Synopses & Reviews
Built from the ground up on our new understanding of the universe, The Essential Cosmic Perspective, Fourth Edition, Media Update retains all of the features that have made this book so popular, and includes updated supplements that enhance the book’s pedagogy to make it the most effective book in the astronomy market. This edition features optional quantitative reasoning boxes, basic equations throughout the book, new end-of-chapter problems, and a consolidated math appendix for professors who want to emphasize quantitative understanding in their course. Key figures have been annotated to guide student interpretation of difficult concepts. New two-page Cosmic Context illustration spreads throughout the book, and at the end of every part, visually tie together key concepts from across chapters and put them in context, driving home main ideas in a meaningful way. Our Place in the Universe, Discovering the Universe for Yourself, The Science of Astronomy, Making Sense of the Universe: Understanding Motion, Energy, and Gravity, Light: The Cosmic Messenger, Formation of Planetary Systems: Our Solar System and Beyond, Earth and the Terrestrial Worlds, Jovian Planet System, Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets: Their Nature, Orbits, and Impacts, Our Star, Surveying the Stars, Star Stuff, The Bizarre Stellar Graveyard, Our Galaxy, Galaxies and the Foundation of Modern Cosmology, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Fate of the Universe, The Beginning of Time, Life in the Universe. For all readers interested in learning the basics of Astronomy.'
Key Benefit: Based on the most up-to-date astronomical research, The Essential Cosmic Perspective, Fifth Edition retains all of the features that have made this text so popular with new features to help students learn about the process of science and how to interpret visual data.
Key Topics: Our Place in the Universe, Discovering the Universe for Yourself, The Science of Astronomy, Making Sense of the Universe: Understanding Motion, Energy, and Gravity, Light: The Cosmic Messenger, Formation of Planetary Systems: Our Solar System and Beyond, Earth and the Terrestrial Worlds, Jovian Planet System, Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets: Their Nature, Orbits, and Impacts, Our Star, Surveying the Stars, Star Stuff, The Bizarre Stellar Graveyard, Our Galaxy, Galaxies and the Foundation of Modern Cosmology, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Fate of the Universe, The Beginning of Time, Life in the Universe
Intended for readers interested in learning the essentials of astronomy.
About the Author
Jeffrey Bennett holds a B.A. (1981) in biophysics from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.S. and Ph.D.(1987) in astrophysics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has taught at every level from preschool through graduate school, including more than 50 college classes in astronomy, physics, mathematics, and education. He served 2 years as a visiting senior scientist at NASA headquarters, where he created NASA’s “IDEAS” program, started a program to fly teachers aboard NASA’s airborne bservatories (including the hopefully soon-to-be-flying SOFIA), and worked on numerous educational programs
for the Hubble Space Telescope and other space science missions. He also proposed the idea for and helped develop
both the Colorado Scale Model Solar System on the CU-Boulder campus and the VoyageScale Model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (He is pictured here with the model Sun.) In addition to this astronomy textbook, he has written college-level textbooks in astrobiology, mathematics, and statistics; two books for the general public, On the Cosmic Horizon (Pearson Addison-Wesley, 2001) and Beyond UFOs (Princeton University Press, 2008); and an award-winning series of children’s books that includes Max Goes to the Moon, Max Goes toMars, Max Goes to Jupiter (coming soon), and Max’s Ice Age Adventure. When not working, he enjoys participating in masters swimming and in the daily adventures of life with his wife, Lisa; his children, Grant and Brooke; and his dog, Cosmo. His personal Website is www.jeffreybennett.com.
Megan Donahue is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University. Her current research is mainly on clusters of galaxies: their contents—dark matter, hot gas, galaxies, active galactic nuclei—and what they reveal about the contents of the universe and how galaxies form and evolve. She grew up on a farm in Nebraska and received a B.A. in physics from MIT, where she began her research career as an X-ray astronomer. She has a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Colorado, for a thesis on theory and optical observations of intergalactic and intracluster gas. That thesis won the 1993 Trumpler Award from the Astronomical Society for the Pacific for an outstanding astrophysics doctoral dissertation in North America. She continued postdoctoral research in optical and X-ray observations as a Carnegie Fellow at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, and later as an STScI Institute Fellow at Space Telescope. Megan was a staff astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute until 2003, when she joined the MSU faculty. Megan is married to Mark Voit, and they collaborate on many projects, including this textbook and the raising of their children,Michaela, Sebastian, and Angela. Between the births of Sebastian and Angela, Megan qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon. These days,Megan runs, orienteers, and plays piano and bass guitar whenever her children allow it.
Nicholas Schneider is an associate professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University
of Colorado and a researcher in the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. He received his B.A. in physics and astronomy from Dartmouth College in 1979 and his Ph.D. in planetary science from the University of Arizona in 1988. In 1991, he received the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award. His research interests include planetary atmospheres and planetary astronomy, with a focus on the odd case of Jupiter’s moon Io. He enjoys teaching at all levels and is active in efforts to improve undergraduate astronomy education. Off the job, he enjoys exploring the outdoors with his family
and figuring out how things work.
Mark Voit is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University. He earned his B.A. in astrophysical sciences at Princeton University and his Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of Colorado in 1990. He continued his studies at the California Institute of Technology, where he was a research fellow in theoretical astrophysics, and then moved on to Johns Hopkins University as a Hubble Fellow. Before going to Michigan State,Mark worked in the Office of Public Outreach
at the Space Telescope, where he developed museum exhibitions about the Hubble Space Telescope and was the scientist behind NASA’s HubbleSite. His research interests range from interstellar processes in our own galaxy to the clustering of galaxies in the early universe. He is married to coauthor Megan Donahue, and they try to play outdoors with their three children whenever possible, enjoying hiking, camping, running, and orienteering.Mark is also author of the popular book Hubble Space Telescope: New Views of the Universe.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Developing Perspective
Chapter 1: Our Place in the Universe
Chapter 2: Discovering the Universe for Yourself
Chapter 3: The Science of Astronomy
Part 2: Key Concepts for Astronomy
Chapter 4: Making Sense of the Universe: Understanding Motion, Energy, and Gravity
Chapter 5: Light: The Cosmic Messenger
Part 3: Learning from Other Worlds
Chapter 6: Formation of Planetary Systems: Our Solar System and Beyond
Chapter 7: Earth and the Terrestrial Worlds
Chapter 8: Jovian Planet System
Chapter 9: Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets: Their Nature, Orbits, and Impacts
Part 4: Stars
Chapter 10: Our Star
Chapter 11: Surveying the Stars
Chapter 12: Star Stuff
Chapter 13: The Bizarre Stellar Graveyard
Part 5: Galaxies and Beyond
Chapter 14: Our Galaxy
Chapter 15: Galaxies and the Foundation of Modern Cosmology
Chapter 16: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Fate of the Universe
Chapter 17: The Beginning of Time
Part 6: Life on Earth and Beyond
Chapter 18: Life in the Universe\n