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Cole G.H.A., Woolfson M.M. Planetary science The science of planets around stars

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Cole G.H.A., Woolfson M.M. Planetary science The science of planets around stars
LOP Publishing Ltd 2002. — 505 p.
Contents.
introduction.
a review of the solar system.
the unity of the universe.
the sun and other stars.
the planets.
the terrestrial planets.
the major planets and pluto.
the moon.
satellites and rings.
asteroids.
comets.
meteorites.
dust in the solar system.
theories of the origin and evolution of the solar system.
Topics.
basic mineralogy.
geochronology - radioactive dating.
the virial theorem.
the jeans critical mass.
free- fall collapse.
the evolution of protost ars.
the equilibrium of stars on the main sequence.
energy production in stars.
evolution of stars away from the main sequence.
the chandrasekhar limit, neutron stars and black holes.
planets around other stars.
contents.
the constitution of the companions.
atmospheres.
possibilities of conditions for life.
a final comment.
problem.
solar-system studies to the beginning of the seventeenth.
century.
newton, kepler's laws and solar-system dynamics.
the formation of commensurate orbits.
the physics of planetary interiors.
contents.
the transfer of heat.
seismology-the interior of the earth.
moments of inertia.
contents.
the gravitational field of a distorted planet.
magnetic interactions between planet and star.
planetary albedoes.
the physics of tides.
darwin's theory of lunar origin.
the roche limit and satellite disruption.
tidal heating of io.
the ram pressure of a gas stream.
the trojan asteroids.
heating by accretion.
perturbations of the oort cloud.
radiation pressure and the poynting-robertson effect.
analyses associated with the jeans tidal theory.
the viscous-disk mechanism for the transfer of angular.
momentum.
the safronov theory of planet formation.
the eddington accretion mechanism.
the role of space vehicles.
planetary atmospheric warming.
migration of planetary orbits.
interactions in an embedded cluster.
solutions to problems.
conditions for an interaction.
numerical calculations.
problem.
appendix.
physical constants.
references.
index.
Introduction.
In choosing a title we had in mind that there are many planetary systems other than the Solar System. The book is concerned with the science associated with the planets, the stars that they orbit and the interactions between them. The relationships of several extra-solar planets to their parent stars differ from that of any Solar-System planet to the Sun and this can give clues either about the way that planets are formed or the way that they evolve after formation. For this reason we conclude with a chapter giving current ideas about the way that planetary systems come into being. There is general agreement that the formation of planets is intimately connected with the formation of stars-although there are important differences of view about the nature of the connection. To give a rounded and complete picture we include material on the formation, evolution and death of stars and those properties of the Sun that influence the planets of the Solar System.
The origin of the study of the Solar System, at a truly scientific level, occurred in the seventeenth century when Newton explained the motion of Solar-System bodies by the application of the laws of mechanics combined with the inverse-square law of gravitational attraction. With subsequent improvements in telescope technology and, more latterly, through the achievements of space science we now have detailed descriptions of many Solar-System bodies and have been able to analyse samples from some of them. The range of what constitutes stellar and planetary science has expanded in almost explosive fashion in the past few decades and includes aspects of many different conventional sciences-although physics and astronomy certainly predominate.
There are many excellent textbooks that describe stars and the Solar System in some detail and give qualitative explanations for some features and quantitative explanations where the underlying science is not too complicated. At the other extreme there are monographs and papers in learned journals that deal with aspects of stellar and planetary science in a rigorous and formal way that is suitable for the specialist and where, sometimes, jargon is used that is incomprehensible to the outsider. The readership we have in mind for the present work is the senior undergraduate student in physics or astronomy or the new graduate student working in planetary science who requires an overview of the whole subject before embarking on detailed study of one narrow aspect of it. Our analyses of aspects of stellar and planetary science are aimed to be accessible to such students-or, indeed, to any others meeting the field for the first time. There are two main components of this text. The first of these is a general overview of the nature of stars and of the Solar System that can be read independently and quotes the important results that have been obtained by scientific analysis. For those unfamiliar with stellar properties or the overall structure of the Solar System we recommend that this part should be read before looking at the other material, to acquire a general picture of the system as a whole and the interrelationships of the bodies within it.
The second component is that which justifies the title of this work. It is a set of 41 topics in which the detailed science is described. The topics are very variable in length. Some, for example Topic A that deals with mineralogy, are as long as a normal chapter of a book. Others, for example Topic AG concerned with the mechanical interactions of radiation and matter, are one or two pages long. Together these topics provide a description of the great bulk of the underlying science required to explain the main features of the Solar System.
Problems are given at the end of chapters and most topics, designed to give the reader a.
quantitative feeling for stellar and Solar-System phenomena. Solving such problems clearly has.
some educational value but, even when the reader fails to solve a problem, reference to the provided solution may offer useful insights.
Our Earth and the other planets have undergone substantial changes in their states over many.
aeons by the action of natural forces. An understanding of the nature of the Solar System and of the influences that govern its behaviour may allow an appreciation to be developed of what can influence our planet in the future.
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