Fostering Scientific Literacy, Engaging Every Student

Comprehensive and authoritative, 21st Century Astronomy fosters scientific literacy by offering carefully crafted activities that help students apply the process of science to astronomy, the news, and the world.

Request Digital Access

By signing up you agree to W. W. Norton’s
privacy policy and terms of use.

Features of the Seventh Edition

NEW chapter opening Experiments

Each chapter opens with an experiment that can be done with everyday household objects, getting students involved in the scientific process. Accompanying Smartwork questions make these easily assignable.

Yearly research updates in the ebook and Smartwork

Starting summer 2022, the 21st Century Astronomy ebook and Smartwork course will be updated yearly with NEW research from the field.

Process of Science features and Smartwork assignments

Process of Science features in the text walk students through the anatomy of a discovery, while accompanying Smartwork assignments have students sharpen their inquiry-based skills.

Exploration features

Located at the end of each chapter and made assignable in Smartwork, these guided-inquiry exercises ask students to construct models with pencil and paper, and interact with simulations and animations.

Working It Out features

These optional boxes break down the math so that students can easily follow along. If quantitative literacy is important in your course, you can take this a step further by assigning questions in Smartwork.

NEW What an Astronomer Sees features

These annotated images show students how astronomers interpret objects in space, encouraging students to think like scientists. Accompanying Smartwork questions make them easily assignable.

About the Authors

Stacy Palen

Stacy Palen is an award-winning professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Weber State University. Stacy does research in formal and informal astronomy education and the death of Sun-like stars.

George Blumenthal

George Blumenthal is the director of the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley. From 2006 to 2019 he was the chancellor at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Available in Three Formats

21st Century Astronomy,
Seventh Edition

21st Century Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies, Seventh Edition

21st Century Astronomy: The Solar System, Seventh Edition

Contact your Norton representative
Norton Learning Blog

Image Credits: (Research Updates) NASA, ESA, and R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation), and P. Challis (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics); (What an Astronomer Sees) NASA/JPL/University of Arizona; (Palen) Photo by Zac Williams; (Blumenthal) Courtesy of UC Santa Cruz

Copyright © W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2021