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james_austin

Recommendation on Best Astrophysics book

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Hi there! I am a beginner and interested in learning astrophysics. Any recommendations on astrophysics book for a beginner? Thanks in advance.

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I notice there's an Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction book amongst the Very Short Intriductions series published by Oxford University Press. 

I have not read it but I have read quite a few of the Very Short Introduction series and  think they're usually very good. Lots of subjects from quantum physics to Homer covered. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Astrophysics-Very-Short-Introduction-Introductions/dp/0198752857

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Universe by Freedman and Kaufman is excellent.  It is very readable, with lots of examples.  There are myriad versions of it though.  I'd suggest looking for maybe 2 editions before the current one (much cheaper and all the fundamentals are the same).  It is a University first year text book, so also comes up secondhand regularly 🙂

Helen

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For the astrophysics of stars specifically, I recommend ‘Starlight’ by Keith Robinson.  This is published by Springer, and is in the ‘Patrick Moore’s Practical Astronomy Series’.

An excellent introduction to stellar physics, with clear explanations.

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It really depends what youre looking for and at what kind of level.

For a gentle but broad and pretty comprehensive introduction to astronomy with minimal maths, Dinah Moche's Astronony: a self teaching guide is great. 

Ian Morison's Introduction to astronomy and cosmology goes a bit deeper and is another book I'd recommend highly.

I've recently picked up a copy of Fundamental astronomy, edited by Karttunen at all. From an initial skim it looks fantastic, but doesn't hold back on the maths. Its not massively complex stuff, but you definitely need to be reasonably comfortable with calculus.

There are also four OU textbooks that look good, and are a bit more gently paced than the previous. An introduction to the sun and stars is definitely worth a read.

Hope this helps. If in doubt I'd start with Moche - it's a great book.

Billy.

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I recently read The Alchemy of the Heavens by Ken Crosswell. It is a little dated (1994 ... still wondering if the universe would eventually stop expanding and collapse back in on itself), but the basic building-blocks of the universe are still the same (stars, clusters, galaxies) and I found the historical aspect, together with the interviews, a very easy read.

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On 04/07/2019 at 11:34, Helen said:

Universe by Freedman and Kaufman is excellent.  It is very readable, with lots of examples.  There are myriad versions of it though.  I'd suggest looking for maybe 2 editions before the current one (much cheaper and all the fundamentals are the same).  It is a University first year text book, so also comes up secondhand regularly 🙂

Helen

Got this one used just now based on your recommendation. Content wise it is great, just what I was hoping for! My 10th edition seems to have some problems with plus and minus signs being replaced by 1:s and 2:s in a number of places though, poor proof reading I suppose. Issue has been discussed in another topic on SGL apparently. Still, really a great book that I am sure I will keep coming back to for a long time. Thanks for suggesting.

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6 minutes ago, davhei said:

Got this one used just now based on your recommendation. Content wise it is great, just what I was hoping for! My 10th edition seems to have some problems with plus and minus signs being replaced by 1:s and 2:s in a number of places though, poor proof reading I suppose. Issue has been discussed in another topic on SGL apparently. Still, really a great book that I am sure I will keep coming back to for a long time. Thanks for suggesting.

My pleasure - enjoy!

Also this is free https://openstax.org/details/books/astronomy   (there are also loads of other free text books on that site if you need to brush up on maths, physics etc...)

Helen

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