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Planetary Geoscience

Harry Y. McSween, Jr, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Jeffrey E. Moersch, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Devon M. Burr, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, William M. Dunne, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Joshua P. Emery, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Linda C. Kah, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Molly C. McCanta, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


For many years, planetary science has been taught as part of the astronomy curriculum, from a very physics-based perspective, and from the framework of a tour of the Solar System - body by body. Over the past decades, however, spacecraft exploration and related laboratory research on extraterrestrial materials have given us a new understanding of planets and how they are shaped by geological processes. Based on a course taught at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this is the first textbook…

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Key features

  • Focuses on geological processes, adopting a comparative approach that demonstrates the similarities and differences between planets, and the reasons for these
  • Provides an ideal capstone course for geoscience majors, bringing together aspects of mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, volcanology, sedimentology, geomorphology, tectonics, geophysics and remote sensing
  • Includes chapter summaries providing a quick review of basic concepts and important relations; sets of questions to help students digest and synthesize the topics covered; lists of further reading providing students with additional and more detailed coverage of the subject and noting why they are significant; and a glossary of terms

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