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High pressure mineral physics is a field that has shaped our understanding of deep planetary interiors and revealed new material phenomena occurring at extreme conditions. Comprised of sixteen chapters written by well-established experts, this book covers recent advances in static and dynamic compression techniques and enhanced diagnostic capabilities, including synchrotron X-ray and neutron diffraction, spectroscopic measurements, in situ X-ray diffraction under dynamic loading, and multigrain crystallography at megabar pressures. Applications range from measuring equations of state, elasticity, and deformation of materials at high pressure, to high pressure synthesis, thermochemistry of high pressure phases, and new molecular compounds and superconductivity under extreme conditions. This book also introduces experimental geochemistry in the laser-heated diamond-anvil cell enabled by the focused ion beam technique for sample recovery and quantitative chemical analysis at submicron scale. Each chapter ends with an insightful perspective of future directions, making it an invaluable source for graduate students and researchers.
The NASA Dawn mission, launched in 2007, aimed to visit two of the most massive protoplanets of the main asteroid belt: Vesta and Ceres. The aim was to further our understanding of the earliest days of the Solar System, and compare the two bodies to better understand their formation and evolution. This book summarises state-of-the-art results from the mission, and discusses the implications for our understanding not only of the asteroid belt but the entire Solar System. It comprises of three parts: Part 1 provides an overview of the main belt asteroids and provides an introduction to the Dawn mission; Part 2 presents key findings from the mission; and Part 3 discusses how these findings provide insights into the formation and evolution of the Solar System. This is a definitive reference for academic researchers and professionals of planetary science, asteroid science and space exploration.
Meteorites are fascinating cosmic visitors. Using accessible language, this book documents the history of mineralogy and meteorite research, summarizes the mineralogical characteristics of the myriad varieties of meteorites, and explains the mineralogical characteristics of Solar System bodies visited by spacecraft. Some of these bodies contain minerals that do not occur naturally on Earth or in meteorites. The book explains how to recognize different phases under the microscope and in back-scattered electron images. It summarizes the major ways in which meteoritic minerals form – from condensation in the expanding atmospheres of dying stars to crystallization in deep-seated magmas, from flash-melting in the solar nebula to weathering in the terrestrial environment. Containing spectacular back-scattered electron images, colour photographs of meteorite minerals, and with an accompanying online list of meteorite minerals, this book provides a useful resource for meteorite researchers, terrestrial mineralogists, cosmochemists and planetary scientists, as well as graduate students in these fields
Radiative transfer is essential for obtaining information from the spectra of astrophysical objects. This volume provides an overview of the physical and mathematical background of radiative transfer, and its applications to stellar and planetary atmospheres. It covers the phenomenology and physics of early-type and late-type stars, as well as ultra-cool dwarf stars and extrasolar planets. Importantly, it provides a bridge between classical radiative transfer and stellar atmosphere modelling and novel approaches, from both theoretical and computational standpoints. With new fields of application and a dramatic improvement in both observational and computational facilities, it also discusses the future outlook for the field. Chapters are written by eminent researchers from across the astronomical disciplines where radiative transfer is employed. Using the most recent observations, this is a go-to resource for graduate students and researchers in astrophysics.
How do planetary scientists analyze and interpret data from laboratory, telescopic, and spacecraft observations of planetary surfaces? What elements, minerals, and volatiles are found on the surfaces of our Solar System's planets, moons, asteroids, and comets? This comprehensive volume answers these topical questions by providing an overview of the theory and techniques of remote compositional analysis of planetary surfaces. Bringing together eminent researchers in Solar System exploration, it describes state-of-the-art results from spectroscopic, mineralogical, and geochemical techniques used to analyze the surfaces of planets, moons, and small bodies. The book introduces the methodology and theoretical background of each technique, and presents the latest advances in space exploration, telescopic and laboratory instrumentation, and major new work in theoretical studies. This engaging volume provides a comprehensive reference on planetary surface composition and mineralogy for advanced students, researchers, and professional scientists.
For many years, planetary science has been taught as part of the astronomy curriculum, from a very physics-based perspective, and from the framework of a tour of the Solar System - body by body. Over the past decades, however, spacecraft exploration and related laboratory research on extraterrestrial materials have given us a new understanding of planets and how they are shaped by geological processes. Based on a course taught at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this is the first textbook to focus on geologic processes, adopting a comparative approach that demonstrates the similarities and differences between planets, and the reasons for these. Profusely illustrated, and with a wealth of pedagogical features, this book provides an ideal capstone course for geoscience majors - bringing together aspects of mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, volcanology, sedimentology, geomorphology, tectonics, geophysics and remote sensing.
The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI) has for sixty years attempted to solve Fermi's paradox: if intelligent life is relatively common in the universe, where is everybody? Examining SETI through this lens, this volume summarises current thinking on the prevalence of intelligent life in the universe, and discusses sixty-six distinct solutions to the so-called paradox. It describes the methodology of SETI, and how many disciplines feed into the debate, from physics and biology, to philosophy and anthropology. The presented solutions are organised into three key groups: rare-Earth solutions, suggesting planetary habitability, life and intelligence are uncommon; catastrophist solutions, arguing civilisations do not survive long enough to make contact; and non-empirical solutions, those that take theoretical approaches, such as that our methodology is flawed. This comprehensive introduction to SETI concludes by looking at the future of the field and speculating on humanity's potential fate.
The chemical composition of any planetary atmosphere is of fundamental importance in determining its photochemistry and dynamics in addition to its thermal balance, climate, origin and evolution. Divided into two parts, this book begins with a set of introductory chapters, starting with a concise review of the Solar System and fundamental atmospheric physics. Chapters then describe the basic principles and methods of spectroscopy, the main tool for studying the chemical composition of planetary atmospheres, and of photochemical modeling and its use in the theoretical interpretation of observational data on chemical composition. The second part of the book provides a detailed review of the carbon dioxide atmospheres and ionospheres of Mars and Venus, and the nitrogen-methane atmospheres of Titan, Triton and Pluto. Written by an expert author, this comprehensive text will make a valuable reference for graduate students, researchers and professional scientists specializing in planetary atmospheres.
This book chronicles the history of climate science and planetary exploration, focusing on our ever-expanding knowledge of Earth's climate, and the parallel research underway on some of our nearest neighbours: Mars, Venus and Titan. From early telescopic observation of clouds and ice caps on planetary bodies in the seventeenth century, to the dawn of the space age and the first robotic planetary explorers, the book presents a comprehensive chronological overview of planetary climate research, right up to the dramatic recent developments in detecting and characterising exoplanets. Meanwhile, the book also documents the discoveries about our own climate on Earth, not only about how it works today, but also how profoundly different it has been in the past. Highly topical and written in an accessible and engaging narrative style, this book provides invaluable historical context for students, researchers, professional scientists, and those with a general interest in planetary climate research.
Observations from the first spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury have transformed our understanding of the origin and evolution of rocky planets. This volume is the definitive resource about Mercury for planetary scientists, from students to senior researchers. Topics treated in depth include Mercury's chemical composition; the structure of its crust, lithosphere, mantle, and core; Mercury's modern and ancient magnetic field; Mercury's geology, including the planet's major geological units and their surface chemistry and mineralogy, its spectral reflectance characteristics, its craters and cratering history, its tectonic features and deformational history, its volcanic features and magmatic history, its distinctive hollows, and the frozen ices in its polar deposits; Mercury's exosphere and magnetosphere and the processes that govern their dynamics and their interaction with the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field; the formation and large-scale evolution of the planet; and current plans and needed capabilities to explore Mercury further in the future.
The Cassini Orbiter mission, launched in 1997, has provided state-of-the-art information into the origins and workings of Saturn. Drawing from new discoveries and scientific insight from the mission, this book provides a detailed overview of the planet as revealed by Cassini. Chapters by eminent planetary scientists and researchers from across the world comprehensively review the current state of knowledge regarding Saturn's formation, interior, atmosphere, ionosphere, thermosphere and magnetosphere. Specialised chapters discuss the planet's seasonal variability; the circulation of strong zonal winds; the constantly changing polar aurorae; and the Great Storm of 2010–2011, the most powerful convective storm ever witnessed by humankind. Documenting the latest research on the planet, from its formation to how it operates today, this is an essential reference for graduate students, researchers and planetary scientists.
Chondrules are spherical silicate grains which formed from protoplanetary disk material, and as such provide an important record of the conditions of the Solar System in pre-planetary times. Chondrules are a major constituent in chondritic meteorites, however despite being recognised for over 200 years, their origins remain enigmatic. This comprehensive review describes state-of-the-art research into chondrules, bringing together leading cosmochemists and astrophysicists to review the properties of chondrules and their possible formation mechanisms based on careful observations of their chemistry, mineralogy, petrology and isotopic composition. Current and upcoming space missions returning material from chondritic asteroids and cometary bodies has invigorated research in this field, leading to new models and observations, and providing new insight into the conditions and timescales of the solar protoplanetary disk. Presenting the most recent advances, this book is an invaluable reference for researchers and graduate students interested in meteorites, asteroids, planetary accretion and solar system dynamics.
The search for life in the universe, once the stuff of science fiction, is now a robust worldwide research program with a well-defined roadmap probing both scientific and societal issues. This volume examines the humanistic aspects of astrobiology, systematically discussing the approaches, critical issues, and implications of discovering life beyond Earth. What do the concepts of life and intelligence, culture and civilization, technology and communication mean in a cosmic context? What are the theological and philosophical implications if we find life - and if we do not? Steven J. Dick argues that given recent scientific findings, the discovery of life in some form beyond Earth is likely and so we need to study the possible impacts of such a discovery and formulate policies to deal with them. The remarkable and often surprising results are presented here in a form accessible to disciplines across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
Planetary rings are among the most intriguing structures of our solar system and have fascinated generations of astronomers. Collating emerging knowledge in the field, this volume reviews our current understanding of ring systems with reference to the rings of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and more. Written by leading experts, the history of ring research and the basics of ring–particle orbits is followed by a review of the known planetary ring systems. All aspects of ring system science are described in detail, including specific dynamical processes, types of structures, thermal properties and their origins, and investigations using computer simulations and laboratory experiments. The concluding chapters discuss the prospects of future missions to planetary rings, the ways in which ring science informs and is informed by the study of other astrophysical disks, and a perspective on the field's future. Researchers of all levels will benefit from this thorough and engaging presentation.
Ongoing advances in Solar System exploration continue to reveal its splendour and diversity in remarkable detail. This undergraduate-level textbook presents fascinating descriptions and colour images of the bodies in the Solar System, the processes that occur upon and within them, and their origins and evolution. It highlights important concepts and techniques in boxed summaries, while questions and exercises are embedded at appropriate points throughout the text, with full solutions provided. Written and edited by a team of practising planetary scientists, this third edition has been updated to reflect our current knowledge. It is ideal for introductory courses on the subject, and is suitable for self-study. The text is supported by online resources, hosted at www.cambridge.org/solarsystem3, which include selected figures from the book, self-assessment questions and sample tutor assignments, with outlines of suggested answers.
Dynamic compression is an experimental technique with interdisciplinary uses, ranging from enabling the creation of ultracondensed matter under previously impossible conditions to understanding the likely cause of unusual planetary magnetic fields. Readers can now gain an intuitive understanding of dynamic compression; clear and authoritative chapters examine its history and experimental method, as well as key topics including dynamic compression of liquid hydrogen, rare gas fluids and shock-induced opacity. Through an up-to-date history of dynamic compression research, Nellis also clearly shows how dynamic compression addresses and will continue to address major unanswered questions across the scientific disciplines. The past and future role of dynamic compression in studying and making materials at extreme conditions of pressure, density and temperature is made clear, and the means of doing so are explained in practical language perfectly suited for researchers and graduate students alike.
Introducing planetary photometry as a quantitative remote sensing tool, this handbook demonstrates how reflected light can be measured and used to investigate the physical properties of bodies in our Solar System. The author explains how data gathered from telescopes and spacecraft are processed and used to infer properties such as the size, shape, albedo, and composition of celestial objects including planets, moons, asteroids, and comets. Beginning with an overview of the history and background theory of photometry, later chapters delve into the physical principles behind commonly used photometric models and the mechanics of observation, data reduction, and analysis. Real-world examples, problems, and case studies are included, all at an introductory level suitable for new graduate students, planetary scientists, amateur astronomers and researchers looking for an overview of this field.
Processes governing the evolution of planetesimals are critical to understanding how rocky planets are formed, how water is delivered to them, the origin of planetary atmospheres, how cores and magnetic dynamos develop, and ultimately, which planets have the potential to be habitable. Theoretical advances and new data from asteroid and meteorite observations, coupled with spacecraft missions such as Rosetta and Dawn, have led to major advances in this field over the last decade. This transdisciplinary volume presents an authoritative overview of the latest in our understanding of the processes of planet formation. Combining meteorite, asteroid and icy body observations with theory and modelling of accretion and orbital dynamics, this text also provides insights into the exoplanetary system and the search for habitable worlds. This is an essential reference for those interested in planetary formation, solar system dynamics, exoplanets and planetary habitability.
The inner core is a planet within a planet: a hot sphere with a mass of one hundred quintillion tons of iron and nickel that lies more than 5000 kilometres beneath our feet. It plays a crucial role in driving outer core fluid motion and the geodynamo, which generates the Earth's magnetic field. This book is the first to provide a comprehensive review of past and contemporary research on the Earth's inner core from a seismological perspective. Chapters cover the collection, processing and interpretation of seismological data, as well as our current knowledge of the structure, anisotropy, attenuation, rotational dynamics, and boundary of the inner core. Reviewing the latest research and suggesting new seismological techniques and future avenues, it is an essential resource for both seismologists and non-seismologists interested in this fascinating field of research. It will also form a useful resource for courses in seismology and deep Earth processes.
Asteroid science is a fundamental topic in planetary science and is key to furthering our understanding of planetary formation and the evolution of the Solar System. Ground-based observations and missions have provided a wealth of new data in recent years, and forthcoming missions promise further exciting results. This accessible book presents a comprehensive introduction to asteroid science, summarising the astronomical and geological characteristics of asteroids. The interdisciplinary nature of asteroid science is reflected in the broad range of topics covered, including asteroid and meteorite classification, chemical and physical properties of asteroids, observational techniques, cratering, and the discovery of asteroids and how they are named. Other chapters discuss past, present and future space missions and the threat that these bodies pose for Earth. Based on an upper-level course on asteroids and meteorites taught by the author, this book is ideal for students, researchers and professional scientists looking for an overview of asteroid science.