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Book requirements / recommendations in high school or college?

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#1 Lucullus

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 03:05 PM

What book did your high school teacher ask you to buy for the astronomy class? What recommendations concerning your college astronomy course?
Good or bad memories associated with them?

Mine in high school was "Which star is this?", 28th revised Ed., from Herrmann. I already knew the majority in it and it couldn't teach me many new things. But it is handy and a very good field guide to begin with.

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And our professor for introductory astronomy recommended either "Fundamental Astronomy", 5th ed., from Kartunnen et al., or "The new Cosmos", 7th Ed., from Unsöld & Baschek. I ended up with the latter one, but it was rather dry and it found extensive use only a few times for exercises.

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Edited by Lucullus, 10 June 2021 - 03:23 PM.

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#2 Cali

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 04:03 PM

High school astronomy class?

 

The closest I had was Earth Science. But that was 40+ years ago.

 

I guess its time for me to ... fade away.

 

- Cal


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#3 Lucullus

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 09:42 PM

High school astronomy class?

The closest I had was Earth Science. But that was 40+ years ago.

I guess its time for me to ... fade away.

- Cal

In the 5th year we didn't have all week with our normal classmates but were required to take two subjects (biology, earth sciences, geography, physics, math, history, Italian, Spanish, old Greek, sports & physiology, astronomy, and a few more) in addition to our usual curriculum. A subject would be taught if at least six pupils had chosen the subject. A double lesson per week in one subject and a single lesson in the other. The timely space for these three lessons were taken from the subjects German and biology. So in this year we didn't have bio and I took astronomy instead. We tinkered a turnable star map, each one presented a constellation, learned the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, went outside in late evening to observe with binoculars, and also to the observatory with 12 and 8" Newtonians on both sides of an equatorial mount.

Edited by Lucullus, 10 June 2021 - 11:42 PM.

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#4 Tony Flanders

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 06:23 AM

Although my high school (Bronx Science) specialized in science, it did not offer astronomy as a separate subject.

 

I did, however, take a college-astronomy-for-high-school-kids class with Lloyd Motz, widely known as Motz for Tots. The textbook, of course, was Motz's Essentials of Astronomy. Quite a good book; I still own it. Should have asked Motz to autograph it; he was an incredibly nice, unassuming guy.


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#5 Cali

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 11:01 AM

Although my high school (Bronx Science) specialized in science, it did not offer astronomy as a separate subject.

 

I did, however, take a college-astronomy-for-high-school-kids class with Lloyd Motz, widely known as Motz for Tots. The textbook, of course, was Motz's Essentials of Astronomy. Quite a good book; I still own it. Should have asked Motz to autograph it; he was an incredibly nice, unassuming guy.

Motz was noted for having defeated Enrico Fermi in a tennis match, and then discussing not his strategy (which was to play the net), but to give a speech on how the conservation of momentum applied to tennis balls and the tightness of strings on the racquets.

 

- Cal



#6 lphilpot

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 11:19 AM

High school astronomy class?

 

The closest I had was Earth Science. But that was 40+ years ago.

 

I guess its time for me to ... fade away.

 

- Cal

+1

 

It was biology, chemistry, physics and maybe (?) zoology at my rural high school. Astronomy didn't hit the radar.

 

Now, being a teen in the 1970s rural south USA, there was lots of informal education on John Deere vs. International, Ford vs. Checy trucks, Skoal dippin' and southern rock. Somehow I managed to escape relatively untouched by most of that.

 

But actual science? Almost non-existent.



#7 Tim Hager

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 11:20 AM

50 years ago I was in a an outside study program in high school.  The PhD candidate who was guiding me had me read several chapters of Abell's Exploration of the Universe.



#8 russell23

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 05:50 PM

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending upon your perspective, textbooks seem to have much less integration into high school instruction these days.  That is driven by all aspects of education - administrators, teachers, and students.

 

There are lots of reasons and I have mixed feelings about it.  The college Astronomy class I teach high school students is based mostly upon materials I've created because no textbook ever hits everything I want covered grouped in the way I want it covered. 

 

But what I really don't like is the push toward electronic textbooks.  They never function as well as having the paper copy in your hand.


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