Features and Benefits

Reach every student by pairing this text with Mastering Astronomy 

Mastering™ is the teaching and learning platform that empowers you to reach every student. By combining trusted author content with digital tools developed to engage students and emulate the office-hour experience, Mastering personalizes learning and improves results for each student. Resources in Mastering Astronomy are written and carefully reviewed by the author team, establishing the same coherent and trusted voice as the book.  Learn more about Mastering Astronomy.

 Ensure students understand astronomy in an accurate context with the most current content and science

  • New - Material from Mission Juno, the first mission to Jupiter; material on the planets and life in the universebased on the Cassini mission to Saturn’s rings and the discovery of an ocean on Enceladus; and material on recently confirmed gravitational waves is integrated into the text.
  • Revised - Dark Matter chapter reflects recent discoveries and new constraints in what might be.
  • Revised - Life in the Universe Chapter includes exoplanet discoveries, breakthrough initiatives in the search for life in the universe, and the proposed mini-spacecraft fleet to Alpha Centauri.

 Build a framework and foundation for the process of science and create a platform for discussion about the impact of our society and current ideas on science

  • The Process of Science, a major theme integrated throughout the main text, is reinforced with a set of short answer questions at the end of each chapter, as well as a suite of tutorials available for assignment in Mastering Astronomy. 
  • Revised - Chapter-opening quotes reflect diverse individuals, and are part of the Consistent Chapter Structure that focuses on Learning Goals and creates  a clear, student-friendly path through the book. 
  • A cosmic framework establishes a solid foundation of understanding by exploring our place in the universe and delving into how astronomers know what they know, fleshing out these themes throughout the text. This approach motivates students to learn and helps them develop both a personal understanding of astronomy and a lasting appreciation of the process of science. 
  • A comparative planetology approach helps students understand the similarities and differences between planets and the processes that shape them. Planet-by-planet information combined with this comparative approach gives students a deeper understanding of our solar system, other solar systems, and the prospects for life in the universe.

 Reinforce understanding with revised end-of-chapter structure

  • Streamlined end-of-chapter contents includes the revision of numerous exercises. 
  • New - Group work content incorporates material and art from the book with content scaffolded for easy implementation. Content includes clicker questions and PDF worksheets with follow-up exercises in the end-of-chapter material as well as in Mastering Astronomy. Select exercises contain diversity and ethics questions. 
  • New - Group work activities focus on an “Inclusive Astronomy” group discussion and provide an activity for every chapter. Activities appear in the end-of-chapter material, all written and class tested by the authors, as well as in the Study Area of Mastering Astronomy. 
  • New - Inclusive Astronomy exercises appear in every chapter under the heading Inclusive Astronomy and emphasize the idea that astronomy belongs to everyone, aiming to successfully  engage students in discussions about our current society and its impact on science. A similar set of additional exercises is located in Group Activities in the Study Area of Mastering Astronomy. 

Reach every student with Mastering 

Teach your course your way: Your course is unique. So whether you’d like to build your own auto-graded assignments, foster student engagement during class, or give students anytime, anywhere access, Mastering gives you the flexibility to easily create your course to fit your needs.

  • New - Follow up to classroom activities tie together content and end-of-chapter questions in Mastering Astronomy including self-assessment activities for students and practice exams. 
  • With Learning Catalytics, you’ll hear from every student when it matters most. You pose a variety of questions that help students recall ideas, apply concepts, and develop critical-thinking skills. Your students respond using their own smartphones, tablets, or laptops.  You can monitor responses with real-time analytics and find out what your students do – and don’t –understand. Then, you can adjust your teaching accordingly, and even facilitate peer-to-peer learning, helping students stay motivated and engaged. 
  •  Pearson eText is a simple-to-use, mobile-optimized, personalized reading experience available within Mastering. It allows students to easily highlight, take notes, and review key vocabulary all in one place–even when offline. Seamlessly integrated videos and other rich media engage students and give them access to the help they need, when they need it. 

Empower each learner: Each student learns at a different pace. Personalized learning, including adaptive tools and wrong-answer feedback, pinpoints the precise areas where each student needs practice and gives all students the support they need – when and where they need it – to be successful.

  • New - Dynamic Study Modules help students study effectively–and at their own pace. How? By keeping them motivated and engaged. The assignable modules rely on the latest research in cognitive science, using methods–such as adaptivity, gamification, and intermittent rewards–to stimulate learning and improve retention. Each module poses a series of questions about a course topic. These question sets adapt to each student’s performance and offer personalized, targeted feedback to help them master key concepts. 
  • Revised - Self-Guided Tutorials provide students with a deep understanding of the toughest topics in astronomy. Hints and feedback offer instruction similar to what students would experience during office hours, allowing them to learn from their mistakes without being given the answer. 
  • Narrated Figure Visual Activities are assignable visual activities with narrated animations that expand on figures in the text. Embedded pause-and-respond questions engage students in a deeper understanding of the topic. Assignable activities help students build versatile interpretation skills. Specific wrong-answer feedback guides students to a deeper understanding of their significance in the universe.
  • New and Revised - Exercises throughout Mastering now link to the eText as a resource to help students remediate just-in-time. 
  • New - Study Area design and content aligns with how students prepare for class and practice for the exam for a curated experience.  

Deliver trusted content: We partner with highly respected authors to develop interactive content and course-specific resources that keep students on track and engaged.

  • Virtual Astronomy Labs are assignable, online laboratory activities that utilize Stellarium and interactive figures to conduct night sky data collection and inquiry-based labs. Five additional inquiry-based labs are now included.
  • New - Nearly 100 new Interactive Prelecture videos, all written and most narrated by the authors, help students understand key concepts. The videos provide subject overview for exposure to key concepts before class, opening classroom time for active learning or deeper discussions of topics. Students can watch the videos at any time in the Study Area, while instructors can find assignable tutorials based on the videos in the instructor-accessible Item Library.
  •  New - Self-Guided-Tutorials and Interactive Figures provide expanded accessibility and are now converted from Flash to HTML5 to work seamlessly across multiple devices and to respond to different screen sizes.  

Improve student results: When you teach with Mastering, student performance often improves. That’s why instructors have chosen Mastering for over 15 years, touching the lives of over 20 million students. Learn more in this case study.