396 pages, 45 illus
Astronomy and Astrophysics is a comprehensive, fundamental, up-to-date reference book. It is filled with vital information and basic facts for amateur astronomers and professional astrophysicists, and for anyone interested in the Universe, from the Earth and other planets to the stars, galaxies and beyond. Although serious and thorough, the language, and ideas will attract the general reader, as well as students and professionals.
Astronomy and Astrophysics consists of two main parts, a Timeline and a Dictionary. The Timeline is a concise history, arranged chronologically, which provides the complete story of cosmic discovery from early Chinese and Greek astronomy to the latest findings of modern astrophysics and robotic spacecraft. It provides a sense of destination and flow in our growing awareness of the Universe. Each entry in the unfolding narrative is written in a concise, light and friendly style that will be appreciated by all, without being weighted down with incomprehensible specialized terms.
The story of science is one of individuals, as well as discoveries and ideas. So our Timeline includes the people who have made major scientific contributions that are related to astronomy, and astrophysics.
The Dictionary defines all terms and acronyms that deal with our celestial science, from important concepts to individual objects and space missions. It is arranged alphabetically and complemented by numerous tables of fundamental data for bright cosmic objects, including the celestial coordinates required to observe them. Line drawings are also used to forcefully compact a scientific insight, with clear labels and captions.
An exceptionally thorough Index cross-references concepts, discoveries and individuals in both the Timeline and Dictionary. The combined result is a unique, comprehensive, stand-alone reference volume in which the reader can quickly locate information, while also discovering new and unexpected knowledge. Astronomy and Astrophysics is therefore an indispensable book for any library and all persons interested in astronomy and astrophysics, as well as the related fields of cosmology, geology and physics.
From the reviews: "This book give a chronology of cosmic discoveries, starting with Stonehenge ! and ending up with very recent results which have been achieved using spacecrafts. ! Many tables like the list of the brightest galaxies and list of the nearest stars, supernovae etc., make this a very useful source for astrophysical facts. This book is aimed to be useful both for amateur astronomers and professional astrophysicists." (Hans-Jurgen Schmidt, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1140, 2008)
Preface.- Timeline.- Dictionary.- Index.
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Kenneth R. Lang is known for his famous, widely used reference books Astrophysical Formulae I, II, published in their third edition in 1995 by Springer-Verlag. He is also a writer of prize-winning science books that have a broad readership, including amateurs, experts and the educated layperson. Some of these popular books, which include Sun, Earth and Sky, Wanderers in Space, the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Sun and the Cambridge Guide to the Solar System, have been translated into seven languages.