Since the publication of the popular first edition, stellar and planetary scientists have produced numerous new observations, theories, and interpretations, including the "demotion" of our former ninth planet Pluto as a dwarf planet. Covering all of these new discoveries, Planetary Science: The Science of Planets around Stars, Second Edition explains the science associated with the planets, the stars they orbit, and the interactions between them. It examines the formation, evolution, and death of stars and the properties of the Sun that influence the planets of the Solar System. Along with more problems, this second edition adds new material and improves some analytical treatments.
The book consists of two main components. For students unfamiliar with stellar properties or the overall structure of the Solar System, the first part gives a general picture of the system as a whole and the interrelationships of the bodies within it. It presents an overview of the nature of stars and the Solar System as well as important results obtained by scientific analysis.
The second component is a set of 43 appendices describing the majority of the underlying science required to explain the main features of the Solar System. These appendices cover a variety of specialized topics, from mineralogy to the mechanical interactions of radiation and matter.
End-of-chapter problems give students a quantitative understanding of stellar and solar system phenomena. The text shows how useful estimates of various quantities can be made even when characteristics of the system are not known with any precision. While the problems can be completed with a hand calculator, students are encouraged to use the Fortran computer programs provided on the book’s CRC Press web page.
Avoiding excessive details, this textbook offers a comprehensive account of stellar and planetary topics. It is suitable for students from a range of disciplines, including astronomy, geology, and earth sciences. The book provides students with an understanding of the nature of the Solar System and the influences that govern its behavior, helping them develop an appreciation of the forces that can influence our planet in the future.
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"... a very comprehensive introduction to planetary science addressed to first-level students or self-learning readers. The main chapters provide pieces of information about topics related to solar planets and exoplanets and are supplemented by appendices, which give a broader physical and astrophysical context to these topics. ... the book should be considered by lecturers as a good textbook for planetary science courses at universities and schools all over the world."
―Pure and Applied Geophysics, March 2014
"The book is an unusual combination of an account at a popular and very readable level of the origin of the solar system and some very detailed calculations regarding the basic physics that underpin all the processes. All students of the subject will find this later part invaluable. There are also many problems included that university students doing a formal course would find very useful."
―Iwan Williams, School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary, University of London
Praise for the First Edition:
"This is a strong contender for a text suitable for an undergraduate course in planetary science ... pitched at exactly the right level for an undergraduate physics or astronomy student ... At the end of each chapter and topic there are one or two problems, well chosen to illustrate the material and to reinforce the reader’s understanding ... if I were teaching a course on the solar system, I would certainly have this book on my desk and use it frequently."
―Jeremy B. Tatum, The Observatory
"... a useful contribution to the literature ... The chapters and most of the topics end with one or two questions to which full answers are given―a welcome feature."
―B.W. Jones, Contemporary Physics, 2003,
"... good textbooks have been rare indeed, so this new edition by two eminent British professors of the subject is more than welcome, not just because it is overdue, but because it is excellent, one of the best in what is still a very limited field. Its quality derives from the broadly based knowledge of the authors and their consequent ability to expound on a wide range of topics ... Best of all, they stick closely to the physics, and the treatment is richly quantitative, complete with problems at the end of each section ... Care is taken throughout, even in the title of the book, to emphasize the universality of the principles involved ... this is the book for anyone involved in teaching or learning the science of planets around stars."
―F.W. Taylor, Surveys in Geophysics
"Their book elegantly combines physics, mathematics, geophysics, and astronomy ... The second part is refreshingly unusual, concentrating on 41 planetary science topics ... The mathematical and physical approach is elegant, relevant, and at a typical second-year university level. This book encourages understanding and not mere assimilation of data."
―David Hughes, New Scientist, March 2003
"The authors take the information we know of our Solar System to form the basis of a generalized planetary science, which can then be applied to any external star system ... The material would be appealing to students in physics, astronomy, geology, or other science majors looking for a comprehensive overview of planetary science. Even though this book is meant to be used as a textbook, the interested individual will find it engaging and instructive. Highly recommended for academic collections."
―E-STREAMS, Vol. 5, No. 11
"Overall the book achieves its goal of providing a basic text in planetary science, while providing instructors a fair amount of flexibility in drawing basic course material from the text as well as providing a useful reference for students. It also has a relatively large number of problems and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts ... could very nicely serve as a basic text on which to build an advanced undergraduate or graduate-level course in planetary science."
―Robert H. Brown, Departments of Planetary Sciences and Astronomy, University of Arizona, USA
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