Electronic Textbook for Introductory Astronomy

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2013/potw1320a.jpgA Free, Electronic Textbook for Introductory Astronomy

A new introductory textbook called Astronomy has just been published by OpenStax, a national, non-profit project to develop high-quality, introductory textbooks that are free to students. The publisher is located at Rice University and supported by several major foundations (including the Gates and Hewlett Foundations.) They have already done over 20 free textbooks in other fields, used by hundreds of thousands of students around the country. Senior authors for the new non-technical astronomy text are Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College), David Morrison (NASA Ames Research Ctr.), and Sidney Wolff (National Optical Astronomy Observatory), who have had many years of experience writing texts and educational materials. The project had the help of over 75 astronomers and astronomy educators, to make sure that the text is up-to-date, authoritative, and educationally sound. None of the authors receive one penny of royalties. The book is free to students in the electronic version, and can be custom printed on demand - at cost. Even more interesting, the book is open source, which means professors can use it as is, or develop their own electronic version of it, selecting only the sections they teach and adding course-specific curriculum materials. The textbook is now available for review and adoption.

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