Scientifi c American articles, chosen by the author, are included
in the text to illuminate the core concepts in the text.
These brief, recent, and relevant selections demonstrate
the process of science and discovery, while also providing touchstones for classroom discussion.
A new chapter on astrobiology provides students with a thorough overview of this motivating and exciting area of astronomy, correcting common misconceptions and illustrating
the ongoing development of our scientifi c knowledge.
Focus questions about important concepts are presented in
most sections of the book.
These questions encourage students to test themselves frequently on material presented in the preceding sections of the chapters and thereby correct their beliefs before errors accumulate. For example, after learning about
Uranus’s ring system in Section 5-29, students are asked why Uranus’s rings remain in orbit. Answers to approximately one-third of these questions appear at the end of this text.
Why do Uranus’s rings remain in orbit?
Star charts show the location in the sky of important astronomical
objects cited in the text. Suffi cient detail in the star
charts allows students to locate the objects with either the
unaided eye or a small telescope, as appropriate.
New coverage of the planets Astronomers have created a
new classifi cation scheme for the objects in the solar system.
These planets, dwarf planets, and small solar-system objects,
along with new subclasses such as plutoids are explained
and reconciled with the existing classes of objects that include
planets, moons, asteroids, meteoroids, and comets.
Also explained is how Pluto fi ts better with the dwarf planets
than with the eight planets.
New dynamic art Summary fi gures appear throughout the
book to show either the interactions between important
concepts or the evolution of important objects introduced.
For example, the location of the Sun in the sky, which varies
over the seasons, as does the corresponding intensity of
the light and the appropriate ground cover, is shown in a
sequence of drawings combined into one fi gure.