Astronomy
Free

Astronomy

By Andrew Fraknoi
Free
Book Description

Astronomy is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of one- or two-semester introductory astronomy courses. The book begins with relevant scientific fundamentals and progresses through an exploration of the solar system, stars, galaxies and cosmology. The Astronomy textbook builds student understanding through the use of relevant analogies, clear and non-technical explanations, and rich illustrations. Mathematics is included in a flexible manner to meet the needs of individual instructors.


  • 1 Science and the Universe: A Brief Tour

  • 2 Observing the Sky: The Birth of Astronomy

  • 3 Orbits and Gravity

  • 4 Earth, Moon, and Sky

  • 5 Radiation and Spectra

  • 6 Astronomical Instruments

  • 7 Other Worlds: An Introduction to the Solar System

  • 8 Earth as a Planet

  • 9 Cratered Worlds

  • 10 Earthlike Planets: Venus and Mars

  • 11 The Giant Planets

  • 12 Rings, Moons, and Pluto

  • 13 Comets and Asteroids: Debris of the Solar System

  • 14 Cosmic Samples and the Origin of the Solar System

  • 15 The Sun: A Garden-Variety Star

  • 16 The Sun: A Nuclear Powerhouse

  • 17 Analyzing Starlight

  • 18 The Stars: A Celestial Census

  • 19 Celestial Distances

  • 20 Between the Stars: Gas and Dust in Space

  • 21 The Birth of Stars and the Discovery of Planets outside the Solar System

  • 22 Stars from Adolescence to Old Age

  • 23 The Death of Stars

  • 24 Black Holes and Curved Spacetime

  • 25 The Milky Way Galaxy

  • 26 Galaxies

  • 27 Active Galaxies, Quasars, and Supermassive Black Holes

  • 28 The Evolution and Distribution of Galaxies

  • 29 The Big Bang

  • 30 Life in the Univers

Table of Contents
  • Preface
    • 1. About OpenStax
    • 2. About OpenStax Resources
    • 3. About Astronomy
    • 4. Additional Resources
    • 5. About the Authors
  • Chapter 1. Science and the Universe: A Brief Tour
    • 1.1. The Nature of Astronomy*
    • 1.2. The Nature of Science*
    • 1.3. The Laws of Nature*
    • 1.4. Numbers in Astronomy*
    • 1.5. Consequences of Light Travel Time*
    • 1.6. A Tour of the Universe*
    • 1.7. The Universe on the Large Scale*
    • 1.8. The Universe of the Very Small*
    • 1.9. A Conclusion and a Beginning*
  • Chapter 2. Observing the Sky: The Birth of Astronomy
    • 2.1. The Sky Above*
    • 2.2. Ancient Astronomy*
    • 2.3. Astrology and Astronomy*
    • 2.4. The Birth of Modern Astronomy*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 3. Orbits and Gravity
    • 3.1. The Laws of Planetary Motion*
    • 3.2. Newton’s Great Synthesis*
    • 3.3. Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation*
    • 3.4. Orbits in the Solar System*
    • 3.5. Motions of Satellites and Spacecraft*
    • 3.6. Gravity with More Than Two Bodies*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 4. Earth, Moon, and Sky
    • 4.1. Earth and Sky*
    • 4.2. The Seasons*
    • 4.3. Keeping Time*
    • 4.4. The Calendar*
    • 4.5. Phases and Motions of the Moon*
    • 4.6. Ocean Tides and the Moon*
    • 4.7. Eclipses of the Sun and Moon*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 5. Radiation and Spectra
    • 5.1. The Behavior of Light*
    • 5.2. The Electromagnetic Spectrum*
    • 5.3. Spectroscopy in Astronomy*
    • 5.4. The Structure of the Atom*
    • 5.5. Formation of Spectral Lines*
    • 5.6. The Doppler Effect*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 6. Astronomical Instruments
    • 6.1. Telescopes*
    • 6.2. Telescopes Today*
    • 6.3. Visible-Light Detectors and Instruments*
    • 6.4. Radio Telescopes*
    • 6.5. Observations outside Earth’s Atmosphere*
    • 6.6. The Future of Large Telescopes*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 7. Other Worlds: An Introduction to the Solar System
    • 7.1. Overview of Our Planetary System*
    • 7.2. Composition and Structure of Planets*
    • 7.3. Dating Planetary Surfaces*
    • 7.4. Origin of the Solar System*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 8. Earth as a Planet
    • 8.1. The Global Perspective*
    • 8.2. Earth’s Crust*
    • 8.3. Earth’s Atmosphere*
    • 8.4. Life, Chemical Evolution, and Climate Change*
    • 8.5. Cosmic Influences on the Evolution of Earth*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 9. Cratered Worlds
    • 9.1. General Properties of the Moon*
    • 9.2. The Lunar Surface*
    • 9.3. Impact Craters*
    • 9.4. The Origin of the Moon*
    • 9.5. Mercury*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 10. Earthlike Planets: Venus and Mars
    • 10.1. The Nearest Planets: An Overview*
    • 10.2. The Geology of Venus*
    • 10.3. The Massive Atmosphere of Venus*
    • 10.4. The Geology of Mars*
    • 10.5. Water and Life on Mars*
    • 10.6. Divergent Planetary Evolution*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 11. The Giant Planets
    • 11.1. Exploring the Outer Planets*
    • 11.2. The Giant Planets*
    • 11.3. Atmospheres of the Giant Planets*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 12. Rings, Moons, and Pluto
    • 12.1. Ring and Moon Systems Introduced*
    • 12.2. The Galilean Moons of Jupiter*
    • 12.3. Titan and Triton*
    • 12.4. Pluto and Charon*
    • 12.5. Planetary Rings*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 13. Comets and Asteroids: Debris of the Solar System
    • 13.1. Asteroids*
    • 13.2. Asteroids and Planetary Defense*
    • 13.3. The “Long-Haired” Comets*
    • 13.4. The Origin and Fate of Comets and Related Objects*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 14. Cosmic Samples and the Origin of the Solar System
    • 14.1. Meteors*
    • 14.2. Meteorites: Stones from Heaven*
    • 14.3. Formation of the Solar System*
    • 14.4. Comparison with Other Planetary Systems*
    • 14.5. Planetary Evolution*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 15. The Sun: A Garden-Variety Star
    • 15.1. The Structure and Composition of the Sun*
    • 15.2. The Solar Cycle*
    • 15.3. Solar Activity above the Photosphere*
    • 15.4. Space Weather*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 16. The Sun: A Nuclear Powerhouse
    • 16.1. Sources of Sunshine: Thermal and Gravitational Energy*
    • 16.2. Mass, Energy, and the Theory of Relativity*
    • 16.3. The Solar Interior: Theory*
    • 16.4. The Solar Interior: Observations*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 17. Analyzing Starlight
    • 17.1. The Brightness of Stars*
    • 17.2. Colors of Stars*
    • 17.3. The Spectra of Stars (and Brown Dwarfs)*
    • 17.4. Using Spectra to Measure Stellar Radius, Composition, and Motion*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 18. The Stars: A Celestial Census
    • 18.1. A Stellar Census*
    • 18.2. Measuring Stellar Masses*
    • 18.3. Diameters of Stars*
    • 18.4. The H–R Diagram*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 19. Celestial Distances
    • 19.1. Fundamental Units of Distance*
    • 19.2. Surveying the Stars*
    • 19.3. Variable Stars: One Key to Cosmic Distances*
    • 19.4. The H–R Diagram and Cosmic Distances*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 20. Between the Stars: Gas and Dust in Space
    • 20.1. The Interstellar Medium*
    • 20.2. Interstellar Gas*
    • 20.3. Cosmic Dust*
    • 20.4. Cosmic Rays*
    • 20.5. The Life Cycle of Cosmic Material*
    • 20.6. Interstellar Matter around the Sun*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 21. The Birth of Stars and the Discovery of Planets outside the Solar System
    • 21.1. Star Formation*
    • 21.2. The H–R Diagram and the Study of Stellar Evolution*
    • 21.3. Evidence That Planets Form around Other Stars*
    • 21.4. Planets beyond the Solar System: Search and Discovery*
    • 21.5. Exoplanets Everywhere: What We Are Learning*
    • 21.6. New Perspectives on Planet Formation*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 22. Stars from Adolescence to Old Age
    • 22.1. Evolution from the Main Sequence to Red Giants*
    • 22.2. Star Clusters*
    • 22.3. Checking Out the Theory*
    • 22.4. Further Evolution of Stars*
    • 22.5. The Evolution of More Massive Stars*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 23. The Death of Stars
    • 23.1. The Death of Low-Mass Stars*
    • 23.2. Evolution of Massive Stars: An Explosive Finish*
    • 23.3. Supernova Observations*
    • 23.4. Pulsars and the Discovery of Neutron Stars*
    • 23.5. The Evolution of Binary Star Systems*
    • 23.6. The Mystery of the Gamma-Ray Bursts*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 24. Black Holes and Curved Spacetime
    • 24.1. Introducing General Relativity*
    • 24.2. Spacetime and Gravity*
    • 24.3. Tests of General Relativity*
    • 24.4. Time in General Relativity*
    • 24.5. Black Holes*
    • 24.6. Evidence for Black Holes*
    • 24.7. Gravitational Wave Astronomy*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 25. The Milky Way Galaxy
    • 25.1. The Architecture of the Galaxy*
    • 25.2. Spiral Structure*
    • 25.3. The Mass of the Galaxy*
    • 25.4. The Center of the Galaxy*
    • 25.5. Stellar Populations in the Galaxy*
    • 25.6. The Formation of the Galaxy*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 26. Galaxies
    • 26.1. The Discovery of Galaxies*
    • 26.2. Types of Galaxies*
    • 26.3. Properties of Galaxies*
    • 26.4. The Extragalactic Distance Scale*
    • 26.5. The Expanding Universe*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 27. Active Galaxies, Quasars, and Supermassive Black Holes
    • 27.1. Quasars*
    • 27.2. Supermassive Black Holes: What Quasars Really Are*
    • 27.3. Quasars as Probes of Evolution in the Universe*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 28. The Evolution and Distribution of Galaxies
    • 28.1. Observations of Distant Galaxies*
    • 28.2. Galaxy Mergers and Active Galactic Nuclei*
    • 28.3. The Distribution of Galaxies in Space*
    • 28.4. The Challenge of Dark Matter*
    • 28.5. The Formation and Evolution of Galaxies and Structure in the Universe*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 29. The Big Bang
    • 29.1. The Age of the Universe*
    • 29.2. A Model of the Universe*
    • 29.3. The Beginning of the Universe*
    • 29.4. The Cosmic Microwave Background*
    • 29.5. What Is the Universe Really Made Of?*
    • 29.6. The Inflationary Universe*
    • 29.7. The Anthropic Principle*
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 30. Life in the Universe
    • 30.1. The Cosmic Context for Life*
    • 30.2. Astrobiology*
    • 30.3. Searching for Life beyond Earth*
    • 30.4. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence*
    • Glossary
  • Appendix A. How to Study for an Introductory Astronomy Class*
  • Appendix B. Astronomy Websites, Images, and Apps*
    • B.1. Websites for Exploring Astronomy in General
    • B.2. Selected Websites for Viewing and Downloading Astronomical Images
    • B.3. Astronomy Apps for Smartphones and Tablets
  • Appendix C. Scientific Notation*
    • C.1. Writing Large Numbers
    • C.2. Writing Small Numbers
    • C.3. Multiplication and Division
    • C.4. Exercises
    • C.5. Answers
  • Appendix D. Units Used in Science*
    • D.1. Length
    • D.2. Mass
    • D.3. Temperature
  • Appendix E. Some Useful Constants for Astronomy*
  • Appendix F. Physical and Orbital Data for the Planets*
  • Appendix G. Selected Moons of the Planets*
  • Appendix H. Future Total Eclipses*
    • H.1. Future Total Solar Eclipses
    • H.2. Future Total Lunar Eclipses
    • H.3. Additional Resources
  • Appendix I. The Nearest Stars, Brown Dwarfs, and White Dwarfs*
  • Appendix J. The Brightest Twenty Stars*
  • Appendix K. The Chemical Elements*
  • Appendix L. The Constellations*
  • Appendix M. Star Chart and Sky Event Resources*
    • M.1. Star Charts
    • M.2. Calendars of Night Sky Events
    • Index
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