Planetary Physics

planetary physics

[′plan·ə‚ter·ē ′fiz·iks]
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The results were "satisfactory", the research team reported in a paper published in the latest issue of the Chinese journal Earth and Planetary Physics.
KARACHI -- 'Look, it's here,' shouted in excitement a group of students who had gathered on the rooftop of Karachi University's Institute of Space and Planetary Physics (Ispa) on Wednesday, forcing others to turn around and look up in the sky.
Though the paper was written and published decades ago, Ruzmaikin recommends it especially to young scientists working in magneto-hydrodynamics and its application to astrophysics, solar physics, and planetary physics. Distributed in the US by Enfield.
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. "The planet is so hot that all the water in its atmosphere is vaporized, rather than condensed into icy clouds like on Jupiter," said team member Laura Kreidberg of the University of Chicago.
Robert Brown and Richard Goody of Harvard University's Center for Earth and Planetary Physics derived a period of 15.6 hours from spectrograms made with the Kitt Peak National Observatory's 4-meter reflector, which they soon revised to 16.3 hours.
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.
Steve Foley is a network engineer at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Scripps Oceanography: EoACA[pounds sterling]Our research vessels need to squeeze every bit of bandwidth out of those fixed satellite links.
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.
He studied geology and computer science at Sunderland University before following it with a degree at Newcastle University in geophysics and planetary physics. Derek said: "I first became interested in astronomy when I was about 10 or 11, when I got my first telescope.
Perhaps not, though collisions of this magnitude have happened in Earth's history, point out researchers Steven Ward and Erik Asphaug of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.