The enhanced pedagogy, streamlined presentation, and integrated media of The Cosmic Perspective, Third Edition, makes it easier than ever for students to successfully navigate their way through introductory astronomy. Renowned for its up-to-date and expert coverage, this student-friendly text focuses on central ideas and unifying themes to provide a cosmic context. New chapter openers and end-of-chapter summaries expertly steer students through key concepts, helping them stay focused on core learning goals. The text's superior media package has been further enhanced to provide professors with superior in-class presentation tools and the ability to use and assign media activities out of class in creative ways they may not have previously considered. In particular, The Astronomy Place Website's highly acclaimed tutorials are now fully assignable with a built-in grading system, and a new Lecture Launcher CD-ROM puts a comprehensive library of in-class presentation applets, animations, and images in the palm of professors' hands.The Third Edition also features expanded coverage on seasons, the solar system, chronological history, and astrobiology. A reorganized table of contents makes the text even more cohesive and easy to use.Big picture approach presents each topic within a cosmic context, creating a framework for understanding by first exploring the underlying themes and then fleshing them out in more detail. Exceptional art program features carefully developed, clear, and imaginative illustrations to help students understand difficult concepts. Comprehensive star charts are included at the end of the book. Focus on the universality of physics and the importance of science helps students see how the phenomena they observe in their own lives are connected to the processes that govern the cosmos. Evolving vision of galaxies and dark matter concentrates on our emerging understanding of galaxy evolution-explaining starbursts, quasars, and intergalactic clouds within context-and how this parallels stellar evolution. A planet-by-planet introduction gives students an overarching picture of the solar system first, and a comparative approach then emphasizes similarities between planets and explores their connecting processes. This combined approach gives students a deeper understanding of our solar system, our world, and prospects for life elsewhere in the universe. End-of-chapter problems include a wide variety of problem types-from group discussion topics through "sensible statements" and more quantitative exercises-to accommodate different learning needs.