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An Introduction to the Solar System Hardcover – 26 Feb 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (26 Feb. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521837359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521837354
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 2.8 x 26.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,973,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'An Introduction to the Solar System is clearly written, accurate, up-to-date, well-produced and a pleasure to read. It is a first rate production by a team of professionals, clearly designed for teaching and up to the high standards of The Open University. The many questions that are posed throughout the text (with answers at the back) make it an ideal teaching text. As a beginning text at an undergraduate or advanced high school level, it is hard to fault this book and I suspect that it will be widely used in introductory courses.' Professor S. Ross Taylor, The Australian National University

'An Introduction to the Solar System stands out from the majority of introductory textbooks in this area due to its excellent coverage of the geological and geophysical aspects of planetary science. The glossary of terms provided in the back of the book will prove extremely helpful to students, as will the many questions and exercises interspersed throughout the text.' Professor Imke De Pater, University of California, Berkeley

'Of all the planetary-science textbooks on my shelf, this is my new favorite. It is up to date, lavishly illustrated, and engagingly written at a level that would challenge but not overwhelm the typical undergraduate … excellent value.' Science Direct

'… it is clearly written and a joy to turn over each page … This book covers such a wide range of information that there is bound to be something for anyone who has ever had an interest in what is beyond our planet … It represents, to my mind, excellent value for money with so much knowledge available for each penny spent!.' Open University Geological Survey

Book Description

Designed for elementary university courses in planetary science, this textbook starts with a tour of the Solar System and an overview of its formation. The terrestrial planets, giant planets and minor bodies are reviewed in detail and the book concludes with a discussion of the origin of the Solar System.

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First Sentence
A great way to start your study of the Solar System is to get an overview of what our planetary system looks like by taking a tour of the planets. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Vladimir Salak on 20 July 2008
Format: Paperback
Great introduction with almost no mathematics and very nicely explained phenomena throughout the Solar System. Terrestrial and giant planets are discussed in detail (internal structure, atmosphere, geological activity, etc.) while there are also very interesting chapters about small bodies like asteroids and meteorites. I would suggest this book to the first-year undergraduate students of astronomy and even high school students interested in the topic. It is, of course, also helpful for readers with more experience and professors searching for an easy-to-understand book to introduce the Solar System to their pupils.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Claudio on 27 April 2010
Format: Paperback
Excellent textbook for self-study, it does not require a deep mathematical background.
Since it has been published in 2004, it is not up-to-date with the results of the most recent planetary missions (i.e. Cassini, Phoenix Mars Lander, etc.).
A must-read text anyway if you are looking for an introduction to planetary science.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roy Mitchell on 12 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good primer and soarce of information for a U3A class in Astronomy that I help to run. Thought provoking and the content leads you naturally to the further chapters.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent introduction for the scientifically literate 18 Sept. 2010
By JG Bronson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This information-stuffed book is an excellent introduction to our astronomical neighborhood. Although the writing is easy to follow, be aware that the book assumes the reader has a fair knowledge of physics and chemistry and some knowledge of mathematics (it is intended to be a college-level textbook). There is an abundance of diagrams and photographs, as well as quizes, which are a great deal of fun. My only criticism is that it has not been updated since 2004, an eternity for a science book. Certainly, the solar system has not changed in that time, but Pluto is no longer considered a planet, and more information has become available about some topics.
Review of An Introduction to the Solar System 28 Jun. 2014
By Rich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a well written and comprehensive survey of the solar system written at an introductory level and chuck full of good information. That is why I gave it five stars. A lot of fascinating concepts are explained quit well. It can be read by a wide audience without any difficulty. It covers and integrates the fields of astronomy (solar system formation, meteors, comets, planet comparison, planet formation, planetary moons), geology (surface processes, volcanoes, plate tectonics) and meteorology (atmospherics, cloud formation, composition, structure) among other planetary characteristics. Students in any of these fields would find this material very interesting.

It is not mathematically intense, requiring only basic algebra to work the problems. Answers to all mathematical and non-mathematical question/problems are worked out in detail at the end of the book. It can easily be used as a self taught, do-it-yourself text. It is simply an enjoyable read as well.

Great seller, wouldn't recommend the book. 27 May 2014
By Kristina Parsons - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought it for a course, and actually did not like this book, but it may have just been a biased because I didn't like the teacher or the course. Of course, the book was better than the class.
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