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Horizons: Exploring the Universe 12th Edition

Michael A. Seeds, Dana Backman

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2010, 2008
  • 528 Pages
Starting At 94.00 See pricing and ISBN options


Fully updated to reflect the latest cutting-edge discoveries, the Twelfth Edition of Mike Seeds’s and Dana Backman’s best-selling HORIZONS: EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE engages students by focusing on two central questions: “How Do We Know?” which emphasizes the role of evidence in the scientific process, providing insights into how science works; and “What Are We?” which highlights our place as planet dwellers in an evolving universe, guiding students to ask questions about where we came from and how we formed a perspective that the study of astronomy is uniquely positioned to emphasize. And because every course is as unique as its instructor--and its students--HORIZONS is supported by a range of teaching and learning solutions that allow you to craft the best course for your approach and course needs. Our innovative instructor resources include WebAssign online homework management and exclusive audience response technology. Students can select from several eBook options, student tutorial systems, or virtual laboratory experiments. HORIZONS provides the ideal foundation--our powerful technology tools are the building blocks that help you customize your course to fit your and your students’ needs.

Michael A. Seeds, Franklin and Marshall College

Mike Seeds was a professor of physics and astronomy at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, from 1970 until his retirement in 2001. In 1989 he received F&M College’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Mike’s love for the history of astronomy led him to create upper-level courses on archaeoastronomy and on the Copernican Revolution (“Changing Concepts of the Universe”). His research interests focused on variable stars and automation of astronomical telescopes. Mike is coauthor with Dana Backman of Horizons: Exploring the Universe, 12th edition (2012); Universe: Solar Systems, Stars, and Galaxies, 7th edition (2012); Stars and Galaxies, 8th edition (2013); The Solar System, 8th edition (2013); and ASTRO, 2nd edition (2013), all published by Cengage. He was senior consultant for creation of the 20-episode telecourse accompanying his book Horizons: Exploring the Universe.

Dana Backman,

Dana Backman taught in the physics and astronomy department at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, from 1991 until 2003. He invented and taught a course titled “Life in the Universe” in F&M’s interdisciplinary Foundations program. Dana now teaches introductory Solar System astronomy at Santa Clara University and introductory astronomy, astrobiology, and cosmology courses in Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program. His research interests focus on infrared observations of planet formation, models of debris disks around nearby stars, and evolution of the solar system’s Kuiper belt. Dana is employed by the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, as director of education and public outreach for SOFIA (the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Dana is coauthor with Mike Seeds of Horizons: Exploring the Universe, 14th edition (2018); Universe: Solar Systems, Stars, and Galaxies, 7th edition (2012); Stars and Galaxies, 8th edition (2013); The Solar System, 8th edition (2013); and ASTRO, 2nd edition (2013), all published by Cengage.
  • The authors have made significant changes to update the content and organization of Horizons 12e :
  • The old chapters on “Normal Galaxies” and “Active Galaxies” have been combined into one chapter, reflecting the modern view that a distinction is no longer useful; all galaxies are active to some extent.
  • The old chapter on Terrestrial planets has been split into one on “Earth and Moon” and one on “Mercury, Venus, and Mars.”
  • Material on Pluto and the Kuiper belt has been moved from the chapter on the Jovian planets to the chapter on “Meteors, Asteroids, Comets, and the Kuiper Belt,” reflecting Pluto’s redefinition as a dwarf planet and the current understanding that the Kuiper and asteroid belts are both remnant planetesimal belts.
  • A new concept art spread, “When Good Planets Go Bad,” has been created on the histories of Venus and Mars.
  • The Celestial Profile features on Earth’s moon and each of the planets are presented in pairs for more explicit planetary comparisons.
  • Considerable new technology has been added. The Horizons package now includes CourseMate with interactive eBook, quiz content with conceptual feedback, animations, flashcards, and more.
  • To help students understand the relationship between topics, “Guideposts” open each chapter. “Guideposts” connect previous and future chapters to the material the students are about to read. They also highlight the “essential questions” within that chapter to help motivate students to read. These “essential questions” act as the organizing elements in each chapter’s “Summary.”
  • Introductions to the Concept Art spreads have been revised to alert students that there are a certain number of points to look for and a certain number of new terms identified in the introduction in italics and in the art spreads in bold.
  • Throughout the book, there are quite a few new photographs that have been added to support the content.
  • This text features Mike Seeds’s and Dana Backman’s conversational and student-friendly writing style, which has made them best-selling authors in introductory astronomy. Students and professors find great clarity and accessibility in the authors’ presentation of astronomy. Students are able to acquire an understanding of the universe, instead of memorizing a set of facts that would quickly be forgotten.
  • Mike Seeds’s and Dana Backman’s guided discovery approach can be easily seen in the enhanced art program. “Concept figures” marry art and text to encourage students to synthesize information into one unified concept. “Guided Discovery Figures” lead students through several frames of art to demonstrate processes that occur over time, providing brief guiding comments as though the authors were explaining each frame to the student themselves. Redesigned “concept art portfolios” combine several ideas over two pages, providing an opportunity for students to process information visually and synthesize individual understanding.
1. Here and Now.
2. User’s Guide to the Sky.
3. Cycles of the Sun and Moon.
4. The Origin of Modern Astronomy.
5. Light and Telescopes.
6. Atoms and Spectra.
7. The Sun.
8. The Family of Stars.
9. The Formation and Structure of Stars.
10. The Deaths of Stars.
11. Neutron Stars and Black Holes.
12. The Milky Way Galaxy.
13. A Universe of Galaxies.
14. Modern Cosmology.
15. The Origin of the Solar System.
16. Earth and Moon.
17. Mercury, Venus, Mars.
18. The Jovian Planets.
19. Meteorites, Asteroids, Comets and the Kuiper Belt.
20. Life on Other Worlds.
Each WebAssign online product offers the full textbook combined with a flexible and fully customizable online instructional assignments and tools.

Cengage provides a seamless user experience for Learning Management Systems (LMS) integration. Please contact your Cengage Learning Consultant for ordering information and visit our Learning Management System Integration web page on WebAssign for general information.

Standalone Digital Access — Ultimate Value

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  • ISBN-10: 1133383815
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  • ISBN-10: 1111430209
  • ISBN-13: 9781111430207
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Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Instructor's Companion Website

ISBN: 9781305961111
Contains a variety of resources to aid instructors in preparing and presenting text material in a manner that meets their personal preferences and course needs.

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access

ISBN: 9781305961098
Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text’s test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.