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Exploring the Solar System,9781405134996
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Exploring the Solar System



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NOTE A version of this proposal has already been submitted to the Publishing Group as Gilmour: Exploring the Solar System. Gilmour had to back out from the project, but Peter Bond of the RAS has agreed to take the project on. I have resubmitted it as a new project because the outline is slightly changed, but more importantly because - as discussed when the Gilmour proposal was adopted - we think there is a good sized non-majors market, with serious adoption potential. However this requires doing the book in four colour, with a 3000 print run. Planetary Science courses at introductory level fall into four main categories: 1. Astronomy-based 2. Planetary geoscience-based, with the emphasis on describing the geology of each planet 3. Some combination of the above 4. Exploration-based - i.e. looking at the various missions and their results. This proposal (adapted by Bond from a course given in the earth science dept at Manchester University) is aimed at the latter category - for which no suitable book currently exists. These courses are either offered by Astronomy Departments, or by Earth Science Departments, and the emphasis will vary accordingly. The proposed text is has a planetary geoscience emphasis, and will thus be used mostly as a text for courses offered by earth science departments. Most big US universities offer a 100 or 200 -level courses on the solar system or the universe. Whilst many fall into categories 1-3, above, web research reveals a growing number of solar system exploration courses offered in the US by earth science and astronomy departments Recent developments in planetary exploration are likely to stimulate further course offerings in coming years.

Author Biography

Award winning author, Peter Bond, is a Fellow of both the Royal Astronomical Society and the British Interplanetary Society. He has written 10 books and hundreds of articles about astronomy, space exploration and planet Earth, and contributed to, or edited, numerous others. Peter has been a consultant and writer for the European Space Agency for many years, and was a press officer for the Royal Astronomical Society 1995-2007.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Beginnings 3

2 Sun 23

3 Earth 52

4 The Moon 86

5 Mercury 112

6 Venus 133

7 Mars 156

8 Jupiter 210

9 Saturn 243

10 Uranus 281

11 Neptune 298

12 Pluto and the Kuiper Belt 314

13 Comets, Asteroids and Meteorites 335

14 Exoplanets 379

Appendices 412

Glossary 432

Further Reading 437

Index 450

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