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Discovering the Essential Universe

Freeman’s briefest, least expensive introductory astronomy text.

Discovering the Essential Universe, Fourth Edition (DEU 6e) is designed to help students overcome common misconceptions about astronomy. It provides up-to-date explanations of core concepts in a flexible and student-friendly text, supported by an impressive collection of multimedia resources developed by astronomy education researchers.

New Features Bring the Universe into Clearer Focus

Scientific American articles, chosen by the author and included in the text, demonstrate the process of science and discovery, while also providing touchstones for classroom discussion. Articles include:

· Stars Atop a Silent Volcano The Largest Astronomical Observatory in the World Sits on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The Views up or down Are Spectacular

· Dropping Acid: Mars May Have Needed Acid Rain to Stay Wet

· Red Star Rising: Small, Cool Stars May Be Hot Spots for Life

· Why ET Hasn’t Called: The Lifetime of Civilizations in the Drake Equation for Estimating Extraterrestrial Intelligences is Greatly Exaggerated

A new chapter on astrobiology provides a thorough overview of this exciting area of astronomy, correcting common misconceptions and illustrating the ongoing development of our scientific knowledge.

Focus questions throughout the book encourage students to frequently test themselves on what they’ve learned. Answers to approximately one-third of the questions are at the end of the text.

Margin charts show the location in the sky of important astronomical objects cited in the text, with sufficient detail for locating the objects with the unaided eye, a planisphere or a small telescope, as appropriate.

New coverage of the planets integrates the new classification scheme for the objects in the solar system within the existing classes of objects. Also explained is how Pluto fits more comfortably with the dwarf planets than with the eight planets.

New Dynamic Summary Figures throughout the book provide students with a visual overview of important concepts.

Starry Night Enthusiast™ 6.2 CD, the brilliantly realistic planetarium software package is available with the text at no extra charge upon request.