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The Planetary Scientist's Companion by…

The Planetary Scientist's Companion

by Katharina Lodders

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This certainly isn't a book for reading. But it is a true reference -- statistics, tables, and formulae important to solar system astronomy. Within its special field, it is an excellent handbook. For example, I once used it to determine the density of earth's atmosphere at various distances above the planet's surface. You won't find quite as much precise detail about such things for the other planets, but odds are, if you need data, this book will have the best that was available at the time it was written.

Plus it has information on what to do with the data -- the formulae required for important calculations, plus context on when to use them.

The result is dry. It's a book for looking things up, not a book for casual use. With a bachelor's in physics and math and a strong interest in astronomy, there are parts of this I can't understand. But since the sections are largely independent of each other, you can at least safely ignore the parts you don't need. At minimum, you can certainly get a lot of fodder for astronomers' cocktail parties out of this volume. ( )
  waltzmn | Jan 5, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195116941, Paperback)

Scientists have collected a wealth of physical and chemical data for the Sun, planets, and small bodies in our solar system, but until now this information has been scattered throughout the technical literature. The Planetary Scientist's Companion solves this problem, providing for the first time a single, extensive reference for the interdisciplinary fields of planetary science and cosmochemistry.
The book begins with a summary of frequently used physical and chemical constants, unit conversion factors, properties of some compounds and minerals, thermodynamic data, partition coefficients, and useful formulas. This is followed by an overview of the solar system, including comparative data for the planets and their satellites and abundances of the elements. Much of the book is devoted to a series of chapters describing in turn the Sun, each of the planets, and the groups of small bodies (asteroids, comets, meteorites, and Kuiper Belt and Centaur objects). Each chapter includes an introduction, followed by tables of physical and chemical properties compiled from many sources, including data on planetary atmospheres, surfaces, and interiors. The book concludes with data on nearby stars, the interstellar medium, and recently discovered brown dwarfs and possible extrasolar planets, followed by a glossary. A unique and practical resource for anyone interested in contemporary planetary science and cosmochemistry, this volume is likely to be an essential tool in future research.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:03 -0400)

A comprehensive and practical book of facts and data about the Sun, planets, asteroids, comets, meteorites, the Kuiper belt and Centaur objects in our solar system. Also covered are properties of nearby stars, the interstellar medium, and extra-solar planetary systems.… (more)

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