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Planetary Sciences

There is a newer edition

Planetary Sciences [Updated 2nd Edition]

An authoritative introduction for graduate students in the physical...

NHBS Price: £56.99 $70/€64 approx
Winner of the American Astronomical Society's Chambliss Textbook Award
Now contains a reorganized discussion of small bodies, a significantly expanded chapter on extrasolar planets, and expanded appendixes
Color versions of many figures and movie clips supplementing the text are available online at

By: Imke de Pater (Author), Jack J Lissauer (Author)

674 pages, 43 colour & 487 b/w illustrations, 48 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jul 2010 | Edition: 2 | #199982 | ISBN-13: 9780521853712
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £54.99 $67/€62 approx

About this book

An authoritative introduction for graduate students in the physical sciences, this textbook explains the wide variety of physical, chemical, and geological processes that govern the motions and properties of planets. The second edition of this award-winning textbook has been substantially updated and improved. It now contains a reorganized discussion of small bodies, including a detailed description of the Kuiper belt and asteroid belt; a significantly expanded chapter on extrasolar planets and what they tell us about planetary systems; and appendixes providing a glossary of acronyms, tables of key spacecraft, a summary of observing techniques, and a sampling of very recent images. With over 300 exercises to help students apply the concepts covered, this textbook is ideal for courses in astronomy, planetary science and earth science, and well suited as a reference for researchers. Color versions of many figures and movie clips supplementing the text are available at

Review of the second edition:

"The second edition keeps pace with the new discoveries in planetary science. It still has the classic figures and tables, but it also has spectacular new images and new theories. More space is devoted to derivations, so students can learn the material on their own. The book works at many levels, and I will continue to use it in my courses."
- Andrew P. Ingersoll, California Institute of Technology


Reviews of the first edition:

"'I am really impressed [...] The book covers the important physical processes in all areas of planetary science. My favorite derivations are all there, along with the important figures, graphs, and tables that show the data. The numerous homework problems challenge the student to understand the equations and think independently. The book sets the standard for what we should be teaching those who want to become professionals in this field. I will recommend it to all my students and look forward to using it in my courses."
- Andrew P. Ingersoll, California Institute of Technology

"Planetary Sciences presents a comprehensive coverage of this fascinating and expanding field at a level [...] The book explains the wide variety of physical, chemical and geological processes that govern the motions and properties of planets [...] a very useful book [...] an excellent textbook for anyone studying astronomy and planetary geology [...] a rich source of knowledge [...] Highly recommended."
- Richard Taylor, Spaceflight

" [...] a comprehensive overview of the planetary science field [...] "
- Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin

" [...] the book is essentially excellent. Given their formidable task, de Pater and Lissauer have done as good a job as can be imagined, and I can't imagine two other authors doing a better job on a first edition [...] this book could serve as a valuable introduction to aspects of planetary science that graduate students might never study at all [...] the discussions are generally so comprehensive and up-to-date that active scientists will find the individual chapters to be excellent 'primers' on subjects outside their formal training. There really is no other book at this level like Planetary Sciences."
- William B. McKinnon, EOS

" [...] a massive achievement, and the well-considered problems and exercises at the end of each chapter will be particularly useful to students and to test one's own understanding."
- William B. Hubbard, Physics Today

"The illustrations and images are excellently produced [...] This hardback volume should serve the degree student well throughout their years of study."
- Popular Astronomy



1. Introduction
2. Dynamics
3. Solar heating and energy transport
4. Planetary atmospheres
5. Planetary surfaces
6. Planetary interiors
7. Magnetic fields and plasmas
8. Meteorites
9. Minor planets
10. Comets
11. Planetary rings
12. Extrasolar planets
13. Planet formation


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Imke de Pater is a Professor in the departments of Astronomy and Earth and Planetary Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and is affiliated with Delft Institute of Earth Observation and Space Systems (DEOS) at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. She began her career observing and modeling Jupiter's synchrotron radiation, followed by detailed investigations of the planet's thermal radio emission. In 1994 she led a world-wide campaign to observe the impact of comet D/Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter. Currently, she is exploiting adaptive optics techniques in the infrared range to obtain high angular resolution data.

Jack J. Lissauer is a Space Scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, and a Consulting Professor at Stanford University. His primary research interests are the formation of planetary systems, detection of extrasolar planets, planetary dynamics and chaos, planetary ring systems, and circumstellar/protoplanetary disks. He is co-discoverer of the first four planets found to orbit about faint M dwarf stars, and co-discovered two broad tenuous dust rings and two small inner moons orbiting the planet Uranus.

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