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This introductory textbook has been designed by a team of experts for elementary university courses in astronomy and astrophysics. It starts with a detailed discussion of the structure and history of our own Galaxy, the Milky Way, and 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 the wide range of cosmological models and discusses the Big Bang and the expansion of the Universe. Written in an accessible style that avoids complex mathematics, and illustrated in colour throughout, An Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology is suitable for self-study and will appeal to amateur astronomers as well as undergraduate students. It contains numerous helpful learning features such as boxed summaries, student exercises with full solutions, and a glossary of terms. An Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology is also supported by a website hosting further teaching materials.
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
Appendix. Useful quantities and units
"The authors have achieved a great deal by producing a comprehensive, and comprehensible textbook with very little mathematics. The chapters on cosmology are bang up-to-date, and succeed in putting across challenging concepts in an understandable way. The book is also well-illustrated and very nicely produced."
- Professor Alan Heavens, University of Edinburgh
"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 emergence of new mysteries."
- Professor Robert Wagoner, Stanford University
"[...] I believe the authors have succeeded in their goal of finding a presentation style which ensures accessibility to curious amateur deep-sky enthusiasts as well as trained astrophysics students [...] 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."
- Journal of the British Astronomical Association