There is a rich literature associated with astronomy and planetary science. The trouble is that, the longer or more specialized the book, the faster it goes out of date. On the other hand, some (not all!) websites are frequently updated. To help you discover more about planets, I suggest a few of the best books and several appropriate entry points to the internet.
J. K. Beatty, C. C. Peterson, and A. Chaikin (eds.), The New Solar System, 4th edn. (Sky Publishing Corporation and Cambridge University Press, 1999). This covers the lot. Each chapter is written by a specialist author. Badly dated in parts, but it remains a highly accessible classic.
I. Gilmour and M. A. Sephton (eds.), An Introduction to Astrobiology (Cambridge University Press, 2003). Updated in 2007, this is the second of two volumes based around an Open University course on planetary science, written at early undergraduate level. This one covers life, Mars, Europa, and Titan as potential habitats, and exoplanets. New edition expected 2011.
N. McBride and I. Gilmour (eds.), An Introduction to the Solar System (Cambridge University Press, 2003). Updated in 2007, this is the first of two volumes based around an Open University course on planetary science, written at early undergraduate level. It covers all the major components of the Solar System, except the Sun. New edition expected 2011.
S. A. Stern (ed.), Our Worlds: The Magnetism and Thrill of Planetary Exploration (Cambridge University Press, 1999). Easy but informative reading. Each chapter is a personal account by one of the leading practitioners.
D. A. Weintraub, Is Pluto a Planet? (Princeton University Press, 2007). If you’ve read this far, then you already know the answer to the question posed by this book’s title. However, it covers much more than that, being an historical account of human perception of planets from ancient times right up to the recent squabbles over the classification of TNOs.
(٢) الكواكب الأرضية
M. Hanlon, The Real Mars (Constable, 2004). A science writer’s perspective on Mars, simply written and beautifully illustrated.
J. S. Kargel, Mars: A Warmer Wetter Planet (Springer Praxis, 2004). One leading scientist’s personal view of the role of hidden water on Mars.
R. M. C. Lopes and T. K. P. Gregg (eds.), Volcanic Worlds: Exploring the Solar System’s Volcanoes (Springer Praxis, 2004). A popular account, with chapters by specialist authors dealing with volcanism on each terrestrial planet, the Moon, Io, and icy satellites.
R. G. Strom and A. L. Sprague, Exploring Mercury (Springer Praxis, 2003). This is the best review of Mercury that I know, but written before MESSENGER began to study the planet.
J. Bell and J. Mitton (eds.), Asteroid Rendezvous: NEAR Shoemaker’s Adventures at Eros (Cambridge University Press, 2002). A well-illustrated and popular account of the findings of the first probe to orbit and then crash onto an asteroid.
(٤) الكواكب العملاقة
F. Bagenal, T. Dowling, and W. McKinnon (eds.), Jupiter: The Planet, Satellites and Magnetosphere (Cambridge University Press, 2004). A fat volume with 26 chapters written by specialist authors. Will take you much further than the current book.
E. D. Miner and R. R. Wessen, Neptune: The Planet, Rings and Satellites (Springer Praxis, 2002). A much slimmer and more simply written volume. Unlikely to date badly.
R. Greenberg, Unmasking Europa (Springer, 2007). A clear and authoritative account of Europa, including some scathing passages about how Greenberg’s research team had to struggle against the establishment to gain acceptance for their thin ice interpretation.
R. Lorenz and J. Mitton, Titan Unveiled (Princeton University Press, 2008). The first author is a key member of the Cassini-Huygens team that explored Titan, so this is an insightful account. However, it was written before Titan’s lakes were fully recognized.
D. A. Rothery, Satellites of the Outer Planets, 2nd edn. (Oxford Unversity Press, 1999). Written by myself, this is an account of large satellites from Jupiter to Neptune at a level that should suit if the current book has left you wanting more. It includes some Galileo findings, but pre-dates the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn so is out of date in parts.
(٦) الكواكب الواقعة خارج المجموعة الشمسية
H. Klahr and W. Brander (eds.), Planet Formation (Cambridge University Press, 2006). More technical than most others in this list, this volume is based on papers presented at a conference in 2004. It looks at planet formation in the light of modern theories for our Solar System and discoveries of exoplanet systems.
F. Casoli and T. Encrenaz, The New Worlds: Extrasolar Planets (Springer Praxis, 2007). The most up-to-date popular account of exoplanets that I could find.
(٧) مواقع ويب
The following websites were accessed 4 July 2010.
(www.nasa.gov): NASA’s home page. Click on the links here for news about missions or individual Solar System bodies.
(pds.jpl.nasa.gov/planets/): NASA’s ‘Welcome to the Planets’ site, offering a simple introduction to each body and a small selection of images.
(photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/): A fuller archive of NASA images of Solar System bodies.
(http://www.esa.int/esa-mmg/mmghome.pl): Multimedia gallery provided by the European Space Agency.
(http://www.isas.ac.jp/e/index.shtml): Japan’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), with links to images and movies from Japanese missions.
(arc.iki.rssi.ru/eng/index.htm): The Russian Space Research Institute (IKI). Follow the link to Planetary Exploration for access to images and information from Russian (and former Soviet) missions.
(hubblesite.org/gallery/): Gallery of images from the Hubble Space Telescope, searchable by name of planet.
(٧-٣) التسميات والخرائط
(http://www.mapaplanet.org/): A site where you can create your own maps of whatever region of a planet you choose, operated by the United States Geological Survey, Astrogeology Research Program.
(planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/): A gazetteer of nomenclature on planets, satellites, and asteroids. Hosted by the United States Geological Survey, Astrogeology Research Program on behalf of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Contains all you need to know about naming conventions, and up-to-date searchable lists of names of all kinds of features on each body.
(٧-٤) الأخبار والبيانات
(http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/): Has links for each planet and other classes of body, taking you to fact sheets and much more.
(http://www.minorplanetcenter.org/iau/mpc.html): Website of the IAU Minor Planet Center (at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory). Especially good information on near-Earth objects.
(www.boulder.swri.edu/ekonews/): Electronic newsletter about the Kuiper belt, plus various useful links.
(www.exoplanet.eu): The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia. Includes a frequently updated catalogue tracking the current tally of known objects, and also tutorials on the various methods of detecting exoplanets.
(http://www.planetary.org/home/): The Planetary Society. An international (US-based) society promoting planetary exploration. A good source of relevant news and comment.