Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Three Recent Books in Planetary Science



One of the joys of working in planetary science is that a diverse range of scientific disciplines must be used together in order to understand processes at work in the solar system. The training of a planetologist requires a broad understanding of geology, geophysics, celestial mechanics, chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, computers, and even biology in many cases. Narrow specialization is difficult and, as evidenced by the recent failures of several prominent NASA missions, possibly unwise for one's career. The wide sweep of planetary sciences is a challenge for those versed in its pedagogy and is perhaps one reason why so few institutions offer a distinct major in the field.