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Introductory Astronomy

Introductory Astronomy

Keith Holliday

ISBN: 978-0-471-98331-6

Jan 1999

326 pages

Out of stock



In writing this textbook the author's objective was to provide students with a non-trivial, reasonably priced introduction to astronomy. Starting with problems astronomers face on Earth connected with observation, the book then moves on to cover the Solar System, galaxies and finally cosmology, one of the most exciting and fastest developing areas of astronomy. Up-to-date and carefully structured Introductory Astronomy has a strong narrative thread running through it; concepts are gradually introduced and subsequently built upon in later chapters. The science behind the subject is integrated and presented in a way that allows readers to gain a thorough understanding of the subject without being blinded by unnecessary mathematical detail or scientific theory. Throughout the book there are plenty of worked examples, problems, figures and photographs.


  • A balanced coverage of the field of astronomy.
  • Many carefully chosen worked examples and problems.
  • Clear exposition of the science behind astronomy.

CONTENTS: Introduction; Light; Seeing into Space; The View From Earth; The Sun, the Stars and Time; Observation of the Solar System; Gravity and the Solar System; The Origin of the Solar System; A Closer Look at the Terrestrial Planets; A Closer Look at the Jovian Planets; The Sun; Studying Stars; Stellar Birth and Early Life; Stellar Evolution and Death; Galaxies; Cosmology; Appendices: Measurement and units; Atoms, ions and molecules; Ellipses; Historical milestones in astronomy; Compendium of astronomical data; Some fundamental physical constants; Multiple choice quiz; Short answers to selected questions; Index.



Seeing into Space.

The View from Earth.

The Sun, the Stars, and Time.

Observation of the Solar System.

Gravity and the Solar System.

The Origin of the Solar System.

A Closer Look at the Terrestrial Planets.

A Closer Look at the Jovian Planets.

The Sun.

Studying Stars.

Stellar Birth and Early Life.

Stellar Evolution and Death.



"Introductory Astronomy is an exemplary first-year university textbook. In fact, in my many years at the astronomical chalk face of tertiary education, I have come across no better.", David Hughes, Reader in Astronomy, University of Sheffield, Times Higher Education Supplement, March 19999#"As the title suggests, this is an introductory text for students rather than another glossy picture book. It has been written by a teacher and has emerged from a lecture course on astronomy given to undergraduate non-science students.This pedigree is clear throughout the book. The whole package is very well presented with a good blend of black and white photographs and excellent line drawings. ...I think Introductory Astronomy is a valuable text, well written and easy to use. If you are about to offer a course in introductory astronomy then here is one of the best support texts on the market.", , , Physics Education, March 1999#"It must have been great stuff, the first- year physics course on planets, stars and galaxies that Keith Holliday taught at the University of Strathclyde. His excellent Introductory Astronomy is based on the lecture notes. Useful figures, worked examples, additional problems, and a perfect balance between length, clarity, and scientific rigour and cost make this the ideal student purchase", , , New Scientist, March 1999 #
  • A balanced coverage of the field of astronomy
  • Many carefully chosen worked examples, student problems and photographs.
  • A text that will be of interest to both students and amateur astronomers
  • Addresses the needs and requirements of modern scientific astronomy courses not fully catered for by existing US texts