Planetary Diversity

Planetary Diversity

Rocky planet processes and their observational signatures


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The last 30 years have seen an irrevocable change in the field of planetary science with the discovery of the first planets around stars other than our own Sun. While approximately 20 percent of the exoplanets we have discovered are close in size to the Earth, the similarity of their surface environment to our home world remains unknown. This book presents an exploration of the potential diversity of rocky planets through a quantitative study of how planetary processes change as properties deviate from the Earth. Changes in four specific properties are considered: the presence of a magnetic field, the production and loss of internal heat, planetary composition and volatile abundance.

Key Features

  • Provides a quantitative exploration of the potential diversity of rocky planets through deviations from the Earth
  • Presents current data and theories related to rocky planets from across the disciplines of astrophysics, solar system and Earth sciences
  • Summarizes information across all three fields relevant to the study of a particular planetary property, rather than by object
  • Provides a resource for seeding the cross-disciplinary work required to support up-coming instruments