This textbook is intended to be used in a lecture course for college students majoring in the Earth Sciences. Planetary Science provides an opportunity for these students to apply a wide range of subject matter pertaining to the Earth to the study of other planets of the solar system and their principal satellites. As a result, students gain a wider perspective of the different worlds that are accessible to us and they are led to recognize the Earth as the only oasis in space where we can live without life-support systems.
The subject matter is presented in 24 chapters that lead the reader through the solar system starting with historical perspectives on space exploration and the development of the scientific method. The presentations concerning the planets and their satellites emphasize that their origin and subsequent evolution can be explained by applications of certain basic principles of physics, chemistry, and celestial mechanics and that the surface features of the solid bodies in the solar system can be interpreted by means of the principles of geology.
Organized in a hierarchical manner so that every chapter builds on preceding ones
Abundantly illustrated with diagrams and color images
Includes problem sets and a glossary