Galactic Astronomy, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


This is the definitive treatment of the phenomenology of galaxies--a clear and comprehensive volume that takes full account of the extraordinary recent advances in the field.

The book supersedes the classic text Galactic Astronomy that James Binney wrote with Dimitri Mihalas, and complements Galactic Dynamics by Binney and Scott Tremaine.

It will be invaluable to researchers and is accessible to any student who has a background in undergraduate physics.

The book draws on observations both of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and of external galaxies.

The two sources are complementary, since the former tends to be highly detailed but difficult to interpret, while the latter is typically poorer in quality but conceptually simpler to understand.

Binney and Merrifield introduce all astronomical concepts necessary to understand the properties of galaxies, including coordinate systems, magnitudes and colors, the phenomenology of stars, the theory of stellar and chemical evolution, and the measurement of astronomical distances. The book's core covers the phenomenology of external galaxies, star clusters in the Milky Way, the interstellar media of external galaxies, gas in the Milky Way, the structure and kinematics of the stellar components of the Milky Way, and the kinematics of external galaxies.

Throughout, the book emphasizes the observational basis for current understanding of galactic astronomy, with references to the original literature.

Offering both new information and a comprehensive view of its subject, it will be an indispensable source for professionals, as well as for graduate students and advanced undergraduates.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 816 pages, 100 halftones
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Galaxies & stars
  • ISBN: 9780691025650



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"This is the definitive treatment of the phenomenology of galaxies- a clear and comprehensive volume that takes full account of the extraordinary recent advances in the field. The book supersedes the classic text "Galactic Astronomy"(1988) that James Binney wrote with Dimetri Milalas, and compliments "Galactic Dynamics" written by Binney and Scott Tremaine." -Ostriker & Spergel, Editors- Princeton Series in AstrophysicsThe original version of this book was written in 1987 and is cited 3384 times by papers in astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology according to the Smithsonian/NASA ADS Astronomy Abstract Service.The latest edition was released in 1998. It is widely regarded, in combination with its companion volume "Galactic Dynamics", as THE single most important text on the study of galaxies. The 1998 edition is cited by 436 papers according to the Smithsonian/NASA Abstract Service.This text is suitable to advanced undergraduates and graduate level readers. Table of Contents:1. Galaxies: an overview2. Astronomical Measurements3. The properties of stars4. Morphology of galaxies5. Evolution of stars and stellar populations6. Star clusters7. The cosmic distance scale8. The interstellar media of galaxies9. The Milkey Way's ISM10. Components of the Milkey Way11. Stellar kinematics in external galaxiesDr. James Binney is Professor of Physics and a Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford.Dr. Michael Merriman is University Lecturer in astronomy at the University of Southampton.

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