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Fundamental Astronomy gives a well-balanced and comprehensive introduction to the topics of classical and modern astronomy. While emphasizing both the astronomical concepts and the underlying physical principles, the text provides a sound basis for more profound studies in the astronomical sciences. The fifth edition of this successful undergraduate textbook has been extensively modernized and extended in the parts dealing with the Milky Way, extragalactic astronomy and cosmology as well as with extrasolar planets and the solar system (as a consequence of recent results from satellite missions and the new definition by the International Astronomical Union of planets, dwarf planets and small solar-system bodies). Furthermore, a new chapter on astrobiology has been added.
1. Introduction.- 2. Spherical Astronomy.- 3. Observations and Instruments.- 4. Photometric Concepts and Magnitudes.- 5. Radiation Mechanisms.- 6. Temperatures.- 7. Celestial Mechanics.- 8. The Solar System.- 9. Stellar Spectra.- 10. Binary Stars and Stellar Masses.- 11. Stellar Structure.- 12. Stellar Evolution.- 13. The Sun.- 14. Variable Stars.- 15. Compact Stars.- 16. The Interstellar Medium.- 17. Star Clusters and Associations.- 18. The Milky Way.- 19. Galaxies.- 20. Cosmology.- Appendix A. Mathematics.- B. Quantum Mechanics.- C. Theory of Relativity.- D. Radio Astronomy Fundamentals.- E. Tables.- Answers to Exercises.- Further Reading.- Photograph Credits.- Name and Subject Index.- Colour Supplement.
For the book to reach the fourth edition, it must be hitting a niche in the market. The preface to the first edition in 1987 identifies that market as a 'university textbook for a first course in astronomy' which is also suited for serious amateurs who 'find the popular texts too trivial'. In my opinion, that description from the original preface is 'spot on' and makes this volume a must-buy for any serious amateur looking for a comprehensive overview of matters astronomical. (Roger Feasey, Auckland Astronomical Society Journal, March 2004) "This work remains a most excellent textbook for the student as well as the dedicated amateur astronomer." (ORION 62/321, ) "If you are looking for a solid undergraduate text outlining the physics which underpins so much of modern astronomy then this book will be a very useful addition to your personal library." (Astronomy Now, May 2004) "! The wide range of expertise gives the book an authority that would be almost impossible for a single-author text ... There are other aids to the reader: worked examples ... starred sections in small print take the inquisitive reader beyond the general level of the book." (Nature) "! Unique among available texts and has so much to offer ... No one involved in astronomy teaching will want to be without a copy." (The Physics Teacher) "Gives a solid foundation to the basic ideas of astronomy in a clear and accessible fashion ! Fundamental ideas are developed clearly and applied to real problems, and solutions are worked out." (Sky & Telescope) From the reviews of the fourth edition: "This book will well serve its readership which includes both undergraduate physical science and mathematics students ! . covers all the important subjects of an introductory course in astronomy. ! is beautifully illustrated with many black and white and color photographs, which will be most appealing ! . they have produced a book that will prove useful for many years ! . As such it is highly recommended ! to the general reader who wants to be pleasantly and highly informed about astronomy." (Fernande Grandjean, Gary J. Long, Physicalia, Vol. 26(1), 2004) "The book remains a calculus-based textbook and reference source containing many exercises ! for the proper comprehension of the subjects treated. ! This work remains a most excellent textbook for the student as well as the dedicated amateur astronomer. ! can considerably widen the vision of the student ! ." (Noel Cramer, ORIAN-Zeitschrift der Schweizerischen Astronomischen Gesellschaft Vol. 62(321), 2004) "Fundamental Astronomy is both the title and an excellent description of the content ! . is also suited for serious amateurs who "find the popular texts too trivial". In my opinion ! this volume a must-buy for any serious amateur looking for a comprehensive overview of matters astronomical. ! Its usefulness for education purposes is enhanced by worked examples in each section followed by exercises." (AAS Journal, March, 2004) "This is the 4th edition of this well known and well tested undergraduate-level text on astronomy. ! All the derivations are well done and the problems selected for student work are interesting and will undoubtedly help the student in his or her studies. ! if you are looking for a solid undergraduate text outlining the physics which underpins so much of modern astronomy then this book will be a very useful addition to your personal library." (Kevin P. Marshall, Astronomy Now, May, 2004) From the reviews of the fifth edition: "This textbook, suitable for a university first course in astronomy, is the outgrowth of a long and outstanding astronomical tradition in Finland, and the result of an extensive collaborative effort, which included also teaching and interaction with many people. ! I highly recommend this book for class use ! it will be useful for professionals as well." (Bruno Bertotti, Prometeo, Vol. 24 (3-4), 2008)