Books  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy 

An Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology

  • Written by a team of experts in an accessible style that avoids complex mathematics, and illustrated in colour throughout
  • Contains numerous pedagogical features including boxed summaries, brief biographies of pioneering astronomers, bulleted questions and answers throughout, over 100 exercises with full solutions, and a glossary of terms
  • Fully updated to reflect the latest developments, observations and space mission results

By: Mark H Jones(Editor), Robert JA Lambourne(Editor), Stephen Serjeant(Editor)

450 pages, 235 colour & 85 b/w illustrations

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jan 2015 | #218671 | ISBN-13: 9781107492615
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £44.99 $58/€49 approx

About this book

This well-received textbook has been designed by a team of experts for introductory courses in astronomy and astrophysics. Starting with a detailed discussion of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, it goes on to give a general introduction to normal and active galaxies including models for their formation and evolution. The second part of An Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology provides an overview of cosmological models, discussing the Big Bang, dark energy and the expansion of the Universe. This second edition has been updated to reflect the latest developments and observations, while still probing the unresolved questions at the forefront of research. It contains numerous learning features such as boxed summaries, exercises with full solutions, a glossary and a supporting website hosting further teaching materials. Written in an accessible style that avoids complex mathematics, and illustrated in colour throughout, this text is suitable for self-study and will appeal to amateur astronomers as well as students.

"An Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology is an impressive textbook. I found the presentation to be accessible to a wide variety of students, yet comprehensive and very up to date. The relevant mathematics and physics are introduced clearly and gently; advanced topics are explained in a pedagogically effective manner. The style of presentation will attract and sustain the interest of a broad spectrum of readers; it involves them in the drama of search, discovery and the emergence of new mysteries."
- Robert Wagoner, Stanford University


Reviews of the previous edition:

"My first impression of this book is how visually beautiful it is! But the beauty is not just skin deep. The authors give an appealing introduction to the subject at a level that is comprehensible to anyone with first-year university physics and astronomy courses [...] A very helpful aid to learning the material [is] the numerous questions provided. The questions make the reader reflect, repeat and review, which makes for an excellent learning environment [...] In summary, this book can be highly recommended as a lucid and readable introduction to the subjects of galaxies and cosmology."
- Stanley Yen, Physics in Canada

"This book aims to provide an introduction to extragalactic astronomy and cosmology at undergraduate level [...] The discussion is reinforced throughout by both clear technical diagrams and beautiful images of galaxies. The authors have succeeded in their goal of finding a presentation style which ensures accessibility [...] [they] urge active learning, some ideas being raised in question and answer fashion, encouraging the reader to consider the relevant physics before reading the answer. Each chapter also has numerous exercises, with full solutions at the back. I would recommend this book to any amateur with basic scientific grounding who seeks to learn more about the physics of deep sky objects. It is loaded with factual information, and produced to a high standard of accuracy and clarity throughout."
- Dominic Ford, Journal of the British Astronomical Association



1. The Milky Way – our galaxy
2. Normal galaxies
3. Active galaxies
4. The spatial distribution of galaxies
5. Introducing cosmology – the science of the Universe
6. Big bang cosmology – the evolving Universe
7. Observational cosmology – measuring the Universe
8. Questioning cosmology – outstanding problems about the Universe

Answers and comments
Further reading
Figure references

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Mark H. Jones is a Senior Lecturer and Staff Tutor in the Department of Physical Sciences at The Open University where his current research concentrates on the structure of the zodiacal cloud. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Robert J. A. Lambourne is Professor of Educational Physics, Department of Physical Sciences at The Open University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. In 2002 he was awarded the Bragg Medal of the Institute of Physics in recognition of his contributions to physics education.

Stephen Serjeant is a Reader in Cosmology at The Open University. He co-leads the active galaxies science theme of the ATLAS Key Project on the Herschel Space Observatory and leads Herschel's legacy survey at the North Ecliptic Pole.

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