Galaxies: Books

The study of galaxies has radically transformed our ideas of the universe, but there is also the fact that they are gorgeous photographic and romantic subjects.  We rely on a few textbooks in the graduate galaxies class I'm taking, so this has capsule reviews of the main ones.  Roughly in order of  how technically demanding they are.

BOB - The famous Big Orange Book, An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics by Carroll and Ostlie.  1359 pages of reading fun on all aspects of Astrophysics.  Aimed at undergraduates and demands some calculus level physics and math.  Fear of this monster was one reason I decided to start my astrophysical study at the graduate level, but it is a great book.  Develops your mind and your biceps.

Galaxies in the Universe: An Introduction by Sparke and Gallagher (2007).  Aimed at Junior and Senior undergrads in physics.  Easy to read with lots of good problems.

Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology, by Schneider.  Aimed at the sophisticated advanced physics undergrad, but also useful for the grad student. Relatively up to date (2015), 626 pages.  Galaxies with a significant focus on cosmology.

Galactic Astronomy, by Binney and Merrifield. (1998)  800 graduate level pages.  Very well written and quite detailed in its descriptions, but slightly dated.  Has an even bulkier (920 pages) companion volume Galactic Dynamics (2008) by Binney and Tremaine.

Galaxy Formation and Evolution (2013) by Mo, Bosch and White, 840 pages.  Slightly more comprehensive than its title.


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