I am interested in astronomy/astrophysics, but I am not science major (I am a computer science graduate). Facts and results of the field are presented to the public without showing how these facts/results got known or inferred. And I have that curiosity to know how we know what we know about the universe (either observationally or mathematically).
So my question is, what book(s) do you recommend for someone who has knowledge of
- algebra, trigonometry and geometry
- college-level calculus
- classical mechanics
and does not get intimidated by mathematical language?
I expect the book(s) to answer questions like (not necessarily all of the questions, but questions of the same level and kind as these):
- How do we know how distant from the earth a celestial body (for example, a star) is?
- How do we know the volume/mass of celestial bodies?
- How do we know the materials that a planet is made of?
- How do we know that our solar system orbits around the center of the galaxy?
- How do we calculate the total mass of the galaxy?