The Moon is the only body in the solar system outside of the Earth that has been visited by humans. More than 440 pounds of lunar material are brought by NASA and Soviet space missions to Earth for study. The information gleaned about the Moon from this relatively small pile of rocks is mind-boggling and stands as the greatest proof that Martian planetary science would be greatly enhanced by returning samples to Earth. Compositional studies of lunar rocks show that the Moon and the Earth are made of similar material, and because lunar material has not been reworked through erosion and plate tectonics, it sheds light on the early formation of the Moon and its internal evolution.
Presented in full color, The Earth and the Moon, Revised Edition compares the Earth with the other planets from the point of view of a planetary scientist. It provides in-depth information on the fundamental aspects of the Earth as a planet—including its size and mass, its orbit, and the causes of its seasons, as well as the formation and evolution of the Moon. This revised resource also describes the processes that link the Moon and the Earth, including tides, synchronous rotation, and eclipses. A substantial new section on the science of climate change has also been added.
- The Earth: Fast Facts about a Planet in Orbit
- The Interior of the Earth
- The Early Evolution of the Planet Earth
- The Visible Planet
- Life on Earth
- Global Climate Change
- The Moon: Fast Facts about the Earth's Moon in Orbit
- Formation and Evolution of the Moon
- The Moon's Interior and Surface Today
- Missions to the Moon
- Conclusion: The Known and the Unknown.
Full-color photographs and line illustrations. Tables and charts. Index. Appendixes. Glossary. Further print and Web resources.
About the Author(s)
Linda T. Elkins-Tanton, Ph.D., has a doctorate in geology and geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), held a research position at Brown University, and is now on the faculty at MIT. She is an expert on early planetary evolution, volcanic processes, and the connections between meteorite impacts, flood basalts, and global extinction events. She has been published in many journals, including Science; Nature Geoscience; Geology, Earth, and Planetary Science Letters; Geophysical Research Letters; and the Journal of Geophysical Research.