21st Century Astronomy (4th Edition) by Bradford Smith, George Blumenthal, Laura Kay
By Bradford Smith, George Blumenthal, Laura Kay
Teaches scholars to imagine like scientists.
Authors Laura Kay and Stacy Palen have constructed pedagogy that is helping scholars comprehend the method of technological know-how, and the way actual rules are used to find the origins of the universe. The authors emphasize how we all know what we all know within the figures, textual content, and end-of-chapter material.
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Extra info for 21st Century Astronomy (4th Edition)
As the ﬁrst of many examples of how astronomers think, consider Pluto, which was reclassiﬁed from planet to dwarf planet in 2006. What exactly is a planet? 1 that we currently describe our Solar System as having eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The word planet comes from the Greek and means “wanderer,” because planets were originally observed to change position against the ﬁxed patterns of stars. The only planets the ancient Greeks could observe in those pre-telescopic times were Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
These expressions are ratios. Geometry. To describe and understand objects in astronomy and physics, we use concepts such as distance, shape, area, and volume. Apparent separations between objects in the sky are expressed as angles. Earth’s orbit is an ellipse with the Sun at one focus. The planets in the Solar System lie close to a plane. Geometry provides the tools for working with these concepts. Algebra. In algebra we use and manipulate symbols that represent numbers or quantities. We express relationships that are valid not just for a single case, but for many cases.
Most of the mass in the universe, the origin of galaxies and other large structures in the universe, the earliest moments in the universe, as- Brad Smith is a retired professor of plan- trophysical radiation processes, and the structure of active galactic etary science. He has served as an associate nuclei such as quasars. Besides teaching and conducting research, professor of astronomy at New Mexico State Chancellor Blumenthal has served as the chair of the UC–Santa Cruz University, as a professor of planetary sci- Astronomy and Astrophysics Department, has chaired the Academic ences and astronomy at the University of Senate for both the UC–Santa Cruz campus and the entire University Arizona, and as a research astronomer at of California system, has been both the chair and vice chair of the the University of Hawaii.