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Astronomy Activity and Laboratory Manual, Second Edition

Author(s): Alan W. Hirshfeld, PhD, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
  • ISBN-13: 9781284113747
  • Paperback    160 pages      © 2020
  • Will Publish: 12/3/2018
Price: $49.95 US List
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Through a series of twenty in-class, modestly mathematical, paper-and-pencil activities, students review the epic advancement of astronomical thought, from the rudimentary observations of prehistoric skywatchers to the development of modern astrophysics in the 20th century. In following the groundbreaking work of some of history's most famous astronomers, students better appreciate the fruits of modern research. Astronomy Activities and Laboratory Manual, Second Edition supplies what is missing from the standard introductory college astronomy course; the essential story line that tells how astronomers came to know as much as they do about the universe.

The activities require no specialized instructor training, equipment or individual materials beyond a pencil, straightedge, and standard calculator. They are designed for use in a classroom of any size, and are an easy way to introduce active-learning into the teaching of astronomy. The activities are also ideal for individual homework assignments or team study. The necessary mathematical background is introduced on an as-needed basis for every activity and is accessible for most undergraduate students. This learn-by-doing approach is sure to engage and excite your introductory astronomy students!

Features & Benefits

  • Provides a cost-effective way to introduce active learning into the astronomy classroom
  • Engages students with a compelling narrative overlay to the fact-based approach commonly used in introductory astronomy course
  • No specialized tools required.  All activities can be completed with a pencil, straightedge, and calculator.
  • Suitable for any class size, from a large lecture hall to small seminar. The activates are equally suited to individual or team study
  • Each activity is self-contained, allowing instructors to customize the selection of activities for their particular course
Lab  1  The World’s First Skywatcher – YOU!
Lab  2  Shadowland
Lab  3  Shadowland – the Sequel
Lab  4  Shadowland Follow-up
Lab  5  The Phases of the Moon
Lab  6  Eratosthenes Measures the Earth
Lab  7  Aristarchus Measures the Size and Distance of the Moon
Lab  8  Aristarchus Measures the Size and Distance of the Sun
Lab  9  The Copernican Cosmos
Lab  10  Kepler’s Third Law
Lab  11  Isaac Newton and the Moon
Lab  12  Galileo Measures a Mountain – on the Moon!
Lab  13  Precision Astronomy After Galileo – Stellar Aberration
Lab  14  Precision Astronomy After Galileo – Stellar Parallax
Lab  15  Picturing the Universe – How Photography Revolutionized Astronomy
Lab  16  How Bright is That Star? A Tutorial on the Magnitude System
Lab  17  The Realm of the Spiral Nebulae
Lab  18  Hubble’s Law – in the Kitchen and in the Universe
Lab  19  The Existence of Dark Matter in the Universe
Lab  20  Essay Assignment: Reflecting on the Lessons of this Manual
Appendix  Mathbits

Alan W. Hirshfeld, PhD-University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

Alan W. Hirshfeld is Professor of Physics at the University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth and an Associate of the Harvard College Observatory. He received his undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Princeton University in 1973 and his PhD in astronomy from Yale University in 1978. He is the author of two widely praised books: Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos, which chronicles the human stories involved in the centuries-long quest to measure the first distance to a star; and The Electric Life of Michael Faraday, a biography of the 19th century pioneer of electricity and magnetism. His writings have appeared in numerous magazines and he has lectured at educational institutions nationwide about scientific history and discovery.

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