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This book reviews the current state of knowledge of the atmospheres of the giant gaseous planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The current theories of their formation are reviewed and their recently observed temperature, composition and cloud structures are contrasted and compared with simple thermodynamic, radiative transfer and dynamical models. The instruments and techniques that have been used to remotely measure their atmospheric properties are also reviewed, and the likely development of outer planet observations over the next two decades is outlined.
This second edition has been extensively updated following the Cassini mission results for Jupiter/Saturn and the newest ground-based measurements for Uranus/Neptune as well as on the latest development in the theories on planet formation.
Introduction.- Formation and Evolution of Outer Planets.- Evolution Processes in Outer Planet Atmospheres, and Current State.- Vertical Structure of Temperature, Compositon and Clouds.- Dynamical Processes.- Radiative Transfer Processes in Outer Planetary Atmospheres.- Remote and in-Situ Observations of Atmospheres.- Retrieval Methods.
Irwin [a ]] has done an outstanding job of presenting material geared to upper-division undergraduates and beginning graduate students. (J.R. Kraus (University of Denver), Choice Feb. 2004)