What are planets made of? Astronomers and planetary scientists analyze and interpret data from lab, telescopic, and spacecraft observations to understand their composition. What tools and techniques do they use? A new book, edited by SETI Institute Senior Scientist Janice Bishop, provides a concise and timely summary, including the methodology and theoretical background.
“Nearly 30 years ago, I was involved in organizing a symposium on planetary remote sensing that led to the first book in 1993,” remarked Bishop. “It is exciting to provide this updated and more comprehensive book now to the community.”
What elements and minerals can we find on the airless rocky bodies of our Solar System, like Mercury, the Moon, and the asteroids? Cutting-edge researchers working on the front lines and finding answers share their approaches to this work.
What kinds of volatiles (ices, organics, hydrated minerals) are on the surfaces of our Solar System's planets, moons, asteroids, and comets, and how are they related to those found on the Earth? Prominent researchers studying Mars, Pluto, and icy outer Solar System moons provide the answers.
This book is the perfect introduction to the field of planetary surface composition and mineralogy for upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, or professional researchers just moving into this topic.
Remote Compositional Analysis: Techniques for Understanding Spectroscopy, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry of Planetary Surfaces is co-edited by James F. Bell III (Arizona State University) and Jeffrey E. Moersch (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), and is now available.