Dr. James N. Pierce
Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Title: Elementary Astronomy
Author: James N. Pierce
- Elementary Astronomy was originally published in 2000 by Good Apple (see the full story). In 2012, the rights to the book were returned to me; revisions since then have resulted in the current product.
Format: 2.5 MB pdf; 134 pages (8.5" x 11")
Price: FREE! View the pdf, save a copy to your device, print a paper copy -- no charge. (See license details at bottom of this page.)
Elementary Astronomy is a book written specifically for teachers
(and parents) of students in grades K-6. The astronomy topics it covers
are those most commonly found in these grade levels: Earth and Sun; night
and day; seasons; phases of the Moon; eclipses; the solar system; planets;
the night sky; constellations. Also included are explanations of other
terms and phenomena necessary to understand these topics, such as
gravity, orbits, rotation, revolution, shadows, equinoxes, solstices, and
No prior knowledge of astronomy is required; the book is intended
as a self-contained tutorial for those wishing to learn the basics of everyday
astronomy. Although it contains enough numbers to serve as a convenient
reference for data on planets and other bodies, Elementary Astronomy
is not heavy on mathematics. Most of the material is presented using
explanatory text and simple sketches.
Elementary Astronomy is especially useful to
- teachers in elementary and middle schools who wish to learn enough
astronomy to cover the astronomy units in their science programs;
- teachers at any level who need a simple, handy reference that
- explains easily observable astronomical phenomena and
- provides basic astronomical data for use in mathematical applications;
- astronomy educators who need an appropriate text to accompany
- astronomy courses for elementary education majors and
- astronomy workshops for teachers;
parents of students who ask questions about things they see in the
- Chapter 1: Introduction
- Chapter 2: Earth, Moon, and Sun
- Chapter 3: Gravity and Orbits
- Chapter 4: Earth Motions and Seasons
- Chapter 5: Moon Motions and Phases
- Chapter 6: Eclipses
- Chapter 7: The Solar System
- Chapter 8: Planet Properties
- Chapter 9: Motions of the Night Sky
- Chapter 10: Constellations and Star Charts
- Chapter 11: Conclusion
Elementary Astronomy by James N. Pierce is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://mavdisk.mnsu.edu/jpierce/ea/ea.pdf.
View the complete Elementary Astronomy pdf (2.5 MB).
If you like the book, send me an email.
Listings of additional free astronomy books:
Back to Dr. James Pierce's home page.
Back to Dr. James Pierce's Physics & Astronomy home page.
Created March 15, 2000; last modified December 14, 2016
Send comments or suggestions to
James Pierce - email@example.com