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Exploring the Solar System

Exploring the Solar System

Peter Bond

ISBN: 978-1-118-31361-9 January 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 456 Pages




The exploration of our solar system is one of humanity's greatest scientific achievements. The last fifty years in particular have seen huge steps forward in our understanding of the planets, the sun, and other objects in the solar system. Whilst planetary science is now a mature discipline - involving geoscientists, astronomers, physicists, and others – many profound mysteries remain, and there is indeed still the tantalizing possibility that we may find evidence of life on another planet in our system.Drawing upon the latest results from the second golden age of Solar System exploration, author Peter Bond provides an authoritative and up-to-date account of the planets, satellites and smaller debris that orbit the Sun.

Written in an informal style, with minimal use of mathematics, this book is the ideal introductory text for non-science students and other readers with little or no science background. With the aid of numerous illustrations, many in full colour, this exciting book brings to life the weird and wonderful worlds that populate our corner of the Universe.

This book:

  • Assumes no background in physics , astronomy or mathematics
  • Carefully explains key concepts
  • Gives balanced coverage to areas of controversy or uncertainty in planetary science
  • Is in in full color throughout and richly illustrated

An interview with Peter can be found at 

Related Resources

Introduction 1

1 Beginnings 3

2 Sun 23

3 Earth 52

4 The Moon 86

5 Mercury 112

6 Venus 133

7 Mars 156

8 Jupiter 210

9 Saturn 243

10 Uranus 281

11 Neptune 298

12 Pluto and the Kuiper Belt 314

13 Comets, Asteroids and Meteorites 335

14 Exoplanets 379

Appendices 412

Glossary 432

Further Reading 437

Index 450

"This is an excellent account of our present knowledge of the Solar System. The text is clearly written, and the full-colour illustrations are magnificent and each one has a substantial caption...I recommend it to all who know little or nothing about the Solar System." (The Observatory, March 2013)

“This textbook is right up to date, containing many recent results from our robotic emissaries currently exploring Venus, Mars and the Saturnian system, especially the astounding discoveries the Cassini-Hygens mission has made about the moons Titan and Enceladus.”  (BBC Sky At Night, 1 June 2012)

“The book would make an excellent introduction to the planets, and the focus on exploration offers a different, less structured approach to an exciting and active research field, that will appeal to the interested non-specialist as well as students in the field.”  (Astronomy & Geophysics, 2012)

“I highly recommend the accessible and very informative book Exploring the Solar System by Peter Bond, to undergraduate students in science or in non-science related fields, and anyone in the general public seeking an understandable yet comprehensive overview of the Solar System. This book provides the up to the minute information about the Sun's family that will enrich your understanding of science in general, and outer space in particular.”  (Blog Business Word, 31 March 2012)