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Encyclopedia of the Solar System


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Table of Contents

Preface Foreword The Solar System and Its Place in the Galaxy The Origin of the Solar System A History of Solar System Studies The Sun The Solar Wind Mercury Venus: Atmosphere Venus: Surface and Interior Earth as a Planet: Atmosphere and Oceans Earth as a Planet: Surface and Interior The Sun-Earth Connection The Moon Meteorites Near-Earth Objects Mars Atmosphere: History and Surface Interaction Mars: Surface and Interior Mars: Landing Site Geology, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry Main-Belt Asteroids Planetary Satellites Atmospheres of the Giant Planets Interiors of the Giant Planets Io: The Volcanic Moon Europa Ganymede and Callisto Titan Triton Planetary Rings Planetary Magnetospheres Pluto and Charon Physics and Chemistry of Comets Cometary Dynamics Kuiper Belt: Dynamics Kuiper Belt Objects: Physical Studies Solar System Dust X-Rays in the Solar System The Solar System at Ultraviolet Wavelengths Infrared Views of the Solar System from Space The Solar System at Radio Wavelengths New Generation Optical/Infrared Telescopes Planetary Radar Semote Chemical Analysis Solar System Dynamics: Regular and Chaotic Motion Planetary Impacts Planetary Volcanism Planets and the Origin of Life Planetary Exploration Missions Extra-Solar Planets Appendices Glossary Index

About the Author

Lucy McFadden is a planetary scientist at the University of Maryland. She was the founding director of the College Park Scholars Program, Science, Discovery and the Universe. She has published over 75 articles in refereed journals and has been co-investigator on NASA's NEAR, Deep Impact and Dawn missions exploring asteroids and comets. She has served on committees on solar system exploration for the National Academy of Sciences, and on the editorial board of Icarus. Paul R. Weissman is a Senior Research Scientist at JPL, specializing in comets. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers and 30 popular articles. He is also the co-author, with Alan Harris, of a children's book on the Voyager mission. Dr. Weissman received his doctorate in planetary and space physics from the University of California, Los Angeles. His work includes both theoretical and observational studies of comets, investigating their orbital motion, their physical make-up, and the threat they pose due to possible impacts on the Earth. Dr. Weissman is an Interdisciplinary Scientist on ESA's Rosetta mission to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Torrence V. Johnson is a specialist on icy satellites in the solar system. He has written over 130 publications for scientific journals. He received a Ph.D. in planetary science from the California Institute of Technology and is now the Chief Scientist for Solar System Exploration at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He was the Project Scientist for the Galileo mission and is currently an investigator on the Cassini mission. He is the recipient of two NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medals and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Padua, where Galileo made his first observations of the solar system.


"Encyclopedia of the Solar System, as a title, is almost on a par with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and, come to the think of it, the content is almost as mind-blowing." -Satellite Evolution Group, September 2007 "The editors have brought together an awesome amount of information authored by a Who's Who of planetary science." -Sky and Telescope, July 2007 "The book is a delight to hold and view, printed in glorious colour on quality paper. This is one of those books you just have to own. ...The editors of this work have made a commitment to keep it current... It is a tome I would recommend to any with a love of information on our neighborhood -- the Solar System." --David O'Driscoll, AAQ Nesletter "Everything you want to know about the solar system is here. Let your fingers be the spacecraft as you thumb through this book visiting all the planets, moons and other small objects in the solar system. This is the perfect reference book, lavishly illustrated and well-written. The editors and authors have done a magnificent job." -From the Foreword by WESLEY T. HUNTRESS, JR., Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institute of Washington "The Encyclopedia offers remarkably clear descriptions of the diverse objects that comprise the solar system. The authors succeed brilliantly at combining the latest results from spacecraft missions and Earth-based observations with thoughtful interpretations of the processes that have shaped solar system evolution." -MARIA T. ZUBER, E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology "I expect members of the planetary science community will use this book to brush up on subjects outside their own specialty. This book reminds me how rapidly planetary science is evolving. This second edition comes at the right time." -ANDREW P. INGERSOLL, Professor of Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology "The editors and authors are scientists whose knowledge I trust. The addition of color in this new edition not only makes the book more attractive but also adds appropriate clarity in suitable places. The level of mathematics and detail in the entries makes them suitable for graduate students and researchers and for advanced undergraduate courses." -JAY M. PASACHOFF, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy, Williams College "The second edition of this valuable encyclopedia comes with wonderfully updated and spectacular spacecraft images, from Mars to Callisto and beyond. It's a great primer for students as well as a reference for professionals." -WILLIAM K. HARTMANN, Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute

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