. Glossary. Illustration Acknowledgments. Index.