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Physics and Chemistry of the Solar System - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124467408, 9780323145848

Physics and Chemistry of the Solar System

1st Edition

Author: John Lewis
eBook ISBN: 9780323145848
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st March 1995
Page Count: 566
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Physics and Chemistry of the Solar System focuses on planetary physics and chemistry. This book consists of 12 chapters. Chapters I to IV cover the general properties and environment of the planetary system. The solar system beyond Mars is elaborated in Chapters V to VIII, while the inner solar system is considered in Chapters XI to XII.

In these chapters, this compilation specifically discusses the limitations on big bang nucleosynthesis; structure and classification of galaxies; and mass and angular momentum distribution. The radio wave propagation in space plasmas; interiors of Jupiter and Saturn; density and composition of icy satellites; and evaporation and non-gravitational forces are also deliberated. This text also explains the physical properties of meteorites; geology of the Moon; geophysical data on Mars; and search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

This publication is a good reference for first-year graduate students who intend to take graduate courses in specialized areas of planetary sciences, as well as practicing Ph.D. scientists with training in physics, chemistry, geology, astronomy, meteorology, and biology.

Table of Contents


I Introduction

Nature and Scope of Planetary Science

Guide to the Literature

II Astronomical Perspective


Distance Scales in the Universe

The Big Bang

Limitations on Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

Galaxy and Star Formation

Structure and Classification of Galaxies

Classification of Stars

Stellar Evolution

Star Clusters

Stellar Origins

Outline of Star Formation

Stellar Explosions and Nucleosynthesis

Nuclear Cosmochronology

III General Description of the Solar System


The Sun

Orbits of the Planets

Properties of the Planets

Mass and Angular Momentum Distribution






Cosmic Dust

Cosmic Rays

Planetary Science in the Space Age


IV The Sun and the Solar Nebula


Energy Production in the Sun

Energy Transport in the Sun

Internal Structure of the Sun

Surface of the Sun

The Chromosphere

The Corona

Discovery of the Solar Wind

Radio Wave Propagation in Space Plasmas

The Solar Wind

Chemistry of Solar Material


Dissociation and Molecule Formation

Hydrogen and the Rare Gases

Oxygen, Carbon, and Nitrogen

Magnesium and Silicon



Aluminum and Calcium

Sodium and Potassium

Nickel and Cobalt

Phosphorus and the Halogens

Geochemical Classification of the Elements

The Chemistry of Rapid Accretion

Kinetic Inhibition

Mass and Density of the Solar Nebula

Thermal Opacity in the Solar Nebula

Dust Opacity

Thermal Structure of the Nebula

Turbulence and Dust Sedimentation

Accretion of Rocks, Planetesimals, and Planets

Gas Capture from the Solar Nebula

The T-Tauri Phase

Thermal History of the Early Solar System

V The Major Planets


Interiors of Jupiter and Saturn: Data

Isothermal Interior Models of Jupiter and Saturn

Thermal Models of Jupiter and Saturn

The Atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn: Observed Composition

Tropospheric Composition and Structure: Theory

Cloud Condensation in the NH3-H2O-H2S System

Cloud Physics on the Jovian Planets

Ion Production in the Jovian Atmosphere

Visible and Infrared Radiative Transfer

Horizontal Structure and Atmospheric Circulation

Photochemistry and Aeronomy

The Jovian Thermosphere

Radiophysics and Magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn

The Interiors of Uranus and Neptune

Atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune


VI Pluto and the Icy Satellites of the Outer Planets


Surfaces of Icy Satellites

Eclipse Radiometry

Surface Temperatures

Surface Morphology of the Galilean Satellites

Density and Composition of Icy Satellites

Internal Thermal Structure of Galilean Satellites

Dynamical Interactions of the Galilean Satellites

Thermal and Tectonic Evolution of Icy Satellites

Minor Satellites of Jupiter

Planetary Rings


The Intermediate-Sized Saturnian Satellites

Minor Satellites of Saturn

Satellites of Uranus

Satellites of Neptune

The Pluto-Charon System

The Neptune-Pluto Resonance

Spacecraft Exploration

VII Comets and Meteors

Historical Perspectives

The Nature of Comets

Cometary Orbits

Heating by Passing Stars

Evaporation and Nongravitational Forces

The Nucleus and Coma of P/Halley

Chemistry and Photochemistry of Water

Further Chemical Processes in the Coma and Tail

Behavior of Small Particles

Dynamical Behavior of Dust in Space


Cometary Fireballs

Cometary Impacts on Jupiter

VIII Meteorites and Asteroids


Introduction to Meteorites

Meteorite Orbits

Phenomena of Fall

Physical Properties of Meteorites

Meteorite Minerals

Composition of Chondrites

Composition of Achondrites

Composition of Stony-Irons

Composition of Irons

Isotopic Composition of Meteorites

Genetic Relationships between Meteorite Classes

Introduction to Asteroids

Asteroid Orbits

Stability of Trojan Orbits

Sizes, Shapes, and Albedos of Asteroids

Masses and Densities of Asteroids

Photometry and Spectroscopy of Asteroids

Thermal Evolution of Asteroids

Dynamical Evolution of the Asteroid Belt

Relationships among Asteroids, Meteorites, and Comets

Asteroid Resources

IX The Airless Rocky Bodies: Io, Phobos, Deimos, the Moon, and Mercury


Orbits and Physical Structure of Phobos and Deimos

Io: General Properties

Io: Surface Processes

Io: Internal Energy Sources

Io: Geology

Io: Atmospheric and Volcanic Gases

Io: Escape and the Plasma Torus

Io: Genetic Relationships

Impact Cratering

Motions of the Moon

Physical Properties of the Moon

Composition of the Moon

Lunar Rock Types

Lunar Minerals

Lunar Elemental Abundance Patterns

Geology of the Moon

Geophysics of the Moon

History of the Earth-Moon System

Origin and Internal Evolution of the Moon

Solar Wind Interaction with the Moon and Mercury

The Planet Mercury

Motions of Mercury

Composition and Structure of Mercury

Noncrater Geology of Mercury

Geophysics of Mercury

Atmospheres of Mercury and the Moon

Polar Deposits on Mercury and the Moon

Unfinished Business

X The Terrestrial Planets: Mars, Venus, and Earth



Motions of Mars

Density and Figure of Mars

Geophysical Data on Mars

Gravity and Tectonics of Mars

Geology of Mars

Surface Composition

Viking Lander Investigations

The Shergottite, Nakhlite, and Chassignite Meteorites

Atmospheric Structure

Atmospheric Circulation

Atmospheric Composition

Photochemical Stability and Atmospheric Escape

Explosive Blowoff

Origin and Evolution of the Atmosphere

Organic Matter and the Origin of Life


Motions and Dynamics of Venus

Geophysical Data on Venus

Geology of Venus

Venus: Atmospheric Structure and Motions

Venus: Atmospheric Composition

Venus: Atmosphere-Lithosphere Interactions

Venus: Photochemistry and Aeronomy

Venus: Atmospheric Escape

Venus: Planetary Evolution


Earth: Motions

Earth: Internal Structure

Earth: Magnetic Field and Magnetosphere

Earth: Surface Geology

Earth: Early Geological History

Earth: Biological History

Earth: Geochemistry and Petrology

Weathering in the Rock Cycle

Earth: Atmospheric Composition and Cycles

Radiocarbon Dating

Photochemistry and Aeronomy

Escape and Infall

Polar Ice, Glaciation, and Ice Ages

Life: Origins

Life: Stability and the Biosphere

XI Planets and Life about Other Stars


Chemical and Physical Prerequisites of Life

The Stellar Environment

The Search for Planets of Other Stars

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

XII Future Prospects




Earth's Moon




Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune



Beyond the Solar System

Appendix I: Equilibrium Thermodynamics

Heat and Work

Adiabatic Processes and Entropy

Useful Work and the Gibbs Free Energy

Chemical Equilibrium

Exact and Complete Differentials

The Maxwell Relations

Appendix II: Absorption and Emission of Radiation by Quantum Oscillators

Appendix III: Exploration of the Solar System

Appendix IV: Basic Physical Constants

Suggested Readings


Chapter I. Introduction

Chapter II. Astronomical Perspective

Chapter III. General Description of the Solar System

Chapter IV. The Sun and the Solar Nebula

Chapter V. The Major Planets

Chapter VI. Pluto and the Icy Satellites of the Outer Planets

Chapter VII. Comets and Meteors

Chapter VIII. Meteorites and Asteroids

Chapter IX. The Airless Rocky Bodies: Io, Phobos, Deimos, the Moon, and Mercury

Chapter X. The Terrestrial Planets: Mars, Venus, and Earth

Chapter XI. Planets and Life about Other Stars

Chapter XII. Future Prospects



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© Academic Press 1995
1st March 1995
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

John Lewis

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