Earth and Other Planets

Earth and Other Planets : Geology and Space Research

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Over the past 30 years, space probes--manned and unmanned--have provided a wealth of new information about the composition and structures of the planets of our solar system. Over the same period the study of the Earth has been revolutionized by the theory of plate tectonics. This book looks at the Earth as a very special planet in the context of these discoveries, telling what is unique about our orbiting home and what it has in common with its neighbors. The journey begins with an understanding of the cosmic origins of the Sun and the accretion of the planets from the solar nebula. With insights from comparative planetology, the author discusses the dramatic events leading to the evolution of the solar system, focusing on the key question of why the Earth, apparently alone among the planets, developed crustal plates moving in response to convection currents in the mantle. These plate movements contributed importantly to the emergence of island arcs, land masses, and oceans, and they made possible the emergence of life, which itself altered the Earth's environment, producing an oxygen-rich atmosphere and eventually contributing to the shaping of the landscape. This unique book provides an overview of this fascinating geography, geology, and planetology, combining essential reference material with a compelling account of modern theories in these important areas.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 160 pages
  • 231.14 x 292.1 x 20.32mm | 1,043.26g
  • Oxford University Press, USA
  • United States
  • English
  • 0195211383
  • 9780195211382

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