Scientists have collected a wealth of physical and chemical data for the Sun, planets, and small bodies in our solar system, but until now this information has been scattered throughout the technical literature. The Planetary Scientist's Companion solves this problem, providing for the first time a single, extensive reference for the interdisciplinary fields of planetary science and cosmochemistry. The book begins with a summary of frequently used physical and chemical constants, unit conversion factors, properties of some compounds and minerals, thermodynamic data, partition coefficients, and useful formulas. This is followed by an overview of the solar system, including comparative data for the planets and their satellites and abundances of the elements. Much of the book is devoted to a series of chapters describing in turn the Sun, each of the planets, and the groups of small bodies (asteroids, comets, meteorites, and Kuiper Belt and Centaur objects). Each chapter includes an introduction, followed by tables of physical and chemical properties compiled from many sources, including data on planetary atmospheres, surfaces, and interiors. The book concludes with data on nearby stars, the interstellar medium, and recently discovered brown dwarfs and possible extrasolar planets, followed by a glossary. A unique and practical resource for anyone interested in contemporary planetary science and cosmochemistry, this volume is likely to be an essential tool in future research.
Author: George H. A. Cole
Publisher: CRC Press
Release Date: 2002-04-01
There are many planetary systems other than our own, but it is only through a detailed understanding of the relatively accessible bodies in our solar system that a thorough appreciation of planetary science can be gained. This is particularly pertinent with the recent discovery of extra-solar planets and the desire to understand their formation and the prospect of life on other worlds. Planetary Science: The Science of Planets Around Stars focuses on the structure of planets and the stars they orbit and the interactions between them. The book is written in two parts, making it suitable for students at different levels and approaching planetary science from differing backgrounds. Twelve independent descriptive chapters reveal our solar system and the diverse bodies it contains, including satellites, planetary rings, asteroids, comets, meteorites, and interstellar dust. These chapters are accompanied by 42 detailed topics that discuss specialized subjects in a quantitative manner and will be essential reading for those in higher level courses. Coverage includes mineralogy, stellar formation and evolution, solar system dynamics, atmospheric physics, planetary interiors, thermodynamics, planetary astrophysics, and exobiology. Problems and answers are also included. Planetary Science: The Science of Planets Around Stars presents a complete overview of planetary science for students of physics, astronomy, astrophysics, earth sciences, and geophysics. Assuming no prior knowledge of astrophysics or geophysics, this book is suitable for students studying planetary science for the first time.
Author: National Research Council
Publisher: National Academies Press
Release Date: 2012-01-30
In recent years, planetary science has seen a tremendous growth in new knowledge. Deposits of water ice exist at the Moon's poles. Discoveries on the surface of Mars point to an early warm wet climate, and perhaps conditions under which life could have emerged. Liquid methane rain falls on Saturn's moon Titan, creating rivers, lakes, and geologic landscapes with uncanny resemblances to Earth's. Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 surveys the current state of knowledge of the solar system and recommends a suite of planetary science flagship missions for the decade 2013-2022 that could provide a steady stream of important new discoveries about the solar system. Research priorities defined in the report were selected through a rigorous review that included input from five expert panels. NASA's highest priority large mission should be the Mars Astrobiology Explorer Cacher (MAX-C), a mission to Mars that could help determine whether the planet ever supported life and could also help answer questions about its geologic and climatic history. Other projects should include a mission to Jupiter's icy moon Europa and its subsurface ocean, and the Uranus Orbiter and Probe mission to investigate that planet's interior structure, atmosphere, and composition. For medium-size missions, Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 recommends that NASA select two new missions to be included in its New Frontiers program, which explores the solar system with frequent, mid-size spacecraft missions. If NASA cannot stay within budget for any of these proposed flagship projects, it should focus on smaller, less expensive missions first. Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 suggests that the National Science Foundation expand its funding for existing laboratories and establish new facilities as needed. It also recommends that the program enlist the participation of international partners. This report is a vital resource for government agencies supporting space science, the planetary science community, and the public.
Author: Jack J. Lissauer
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2013-09-09
A quantitative introduction to the Solar System and planetary systems science for advanced undergraduate students, this engaging new textbook explains the wide variety of physical, chemical and geological processes that govern the motions and properties of planets. The authors provide an overview of our current knowledge and discuss some of the unanswered questions at the forefront of research in planetary science and astrobiology today. They combine knowledge of the Solar System and the properties of extrasolar planets with astrophysical observations of ongoing star and planet formation, offering a comprehensive model for understanding the origin of planetary systems. The book concludes with an introduction to the fundamental properties of living organisms and the relationship that life has to its host planet. With more than 200 exercises to help students learn how to apply the concepts covered, this textbook is ideal for a one-semester or two-quarter course for undergraduate students.
If the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe is just around the corner, what would be the consequences for religion? Would it represent another major conflict between science and religion, even leading to the death of faith? Some would suggest that the discovery of any suggestion of extraterrestrial life would have a greater impact than even the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions. It is now over 50 years since the first modern scientific papers were published on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Yet the religious implications of this search and possible discovery have never been systematically addressed in the scientific or theological arena. SETI is now entering its most important era of scientific development. New observation techniques are leading to the discovery of extra-solar planets daily, and the Kepler mission has already collected over 1000 planetary candidates. This deluge of data is transforming the scientific and popular view of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Earth-like planets outside of our solar system can now be identified and searched for signs of life. Now is a crucial time to assess the scientific and theological questions behind this search. This book sets out the scientific arguments undergirding SETI, with particular attention to the uncertainties in arguments and the strength of the data already assembled. It assesses not only the discovery of planets but other areas such as the Fermi paradox, the origin and evolution of intelligent life, and current SETI strategies. In all of this it reflects on how these questions are shaped by history and pop culture and their relationship with religion, especially Christian theology. It is argued that theologians need to take seriously SETI and to examine some central doctrines such as creation, incarnation, revelation, and salvation in the light of the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
Author: Daniel Brewer
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2014-10-30
Containing essays by leading scholars representing a wide range of disciplines, this Companion offers new perspectives on the French Enlightenment. Clearly organized and easy to use, the volume provides a comprehensive overview of a period that marks the beginning of modern intellectual culture and political life.
Author: Katharina Lodders
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Release Date: 2015-11-09
This book is an appealing, concise, and factual account of the chemistry of the solar system. It includes basic facts about the chemical composition of the different bodies in the solar system, the major chemical processes involved in the formation of the Sun, planets, and small objects, and the chemical processes that determine their current chemical make-up. The book summarizes compositional data but focuses on the chemical processes and where relevant, it also emphasizes comparative planetology. There are numerous informative summary tables which illustrate the similarities (or differences) that help the reader to understand the processes described. Data is presented in graphical form which is useful for identifying common features of the major processes that determine the current chemical state of the planets. The book will interest general readers with a background in chemistry who will enjoy reading about the chemical diversity of the solar system's objects. It will serve as an introductory textbook for graduate classes in planetary sciences but will also be very popular with professional researchers in academia and government, college professors, and postgraduate fellows.
The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science is an indispensable reference source and guide to the major themes, debates, problems and topics in philosophy of science. It contains sixty-two specially commissioned entries by a leading team of international contributors. Organized into four parts it covers:historical and philosophical context debates concepts the individual sciences. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science addresses all of the essential topics.