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Universe and the sastronomy

  1. Oct 1, 2008 #1
    i know basic stuff about the universe and the sastronomy field of science in general. i Need a website or a good book that will get me more in knowledge with the universe. I know that alot of astronomy is math based but please, nothing too complicated with math. only in 9th grade. I love astronomy and i studied it all throughout middle school, spending spare time researching stars, galaxies, watching history channel shows. doing all sorts of things. i need some help getting a more diverse and complex backround, ive decided that i'd like to study the creation and collision of galexies and the creation of the universe, but not just the big band. so anything out there that you guys find, can you gimme a buzz on it.

    thanks

    -Nobartholem, avid learner

    also, a tip. if you want to know the hot key buttons for posting its alt+s (alt and submit)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2008 #2
    Re: astronomy

    This is a good general book that covers a lot. No mathematics either, except for a few sections which can be skipped. Used editions are cheap since universities use the new edition.

    http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Stud...=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222897374&sr=8-7

    Note that there are numerous versions of this book; a comprehensive one, and one just for the solar system, and another separate one for galaxies. This is not the link to the comprehensive one, but it should give you an idea; the comprehensive one has a similar cover. If I find it I will post the link.
     
  4. Oct 1, 2008 #3
    Re: astronomy

    Thanks, amazon always has good used book deals so i'll check it out. My parents bought my books on amazon and half.com. They do it every year and they save alot. anyway i hope its long, and it has pictures, not because im a little person who needs pictures but it help understand concepts better
     
  5. Oct 1, 2008 #4
  6. Oct 4, 2008 #5
    Re: astronomy

    i looked at the prices for those books and it said that it was over 100 dollars...that aint right is it?????
    i dont have that much money......
     
  7. Oct 4, 2008 #6
    Re: astronomy

    If you buy the most current edition and brand new, then yes. Often used books are the way to go if you want to save money. I saw used books being sold for $3 on the link I provided.
     
  8. Oct 4, 2008 #7

    Redbelly98

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  10. Oct 4, 2008 #9

    marcus

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    Re: astronomy

    Nobart,
    consider this book
    http://www.amazon.com/Cosmos-Astronomy-Millennium-Virtual-AceAstronomy/dp/0495013307

    it is available for $8.50 because it is a 2004 edition of something that is now available in an expensive 2006 edition (profs usually require students buy the most up-to-date edition, so the old edition tends to sell for cheap)

    The book is 500 pages. If it like other books by Pasachoff I've seen it is richly illustrated with all sorts of photographs and stuff.

    The book is also supposed to come with CD-rom materials (sky maps, interactive virtual lab stuff to do on your computer.) but used copies, for $8 or $10 are unlikely to have all the stuff that is supposed to come in the back pocket.

    Even without the multimedia it is probably a very good book simply as a book.

    I sat in on some of Filippenko's courses back when he was using an older textbook by Pasachoff. the course was outstanding and so was the textbook. Now the two guys have gotten together and co-authored a textbook. I haven't seen it but it is likely to be very very good.

    Filippenko is one of the Supernova Search team that discovered accelerating expansion (in effect dark energy). That is, he is outstanding both as a research astronomer and also as a teacher. He was even voted teacher of the year at the university where he teaches.

    I can't recommend because I haven't looked at this particular book, but I advise you to check it out. See what you get for your money. Again I can't say definitely but I'd guess the math is probably no harder than highschool algebra, at least for most of the book.

    This will be a 500 page volume that covers the whole subject from the sun and planets of our solar system to our galaxy to weird stars of various sorts to quasars and blazars and gammaray bursts to supernovae and black holes and the early universe....it will cover the whole subject soup to nuts. That's my take on it. Read the reviews and make up your own mind.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  11. Oct 5, 2008 #10

    marcus

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    Re: astronomy

    Here is a list of 20 chapters in Pasachoff and Flipper's book Cosmos
    http://www.williams.edu/astronomy/cosmos/chapter_map.html

    it tells you the name of each chapter and then for each chapter, if you click on the link, you get a list of links to free stuff on the web that can serve as supplemental material to that chapter. So if the chapter is talking about the black hole in the center of Milkyway galaxy then one of the links will be to a MOVIE of stars orbiting that black hole (that was made timelapse over several years and is shown speeded up)

    that is in the supplemental material to chapter 15, the chapter about our galaxy.

    Hmmm, I see that the book is available used for under $4 if you choose the paperback edition, still 500 pages, just different binding
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/053439549X/

    if you google with the names Pasachoff and Filippenko, you might find more information, or some sample chapters, or reviews. but the names of the 20 chapters should give you a notion of the scope of the book anyway. it is a complete introductory course in general astronomy. Up to date as to the satellite technology and new types of telescope and all that. fast moving field. should try to get an up to date book

    I found a comparative review of two different intro astro texts, done when the available edition of Cosmos had only 400 pages less appendices, (it has apparently been expanded since then) ---the review is by Paul Kohlmiller, the editor of the San Jose Astronomical Association Ephemeris (monthly magazine)
    http://ephemeris.sjaa.net/0408/c.html
    He looked at several and chose two to evaluate carefully, besides the Pasachoff Filippenko he chose Astronomy Today by Chaisson and McMillan. He said it was a close call and both were excellent but PasaFilipp would be better if you were using it to teach yourself and ChaissonMcMillan would be better if you were using it in a course because it had more review questions, homework exercises etc. thicker book. He said PasaFilipp did a better job of isolating the math in special "figure it out" boxes and keeping the main part free of math---and that it was more reader-friendly. But he emphasized that it it was close and both were good.

    Ideally before choosing one should be able to find other independent reviews online, by educators, librarians, astronomy magazines---i.e. non-commercial sources that are trying to be objective. I only found this one review.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  12. Oct 5, 2008 #11
    Re: astronomy

    im not looking for a book with the multimedia things in it so the 8 and 10 dollar copies will me fine. Do you think it'd be better to spend an extra 20 or so dollars to get a book thats in like new condition instead of a book thats in good or very good condition for the 5 6 or 7 dollars? im thinking about spending a couple extra dollars
     
  13. Oct 5, 2008 #12

    marcus

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    Re: astronomy

    Nobart,
    I can't advise you. My own personal preference would be to not care much about the condition except it should not be marked up with someone else's highlighter or underlinings. And the binding should not be falling apart.

    But I'm on very thin ice already because I have no direct experience with this book! All I have is experience with Filippenko as a great lecturer who communicates well, and of a Pasachoff book that was a standard general astro textbook in the early 1990s. It was complete as to topics, up to date at the time, had loads of pictures, and handled the math well, so it was a good text. My friend who was taking the course owned the paperback version (same format, just the soft binding, which I find OK). I was sitting in just for pleasure and interest.
    All I have is good associations with these people. I can't guarantee the book!

    I do know that anybody getting an astro book should try to get one that is up-to-date because there has been a lot of change since 1998. New instruments, new satellites, new type ground telescopes, gammaray, xray, new parts of the spectrum. More accurate measurments, weak lensing pictures of dark matter clouds, better CMB mapping and so forth.

    I guess I would get a very inexpensive 2004 edition of PasaFilipp to use for now, and shop around again in another 2 or 3 years----maybe visit the campus bookstore at some college or university, or browse the astro section of a university library (most places will let you in to browse the shelves even if you are not a student there, if you have a good reason, at most the librarian might ask to see an ID if you are from off campus.

    In 2 or 3 years the 2006 edition of Pasachoff and Filippenko might be selling for cheap and there might be a new book out that you'd want to consider. Hard to predict, in a fast moving field.
     
  14. Oct 5, 2008 #13
    Re: astronomy

    ive decided that i'm going to spend the extra 20 dollars for the better condition book, its already on order so you cant expect me to change my mind. thanks for the help and advice
     
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