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Planetary Climates$
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Andrew P. Ingersoll

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691145044

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691145044.001.0001

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(p.240) 11 Conclusion
Planetary Climates

Andrew P. Ingersoll

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter discusses some of the lessons that can be learned from studying the planets and planetary climates. It first considers the general principles that turned out to be right; for example, size and distance from the Sun matter. The larger objects are able to hold on to their atmospheres better than the small objects. The outer solar system is hydrogen rich and the inner solar system is oxygen rich; as one moves away from the Sun different substances take on different roles. There are also assumptions that proved inaccurate; such was the case for Venus, Mars, and the moons of the giant planets. The chapter also asks whether the study of planetary climates provides lessons for Earth, whether the study of planets has informed us about the likelihood of extraterrestrial life, and whether it has made the development of extraterrestrial life seem more likely.

Keywords:   planets, planetary climate, atmosphere, solar system, Venus, Mars, moon, giant planets, Earth, extraterrestrial life

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