The Cosmic Perspective, 10th Edition ©2024

This new edition of The Cosmic Perspective, published by Pearson, uses a coherent, thematic narrative to speak to all students who are curious about the universe. The curriculum presents big ideas and the latest findings with clarity for deeper participation and engagement.

  • Focus on the Process of Science throughout the program
  • Comparative planetology shows each planet’s uniqueness and their underlying fundamental principles
  • This program is accompanied by Pearson’s Mastering® platform with eText

High School Astronomy Program with Digital Integration

Demonstrate modern science with an Astronomy program that teaches students to think at local, galactic, and cosmic scales.


Big Picture Thinking

A consistent thread running through the text helps contextualize what students learn in the service of a broader perspective on themselves, our planet, and prospects for life beyond Earth.


Leverage the Latest Data

Insights from next-generation telescopes, including the James Webb Space Telescope and Event Horizon Telescope, highlight major advances in modern astronomy.


Improved Exercises

Revamped Exercise Sets in the end-of-chapter content have been updated and reorganized for easier use by instructors and students.


Online Capabilities

Through the Mastering® Astronomy platform, teachers and students can make the most of their technology. Numerous resources individualize learning for strong outcomes.

Astronomy Teaching Solutions

  • Updated Scientific Information
  • New Astronomy Topics

  • Update Space Missions
    The text features recent explorations including missions to Mars, the Juno mission to Jupiter, the New Horizons encounter with Arrokoth, and more.
  • New Asteroid and Comet Findings
    Discussions around asteroids and comets have been revised to factor in Hayabusa2’s study of Ryugu and OSIRIS-REx’s travels to Bennu.
  • Modern Discussions of Astronomy
    Discussions factor in modern approaches to astronomy, such as the role of small satellite constellations.
  • Multi-Messenger Astronomy
    A new subsection and learning goal touch on multi-messenger astronomy, including the gravitational-wave observatory LIGO.

  • Supermassive Black Holes
    The textbook discusses the center of the Milky Way Galaxy and recent research on supermassive black holes.
  • Life Outside of Earth
    Updated developments in the prospects for life outside of Earth consider recent findings from Mars exploration and the possible detection of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus.

Take a Deeper Look at The Cosmic Perspective



Get to know The Cosmic Perspective with Mastering® Astronomy with Pearson eText.

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Mastering® Astronomy

Mastering® Astronomy from Pearson provides meaningful connections between teachers, students, and the material to improve understanding and results.

More About The Cosmic Perspective

  • Jeffrey Bennett Author Bio
    Jeffrey Bennett, a recipient of the American Institute of Physics Science Communication Award, holds a B.A. in biophysics (UC San Diego) and an M.S. and Ph.D. in astrophysics (University of Colorado). He specializes in science and math education and has taught at every level from preschool through graduate school. Career highlights include serving 2 years as a visiting senior scientist at NASA headquarters, where he developed programs to build stronger links between research and education, proposing and helping to develop the Voyage scale model solar system on the National Mall (Washington, DC) and developing the free app Totality by Big Kid Science to help people learn about total solar eclipses. He is the lead author of textbooks in astronomy, astrobiology, mathematics, and statistics and of critically acclaimed books for the public including Beyond UFOs (Princeton University Press), Math for Life (Bid Kid Science), What Is Relativity? (Columbia University Press), On Teaching Science (Big Kid Science), and A Global Warming Primer (Big Kid Science). He is also the author of six science picture books for children, titled Max Goes to Mars, Max Goes to Jupiter, Max Goes to the Space Station, Max Goes to the Moon, The Wizard Who Saved the World, and I, Humanity; all six have been launched to the International Space Station and read aloud by astronauts for NASA’s Story Time From Space program. His personal website is
  • Megan Donahue Author Bio
    Megan Donahue is a full professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University (MSU), a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and President of the American Astronomical Society (2018—2020). Her research focuses on using x-ray, UV, infrared, and visible light to study galaxies and clusters of galaxies: their contents–dark matter, hot gas, galaxies, active galactic nuclei–and what they reveal about the contents of the universe and how galaxies form and evolve. She grew up on a farm in Nebraska and received an S.B. in physics from MIT, where she began her research career as an x-ray astronomer. She has a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Colorado. Her Ph.D. thesis on theory and optical observations of intergalactic and intracluster gas won the1993 Robert Trumpler Award from the Astronomical Society for the Pacific for an outstanding astrophysics doctoral dissertation in North America. She continued postdoctoral research as a Carnegie Fellow at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, and later as an STScI Institute Fellow at Space Telescope. Megan was a staff astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute until 2003, when she joined the MSU faculty. She is also actively involved in advising national and international astronomical facilities and NASA, including planning future NASA missions. Megan is married to Mark Voit, and they collaborate on many projects, including this textbook, over 70 peer reviewed astrophysics papers, and the nurturing of their children, Michaela, Sebastian, and Angela. Megan has run three full marathons, including Boston. These days she runs trails with friends, orienteers, and plays piano and bass guitar for fun and no profit.
  • Nicholas Schneider Author Bio
    Nicholas Schneider is a full professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado and a researcher in the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. He received his B.A. in physics and astronomy from Dartmouth College in 1979 and his Ph.D. in planetary science from the University of Arizona in 1988. His research interests include planetary atmospheres and planetary astronomy. One research focus is the odd case of Jupiter’s moon Io. Another is the mystery of Mars’s lost atmosphere, which he is helping to answer by leading the Imaging UV Spectrograph team on NASA’s MAVEN mission now orbiting Mars. Nick enjoys teaching at all levels and is active in efforts to improve undergraduate astronomy education. Over his career he has received the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award, the Boulder Faculty Assembly’s Teaching Excellence Award, and NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. Off the job, Nick enjoys exploring the outdoors with his family and figuring out how things work.
  • Mark Voit Author Bio
    Mark Voit is a full professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies at Michigan State University. He earned his A.B. in astrophysical sciences at Princeton University and his Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of Colorado in 1990. He continued his studies at the California Institute of Technology, where he was a research fellow in theoretical astrophysics, and then moved on to Johns Hopkins University as a Hubble Fellow. Before going to Michigan State, Mark worked in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope, where he developed museum exhibitions about the Hubble Space Telescope and helped design NASA’s award-winning Hubble Site. His research interests range from interstellar processes in our own galaxy to the clustering of galaxies in the early universe, and he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is married to coauthor Megan Donahue and cooks terrific meals for her and their three children. Mark likes getting outdoors whenever possible and particularly enjoys running, mountain biking, canoeing, orienteering, and adventure racing. He is also author of the popular book Hubble Space Telescope: New Views of the Universe.
  • Table of Contents
    1. A Modern View of the Universe
    2. Discovering the Universe for Yourself
    3. The Science of Astronomy
    4. Making Sense of the Universe: Understanding Motion, Energy, and Gravity
    5. Light and Matter: Reading Messages from the Cosmos
    6. Telescopes: Portals of Discovery
    7. Our Planetary System
    8. Formation of the Solar System
    9. Planetary Geology: Earth and the Other Terrestrial Worlds
    10. Planetary Atmospheres: Earth and the Other Terrestrial Worlds
    11. Jovian Planet Systems
    12. Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets: Their Nature, Orbits, and Impacts
    13. Exoplanets: The New Science of Distant Worlds
    14. Our Star
    15. Surveying the Stars
    16. Star Birth
    17. Star Stuff
    18. The Bizarre Stellar Graveyard
    19. Our Galaxy
    20. Galaxies and the Foundation of Modern Cosmology
    21. Galaxy Evolution
    22. The Birth of the Universe
    23. Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Fate of the Universe
    24. Life in the Universe

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