Introductory Astronomy or Astrophysics book

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Interested in learning about Astronomy/ Astrophysics. I do not know anything besides the planets, and apparently I learnt today that Asteroids are rich in metals.??

I am looking for a book that is introductory, but is not to easy.

I have taken a course in freshman calculus based mechanics and EnM. My math knowledge consist of Multivariable Calculus, Intro ODE, and intro Linear Algebra.
 

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  • #2
MarcusAgrippa
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You would find 2 books to be useful as a beginner:

1. Bennett, The cosmic Perspective - this is an introductory text that with a minimum of physics and mathematics examines the principal astrophysical systems in the universe, provides an understanding of their properties and has a wealth of background information that you would not pick up in a standard physics course.

2. Carroll and Ostlie, Modern Astrophysics - there are 2 versions of this text, a 1-volume combined text, and a 2-Volume republication of the same material, divided into stellar astrophysics and galactic astrophysics. This text is at advanced undergraduate level and is more mathematical.

I recommend you use both texts alongside each other. A major obstacle to astrophysics, unless you have come through an undergraduate degree in astrophysics, is that the system and associated phenomena are completely unfamiliar to a standard physics graduate. That is what makes Bennett so useful, in spite of the paucity of its mathematical content.

There are very many more astrophysics books to choose from, all at a much more advanced level. I can give you the titles if you want them, but the above books are probably all you would want at the moment.
 
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George Jones
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MarcusAgrippa
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Although I like (and have on my shelf) both Bennet and Carroll and Ostlie, I also recommend "Foundations of Astrophysics" by Barbara Ryden and Bradley M. Peterson,

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0321595580/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20,

whch is almost at the level of Carroll and Ostlie, but which is maybe a little more readable.
Do you have any other recommendations? I am looking for a book to use with an undergraduate class - freshman level - that is not as difficult as Carroll and Ostlie but more challenging than Bennett, from which I currently teach. The good books I know all appear to be out of print.
 
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George Jones
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Do you have any other recommendations? I am looking for a book to use with an undergraduate class - freshman level - that is not as difficult as Carroll and Ostlie but more challenging than Bennett, from which I currently teach. The good books I know all appear to be out of print.
Sorry, I have several others books at the level of Bennett, but I don't know of any astronomy/astrophysics books between the levels of Bennet and Ryden and Peterson. There is the much more specialized "Exploring Black Holes" by Taylor and Wheeler, which requires freshman physics and single-variable calculus as inputs. I used this as the text for a course that I taught years ago. Time flies.

I am curious:

General undergrads? Science undergrads? Physics undergrads?
 
  • #6
MarcusAgrippa
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Sorry, I have several others books at the level of Bennett, but I don't know of any astronomy/astrophysics books between the levels of Bennet and Ryden and Peterson. There is the much more specialized "Exploring Black Holes" by Taylor and Wheeler, which requires freshman physics and single-variable calculus as inputs. I used this as the text for a course that I taught years ago. Time flies.

I am curious:

General undergrads? Science undergrads? Physics undergrads?
BSc majoring in physics and astrophysics. They begin astrophysics in the first year. We use Bennett in the first semester and are struggling to find a text pitched at the correct level for the second semester.
 

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