Astronomy is an ancient science on the cutting edge. Although it's been around for more than 5,500 years, astronomers say that we've learned more than 90 percent of what we know about the universe in just the last 50 years. Of this body of knowledge, a disproportionate amount has been acquired in the past decade, with each new year yielding more information than the last. The Complete Idiot's Guide(R) to Astronomy, Third Edition, covers these new advances and discoveries and is repositioned to focus more on exciting, cutting-edge cosmology topics and less on backyard astronomy. The new edition contains approximately 35 per cent new material.
Some of the highlights include: the latest news regarding the possibility of life on Mars; new images of newly discovered extrasolar planets and asteroid fly-bys; the new discovery of an extrasolar system that looks very much like our own; the latest information regarding what is known about the Big Bang; new information on the nature and shape of our universe; exciting new observations concerning the theory of an accelerating universe and how it will end; new data on the black hole at the center of our galaxy; the latest scientific speculation on the possibility of extraterrestrial life; the latest information on the International Space Station; the most up-to-date information and images from Cassini, BOOMERANG, and other current missions; and the next steps for NASA.
Christopher De Pree, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, where he teaches physics and astronomy. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996. Professor De Pree is the Director of Bradley Observatory and author of numerous scientific articles on the topic of massive star formation. He is co-author of Recent Advances and Issues in Astronomy (Greenwood Press, 2001). Alan Axelrod, Ph.D., is the author of more than 20 books, including three Complete Idiot's Guides(r), Patton on Leadership: Strategic Lessons for Corporate Warfare (Prentice Hall Press, 1999), and Elizabeth I, CEO: Strategic Lessons from the Leader Who Built an Empire (Prentice Hall Press, 2000). A resident of Atlanta, Georgia, he holds a Ph.D. in American Literature and Culture from the University of Iowa.