Planetary Physics

planetary physics

[′plan·ə‚ter·ē ′fiz·iks]
(astrophysics)
The study of the structure, composition, and physical and chemical properties of the planets of the solar system, including their atmospheres and immediate cosmic environment.

Physics, Planetary

 

the division of astrophysics that deals with studies of the physical structure and chemical composition of the planets and their satellites. Before the advent of direct studies of the planets by means of space probes, all information on the structure and composition of the planets was obtained by astronomical methods. For example, the masses of the planets and the mass distribution within a planet were determined by studying regularities of the motion of the planets and their satellites, while the chemical composition of a planetary atmosphere was determined from the spectrum of solar radiation reflected by the planet. In addition, a planet’s temperature was determined from the infrared and radio-frequency radiation of the planet, and cloud-layer characteristics and surface microstructure were determined from the polarization of scattered solar radiation. Beginning in the 1960’s, the classical astronomical methods of planetary research have been supplemented by the wide use of direct measurements made by space probes in the atmosphere, on the surface, or in the immediate vicinity of a planet.

As a rule, the methods of direct studies are a development of geophysical techniques. On the other hand, the evolution of space technology made it possible to use astronomical methods to study the earth. Since the mid-1970’s, the field of science that deals with the comprehensive study of the planets and satellites by various methods has been called planetology.

G. A. LEIKIN

References in periodicals archive ?
Because there's no planet with these tortured conditions in our solar system, characterizing the atmosphere of such a bizarre world provides a unique laboratory for better understanding planet formation and planetary physics.
Because there is no planet with these tortured conditions in our solar system, characterizing the atmosphere of such a bizarre world provides a unique laboratory for better understanding planet formation and planetary physics.
Samy Mahmoud, Chancellor of UoS, and Professor Peter Davis University of California San Diego and Executive Director of Project IDA (International Deployment of Accelerometers), a global network of broadband and very long period seismometers operated by Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP), entered the rock tunnel where underground seismographers and sensors were installed to ensure high quality and accurate monitoring of tremors.
Some universities offer degrees in astronomy, planetary physics or space-science as a single subject or combined, for example with maths.
The researcher, who is studying the link between lightning and subsequent flash floods is Professor Colin Price, coordinator of the international "Flash Project" and head of the Geophysics and Planetary Physics Department at Tel Aviv University.
Paul studied geophysics and planetary physics at Newcastle University before joining the Met Office.
All this data suggests that the fault is ready for the next big earthquake -- but exactly when the triggering will happen and when the earthquake will occur we cannot tell,'' said Yuri Fialko, an associate professor at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Scripps.
He studied geology and computer science at Sunderland University before following it with a degree at Newcastle University in geophysics and planetary physics.
The university's Physics Department, which took delivery of the new Cray systems, focuses research and teaching in planetary physics, astrophysics, particle physics, condensed matter physics and quantum optics.
Vernon, a seismologist at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics in La Jolla, Calif.
Adlen is a researcher in planetary physics and part of a NASA funded team working to design equipment that will determine whether there is water on Mars.
Professor Fred Taylor, head of Planetary Physics at Oxford University, has just returned from America and hailed the find.