I have taught astronomy at BCIT for a number of years and, up until 2018, the courses revolved around a commercial textbook. The textbook was outstanding but was, unfortunately, priced such that only a handful of students in the class bought it. Given this unfortunate statistic, the A7000 course is based upon the OpenStax Astronomy textbook, which is free (if you use an electronic copy) or available as a print copy at a reasonable price. My hope is that having free and easy access to the OpenStax text will increase your participation in, and enjoyment of, your astronomy course.
This edition of the OpenStax Astronomy text has been edited by Douglas College’s Jennifer Kirkey (to whom my thanks go for help in transitioning to OpenStax) to include references to Canadian astronomers as well as the contributions of our First Nations. I am open to your comments and suggestions regarding the textbook. Because it is open source, it can be edited and updated to suit your needs and wishes.
Some more about James Brewer:
One of my earliest memories is of being on the way home from my grandparents and, away from the glare of streetlights, looking in amazement at the starry sky. This amazement has never left me, and I pursued my interest in astronomy further by studying physics and astrophysics at the University of Leeds (UK), then undertaking master’s and doctoral degrees in astronomy at UBC. I then went on to work for the European Southern Observatory at their La Silla site in Chile for over four years, followed by more time at UBC as a research associate, analyzing Hubble Space Telescope data.
Though not currently involved in research, I remain passionate about the wonders of astronomy, and hope that during the course, you will be as excited and amazed as I am by the universe in which we live.
Preparing for the transit of Venus (credit: Tim Duty 2018 CC-BY)
Front Cover: Eclipse of 2017 (credit: James Brewer 2018 CC-BY)