© 1990

Physics and Chemistry of Comets

  • Walter F. Huebner

Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XVI
  2. Walter F. Huebner
    Pages 1-12
  3. H. Uwe Keller
    Pages 13-68
  4. Michael F. A’Hearn, Michel C. Festou
    Pages 69-112
  5. Eberhard Grün, Elmar K. Jessberger
    Pages 113-176
  6. Wing-H. Ip, W. Ian Axford
    Pages 177-233
  7. Jan H. Oort
    Pages 235-244
  8. Hans Rickman, Walter F. Huebner
    Pages 245-303
  9. Walter F. Huebner, Christopher P. McKay
    Pages 305-331
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 333-376

About this book


As this excellent book demonstrates, the study of comets has now reached the fas­ cinating stage where we understand comets in general simple tenns while, at the same time, we are uncertain about practically all the details of cometary nature, structure, processes, and origin. In every aspect, even including dynamics, a choice among several or many competing theories is made impossible simply by the lack of detailed knowledge. The space missions, snapshot studies of two comets, partic­ ularly the one that immortalizes the name of Sir Edmund Halley, have produced a huge mass of valuable new infonnation and a number of surprises. Nonetheless, we face the tantalizing realization that we have obtained only a fleeting glance at two of perhaps a hundred billion (lOll) or more comets with possibly differing natures, origins, and physical histories. To my personal satisfaction, comets seem to have discrete nuclei made up of dirty snowballs, as I concluded four decades ago, but perhaps they are more like frozen rubbish piles.


chemistry evolution geophysics planet planetary science space physics

Editors and affiliations

  • Walter F. Huebner
    • 1
  1. 1.Div. 15Southwest Research InstituteSan AntonioUSA

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