This second edition has been updated and substantially expanded.
Starting with the description of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, this cogently written textbook introduces the reader to the astronomy of galaxies, their structure, active galactic nuclei, evolution and large scale distribution in the Universe.
After an extensive and thorough introduction to modern observational and theoretical cosmology, the focus turns to the formation of structures and astronomical objects in the early Universe.
The basics of classical astronomy and stellar astrophysics needed for extragalactic astronomy are provided in the appendix. While this book has grown out of introductory university courses on astronomy and astrophysics and includes a set of problems and solutions, it will not only benefit undergraduate students and lecturers; thanks to the comprehensive coverage of the field, even graduate students and researchers specializing in related fields will appreciate it as a valuable reference work.