ASTR 1210 (O'Connell)



Mars Relief Map from the Mars Global Surveyor Mission.
Click for enlargement.

The next 5-6 lectures will cover the terrestrial planets. These include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars and also (from a structural point of view) the Earth's Moon. This page lists the main topics to be discussed.

By comparing the planets and identifying differences and similarities ("comparative planetology") we gain much more information on how they came to be than if we just studied one planet. For instance, the horrific conditions on Venus triggered the realization that a human-induced "Greenhouse effect" could be a threat to the climate on Earth.

A. General Properties

B. Exploration: mainly by space missions since 1960

C. Key Topics

Reading & Web Links:
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Last modified December 2020 by rwo

Text copyright © 1998-2020 Robert W. O'Connell. All rights reserved. These notes are intended for the private, noncommercial use of students enrolled in Astronomy 1210 at the University of Virginia.