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Encyclopedia of the Solar System - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080573137

Encyclopedia of the Solar System

1st Edition

Editors: Paul Weissman Lucy-Ann McFadden Torrence Johnson
eBook ISBN: 9780080573137
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 11th September 1998
Page Count: 992
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The Encyclopedia of the Solar System provides a series of comprehensive and authoritative articles written by more than 50 eminent planetary and space scientists. Each chapter is self-contained yet linked by cross-references to other related chapters. This beautifully designed book is a must for the library of professional astronomers and amateur star-gazers alike, in fact for anyone who wishes to understand the nature of our solar system.

Key Features

@introbul:Key Features
@bul:* Cross-referenced throughout for easy comprehension
* Superbly illustrated with over 700 photos, drawings, and diagrams, including 36 color plates
* Provides 40 thematically organized chapters by more than 50 eminent contributors
* Convenient glossaries of technical terms introduce each chapter
* Academic Press maintains a web site for the Encyclopedia at; Author-recommended web resources for additional information, images, and research developments related to each chapter of this volume, are available here


Scientists, teachers, interested laypeople, and students of planetary science, astronomy, astrophysics, planetary geology, meteorology, and atmospheric and magnetospheric sciences.

Table of Contents

Foreword, Sally K. Ride
Guide to the Encyclopedia
The Solar System and Its Place in the Galaxy, P. Weissman,
The Origin of the Solar System, P. M. Cassen and D.S. Woolum,
The Sun, J.B. Zirker,
The Solar Wind, J.T. Gosling
Mercury, R.G. Strom
Venus: Atmosphere, D.M. Hunten
Venus: Surface and Interior, J.W. Head and A. Basilevski
Earth as a Planet: Atmosphere and Oceans, T.E. Dowling
Earth as a Planet: Surface and Interior, D.C. Pieri and A.M. Dziewonski
The Moon, S.R. Taylor
Mars: Atmosphere and Volatile History, F.P. Fanale
Mars: Surface and Interior, M.H. Carr
Phobos and Deimos, P.C. Thomas
Atmospheres of the Giant Planets, R.A. West
Interiors of the Giant Planets, M.S. Marley
Io, D. Matson and D. Blaney
Titan, A. Coustenis and R. Lorenz
Triton, W.B. McKinnon and R.L. Kirk
Outer Planet Icy Satellites, B.J. Buratti Planetary Rings, C.C. Porco
Planetary Magnetospheres, M. Kivelson and F. Bagenal
Pluto and Charon, S.A. Stern and R.V. Yelle
Physics and Chemistry of Comets, D.C. Boice and W. Huebner
Cometary Dynamics, J. Fernandez
The Kuiper Belt, H. Levison and P. Weissman
Asteroids, D.T. Britt and L.A. Lebofsky
Near-Earth Asteroids, L.-A. McFadden
Meteorites, M.E. Lipschutz and L. Schultz
Interplanetary Dust and the Zodiacal Cloud, E. Grun
The Solar System at Ultraviolet Wavelenghts, R.M. Nelson and D.L. Domingue
Infrared Views the Solar System From Space, M.V. Sykes
The Solar System at Radio Wavelengths, I. de Pater
Planetary Radar, S. Ostro
Solar System Dynamics, M. Duncan and J. Lissauer
Chaotic Motion in the Solar System, C.D. Murray
Planetary Impacts, R.A.F. Grieve and M.J. Cintala
Planetary Volcanism, L. Wilson
Searching For Other Planetary Systems, D. Black
Planets and the Origin of Life, C.P. McKay and W.L. Davis
Planetary Exploration Missions, L. Freidman, J. Burke and R. Kraemer
Extra-Solar Planets: Searching for Other Planetary Systems, D.C. Black


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1998
11th September 1998
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Editors

Paul Weissman

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.

Affiliations and Expertise

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, U.S.A.

Lucy-Ann McFadden

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.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Maryland, College Park, U.S.A.

Torrence Johnson

Torrence Johnson

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.

Affiliations and Expertise

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA


"This reference guide to four decades of exploration and discovery [...] is a valuable resource for academic and large public libraries."
--LIBRARY JOURNAL, April 15, 2000

"The 56 contributors to this one-volume encyclopedia-all specialists in solar system science-describe the system from the galaxy inward to the sun and then outward through the planets....The audience the editors have aimed at includes teachers, students, advanced amateurs, astronomers who do not specialize in the solar system, and professionals in other scientific and technical fields. Such a person could read the volume straight through or plunge at once into any of the topics."
--John Rennie, Editor-in-Chief, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, March 1999

"....The Encyclopedia of the Solar System is a worthy choice for academic libraries."

"Four decades of the most exciting explorations in human history in one book! Up-to-the-minute details by the best writers to explore the solar system are wonderfully organized for both looking up quick facts and for in-depth study. This one pulls it all together. Any citizen of the solar system from age 8 to 80 should own this encyclopedia."
--Dr. Jay Apt, Director, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, four-time Space Shuttle Astronaut

"Weissman, McFadden, and Johnson have done a terrific job in assembling a roster of world-class experts to write about the key topics in planetary science. This should be a valuable guide both in the classroom and on the reference shelf."
--Dr. William K. Hartmann, Planetary Science Institute, Tucson; Recipient of the American Astronomical Society's Carl Sagan Medal

"I cannot imagine a trio of scientists better qualified to produce a volume about the solar system than Weissman, McFadden, and Johnson. This is more than a book—it is a fantastic voyage to neighbor worlds that combines the accuracy of science with the beauty and wonder that is our solar system."
--Dr. David H. Levy, Astronomer

"During the last forty years, the nature of the solar system has been gradually revealed as more and more capable spacecraft have ventured further from Earth's shores, and as theoreticians have developed increasingly sophisticated models to understand what has been found. At last we have a compact yet complete summary of these incredible discoveries, prepared by many of the scientists who did the original work."
--Dr. Joseph A. Burns, Church Professor of Engineering and Professor of Astronomy, Cornell University

"A distinguished group of editors and authors have produced a compendium of our current knowledge about the Solar System and how we obtained it. This volume will reside on my desk as a vital resource to help me answer questions from scientists in other fields, public officials, and the general public."
--Dr. Robert W. Milkey, Executive Officer, American Astronomical Society

"I wish I had this on my desk for all the years I've needed an immediate reference for explaining something complicated about the Solar System to Congress or the Administration."
--Dr. Wesley T. Huntress, Jr., Associate Administrator for Space Science, NASA

"The Encyclopedia of the Solar System has been crafted by working scientific experts who are directly engaged in [current space explorations]. It is a must-have reference for anyone in the lay public, any would-be planetary explorer, who wants to join up and come along with us as we reach out into the void and touch the planets."
--Dr. Laurence A. Soderblom, United States Geological Survey

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