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Pathways to Astronomy breaks down introductory astronomy into its component parts. The huge and fascinating field of astronomy is divided into 86 units. These units are woven together to flow naturally for the person who wants to read the text like a book, but it is also possible to assign them in different orders, or skip certain units altogether. Professors can customize the units to fit their course needs. They can select individual units for exploration in lecture while assigning easier units for self-study, or they can cover all the units in full depth in a content-rich course. With the short length of units, students can easily digest the material covered in an individual unit before moving onto the next unit.
Table of contents
Looking Up Illustrations Preface PART I THE COSMIC LANDSCAPE Unit 1 Our Planetary Neighborhood Unit 2 Beyond the Solar System Unit 3 Astronomical Numbers Unit 4 Foundations of Astronomy Unit 5 The Night Sky Unit 6 The Year Unit 7 The Time of Day Unit 8 Lunar Cycles Unit 9 Calendars Unit 10 Geometry of the Earth, Moon, and Sun Unit 11 Planets: The Wandering Stars Unit 12 The Beginnings of Modern Astronomy Unit 13 Observing the Sky PART II PROBING MATTER, LIGHT, AND THEIR INTERACTIONS Unit 14 Astronomical Motion: Inertia, Mass, and Force Unit 15 Force, Acceleration, and Interaction Unit 16 The Universal Law of Gravity Unit 17 Measuring a Body’s Mass Using Orbital Motion Unit 18 Orbital and Escape Velocities Unit 19 Tides Unit 20 Conservation Laws Unit 21 The Dual Nature of Light and Matter Unit 22 The Electromagnetic Spectrum Unit 23 Thermal Radiation Unit 24 Identifying Atoms by Their Spectra Unit 25 The Doppler Shift Unit 26 Special Relativity Unit 27 General Relativity Unit 28 Detecting Light Unit 29 Collecting Light Unit 30 Focusing Light Unit 31 Telescope Resolution Unit 32 The Earth’s Atmosphere and SpaceObservatories Unit 33 Amateur Astronomy PART III THE SOLAR SYSTEM Unit 34 The Structure of the Solar System Unit 35 The Origin of the Solar System Unit 36 Other Planetary Systems Unit 37 The Earth as a Terrestrial Planet Unit 38 Earth's Atmosphere and Hydrosphere Unit 39 Our Moon Unit 40 Mercury Unit 41 Venus Unit 42 Mars Unit 43 Asteroids Unit 44 Comparative Planetology Unit 45 Jupiter and Saturn Unit 46 Uranus and Neptune Unit 47 Satellite Systems and Rings Unit 48 Ice Worlds, Pluto, and Beyond Unit 49 Comets Unit 50 Impacts on Earth PART IV STARS AND STELLAR EVOLUTION Unit 51 The Sun, Our Star Unit 52 The Sun’s Source of Power Unit 53 Solar Activity Unit 54 Surveying the Stars Unit 55 The Luminosities of Stars Unit 56 The Temperatures and Compositions of Stars Unit 57 The Masses of Orbiting Stars Unit 58 The Sizes of Stars Unit 59 The H-R Diagram Unit 60 Overview of Stellar Evolution Unit 61 Star Formation Unit 62 Main-Sequence Stars Unit 63 Giant Stars Unit 64 Variable Stars Unit 65 Mass Loss and Death of Low-Mass Stars Unit 66 Exploding White Dwarfs Unit 67 Old Age and Death of Massive Stars Unit 68 Neutron Stars Unit 69 Black Holes Unit 70 Star Clusters PART V GALAXIES AND THE UNIVERSE Unit 71 Discovering the Milky Way Unit 72 Stars of the Milky Way Unit 73 Gas and Dust in the Milky Way Unit 74 Mass and Motions in the Milky Way Unit 75 A Universe of Galaxies Unit 76 Types of Galaxies Unit 77 Galaxy Clustering Unit 78 Active Galactic Nuclei Unit 79 Dark Matter Unit 80 Cosmology Unit 81 The Edges of the Universe Unit 82 The Curvature of the Universe Unit 83 The Beginnings of the Universe Unit 84 Dark Energy and the Fate of the Universe Unit 85 Astrobiology Unit 86 The Search for Life Elsewhere Answers to Test Yourself Questions Glossary Credits Index