Cover image for The Cambridge photographic guide to the planets
The Cambridge photographic guide to the planets
Taylor, F. W.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
ix, 305 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
General Note:
Rev. ed. of: The Cambridge photographic guide to the planets / Geoffrey Briggs. 1982.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB605 .T39 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



The Cambridge Photographic Guide to the Planets contains a selection of the latest and most interesting images of the planets, moons, comets and asteroids of our Solar System. The book begins with a general introduction to the planetary system, its origin and evolution. Each subsequent chapter is devoted to a different planet or solar system body, and contains a comprehensive introduction to the body, and its moons and rings where relevant. This is followed by a selection of carefully chosen images from planetary missions, with explanatory captions. The author provides an authoritative description of what these images reveal and the puzzles that they pose for scientists. This photographic guide will be of interest to anybody with a fascination of the planets, from the amateur to the professional astronomer.

Author Notes

Fred Taylor is Halley Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist in the Earth and Space Sciences Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. His research interests include the physics of planetary atmospheres, experimental methods for studying atmospheres, and the theory of atmospheric radiation and atmospheric molecular spectroscopy. Professor Taylor has worked with NASA or the European Space Agency on missions to Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury and Titan

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Taylor (physics, Univ. of Oxford) offers a selection of the latest images of solar system objects obtained from interplanetary missions and advanced telescopic technologies. Organized using an inside-out approach, the Guide begins with a brief overview of the solar system, including its formation and evolution. Each subsequent chapter contains an introduction to the subject being studied, accompanied by images that illustrate interesting or noteworthy features of the object. Detailed captions assist readers to more completely understand the salient physical properties being illustrated by the image. All moons and rings are discussed in the chapters devoted to those planets with which they are associated. Though Taylor claims that this book is suitable for all audiences, much of the language used requires that readers be somewhat versed in the specialized vocabulary of planetary astronomy. The biggest drawback to this book is that it is becoming an anachronism. The volume is well written and beautifully produced, but there are a number of searchable sites on the Web devoted to the same purpose. These resources, with their ability to quickly make new astronomical information available to researchers, render this book obsolete as a reference tool. Even so, it is an excellent book for anyone interested in the solar system. General readers; lower-division undergraduates. C. L. Davies Gordon College

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. 1
Origin of the Solar Systemp. 3
Formation of the planetsp. 5
Evolution of the planetsp. 8
The surfaces of solid planetsp. 11
Impact crateringp. 11
Tectonismp. 13
Volcanismp. 15
Gradationp. 17
The atmospheres of the planetsp. 18
Evolutionp. 19
Thermal statep. 21
Atmospheric circulationp. 23
Life in the Solar Systemp. 25
Mercuryp. 27
Venusp. 49
Volcanic featuresp. 56
Tectonic featuresp. 57
Impact cratersp. 58
The atmosphere of Venusp. 60
Atmospheric dynamicsp. 61
Earth and Moonp. 91
The Moonp. 100
The origin of the Moonp. 107
Marsp. 131
Interior and shapep. 132
Terrain typesp. 134
Volcanismp. 135
Canyons and channelsp. 137
The polar regionsp. 140
Surface compositionp. 143
Evolutionary historyp. 144
Atmospheric compositionp. 146
Weather and climatep. 148
Life?p. 152
Asteroids and cometsp. 177
Cometsp. 180
The Jovian Systemp. 197
The moons of Jupiterp. 204
The Galilean moonsp. 207
Callistop. 208
Ganymedep. 210
Europap. 212
Iop. 213
The Saturnian Systemp. 237
The moons of Saturnp. 242
Mimasp. 242
Enceladusp. 243
Tethys, Dione and Rheap. 244
Titanp. 244
Hyperionp. 247
Iapetusp. 247
Phoebep. 248
The Uranian systemp. 267
Ringsp. 269
The moons of Uranusp. 272
Neptunep. 283
Rings of Neptunep. 285
The Neptunian satellitesp. 286
Pluto and the edge of the Solar Systemp. 299
The Oort Cloud and the Kuiper Beltp. 302