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Book Details

  • Loose leaf
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $85.40
  • Forthcoming: December 2018
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-67556-6
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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    21st Century Astronomy

    Sixth Edition

    Loose leaf

    with Ebook, Smartwork5 and Student Site

    See all options and formats starting at

    Laura Kay (Author, Barnard College), Stacy Palen (Author, Weber State University), George Blumenthal (Author, University of California, Santa Cruz)


    We learn best by doing

    Informed by astronomy education research, the Sixth Edition reflects an emphasis on learning by doing. This emphasis is reinforced through thoughtful pedagogy and an innovative teaching and learning package. Students get to interact with astronomy while instructors receive the resources they need to incorporate active learning into the classroom.


    Instructor exam copies of this edition will be available in December 2018. Student copies and accompanying resources will be for sale starting July 1, 2019.

    The Sixth Edition makes it even easier to facilitate active learning

    The text and media truly engage students in doing astronomy—giving you more options for teaching an active course. Process of Science figures have been reimagined to provide clearer, more visually appealing representations of important discoveries. They are supported by assignments in Smartwork5 online assessment. A NEW Interactive Instructor’s Guide and a teaching blog from author Stacy Palen provide a wealth of ideas and resources for engaging students in the classroom.

    Assign “learning by doing” outside of class

    Smartwork5 allows you to easily assess students using interactive, visual content that works on a tablet or computer. Answer-specific feedback is provided for every problem in the course. It’s easy to get started with pre-made assignments created by Astro 101 teachers. And it’s also easy to customize—problems are sorted by learning objective and corresponding textbook feature.

    A first-of-its-kind videogame for introductory astronomy

    Our award-winning At Play in the Cosmos videogame is the ultimate learning-by-doing tool. This app offers challenging yet fun ways to apply course concepts to complete missions and earn achievements.

    Student progress is reported so instructors can make the game part of the grade. Whether used before class to spark discussion, during class to promote collaboration, or after class to apply what they’ve learned, student feedback is overwhelmingly positive.

    An activity workbook that promotes classroom collaboration

    The activity workbook, Learning Astronomy by Doing Astronomy, brings collaborative participation to the classroom through group activities. All activities are based on astronomy education research. Free when packaged with any Norton astronomy text, it is a truly distinctive supplement with undeniable value.


      Part I: Introduction to Astronomy

      Chapter 1: Thinking Like an Astronomer

      Chapter 2: Patters in the Sky—Motions of the Earth and the Moon

      Chapter 3: Motion of Astronomical Bodies

      Chapter 4: Gravity and Orbits

      Chapter 5: Light

      Chapter 6: The Tools of the Astronomer


      Part II: The Solar System

      Chapter 7: The Formation of Planetary Systems

      Chapter 8: The Terrestrial Planets and Earth’s Moon

      Chapter 9: Atmospheres of the Terrestrial Planets

      Chapter 10: Worlds of Gas and Liquid—The Giant Planets

      Chapter 11: Planetary Moons and Rings

      Chapter 12: Dwarf Planets and Small Solar System Bodies


      Part III: Stars and Stellar Evolution

      Chapter 13: Taking the Measure of Stars

      Chapter 14: Our Star—The Sun

      Chapter 15: The Interstellar Medium and Star Formation

      Chapter 16: Evolution of Low-Mass Stars

      Chapter 17: Evolution of High-Mass Stars

      Chapter 18: Relativity and Black Holes


      Part IV: Galaxies, the Universe, and Cosmology

      Chapter 19: Galaxies

      Chapter 20: The Milky Way-A Normal Spiral Galaxy

      Chapter 21: The Expanding Universe

      Chapter 22: Cosmology

      Chapter 23: Large-Scale Structure in the Universe

      Chapter 24: Life