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: John L. Heilbron
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2003-02-14
Containing 609 encyclopedic articles written by more than 200 prominent scholars, The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science presents an unparalleled history of the field invaluable to anyone with an interest in the technology, ideas, discoveries, and learned institutions that have shaped our world over the past five centuries. Focusing on the period from the Renaissance to the early twenty-first century, the articles cover all disciplines (Biology, Alchemy, Behaviorism), historical periods (the Scientific Revolution, World War II, the Cold War), concepts (Hypothesis, Space and Time, Ether), and methodologies and philosophies (Observation and Experiment, Darwinism). Coverage is international, tracing the spread of science from its traditional centers and explaining how the prevailing knowledge of non-Western societies has modified or contributed to the dominant global science as it is currently understood. Revealing the interplay between science and the wider culture, the Companion includes entries on topics such as minority groups, art, religion, and science's practical applications. One hundred biographies of the most iconic historic figures, chosen for their contributions to science and the interest of their lives, are also included. Above all The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science is a companion to world history: modern in coverage, generous in breadth, and cosmopolitan in scope. The volume's utility is enhanced by a thematic outline of the entire contents, a thorough system of cross-referencing, and a detailed index that enables the reader to follow a specific line of inquiry along various threads from multiple starting points. Each essay has numerous suggestions for further reading, all of which favor literature that is accessible to the general reader, and a bibliographical essay provides a general overview of the scholarship in the field. Lastly, as a contribution to the visual appeal of the Companion, over 100 black-and-white illustrations and an eight-page color section capture the eye and spark the imagination.
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.
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: 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.
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: Georgina M. Montgomery
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2015-12-14
A Companion to the History of American Science offers a collection of essays that give an authoritative overview of the most recent scholarship on the history of American science. Covers topics including astronomy, agriculture, chemistry, eugenics, Big Science, military technology, and more Features contributions by the most accomplished scholars in the field of science history Covers pivotal events in U.S. history that shaped the development of science and science policy such as WWII, the Cold War, and the Women’s Rights movement
Containing more than 450 entries by some 200 eminent contributors from all over the world, the Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences is the first book to present this information in an authoritative yet approachable way. This encyclopedia deals with the atmospheres, surfaces and interiors of the planets and moons, and with the interplanetary environment of plasma fields, as well as with asteroids and meteorites. Processes such as accretion, differentiation, thermal evolution and impact cratering form another category of entries. Remote sensing techniques employed in investigation and exploration, such as magnetometry, photometry, and spectroscopy are described in separate articles. In addition the Encyclopedia chronicles the history of planetary science, including biographies of pioneering scientists, and detailed descriptions of all major lunar and planetary missions and programs. The Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences is superbly illustrated throughout with over 450 line drawings, 180 black and white photographs, and 63 colour illustrations. It will be a key reference source for planetary scientists, astronomers, and workers in related disciplines such as geophysics, geology and the atmospheric sciences. Included in this book is a PC and Mac compatible CD-ROM containing over 200 relevant planetary and related images available from NASA. This CD-ROM has been specially compiled for the Encyclopedia by The United States National Space Science Data Center.